FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2022
Carol Jenkins: “The fate of the ERA now lies in the hands of the Senate.”
Washington, DC –– Yesterday, to mark the last day of Women’s History Month, the ERA Coalition wrote to Majority Leader Schumer urging him to, without delay, schedule a floor vote on the bipartisan resolution to remove the arbitrary time limit from the Equal Rights Amendment.
The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, and Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment in 2020, thus fulfilling all constitutional requirements set forth in Article V. Even though the ERA has met all the constitutional requirements for an amendment, making it both valid and enforceable today, it has yet to be published as part of the Constitution. To eliminate any doubt that the ERA is now the 28th Amendment to the Constitution, the Senate must vote to remove the arbitrary ratification time limit.
“The fate of the ERA now lies in the hands of the Senate,” writes ERA Coalition President and CEO Carol Jenkins. “The Senate’s actions today are just as critical as they were 50 years ago and will have the impact of bringing our nation’s Constitution into the 21st century.
National organizations signed on to the letter include American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), GLAAD, the League of Women Voters, Women’s Law Project, National Urban League, National Council of Jewish Women, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDC), and Muslims for Progressive Values.
“Equality can never have an expiration date. It is long past due for gender parity to be codified into our country’s most important legal document. I stand firmly behind the bill to remove the time limit from the Equal Rights Amendment, so that women will finally have equal rights in the United States of America,” said Melanie L. Campbell, CEO and President of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of The Black Women’s Roundtable. “No one’s rights should be denied on the basis of their gender.”
“Leader Schumer must understand the urgency of this moment for women’s rights. Delay on a vote to remove the time limit from the Equal Rights Amendment, is a continued indignity to women, who should be valued under our laws commensurate with our equal contributions to this country,” said Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO, MANA, A National Latina Organization.
“Student survivors of campus sexual assault – especially students of color, LGTBQIA+ students, cis-gender women, gender non-conforming students, and students with disabilities – are historically marginalized and continue to face systemic discrimination. Meanwhile, the opportunity and equality gaps continue to widen,” said Kenyora Parham, MSW, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus. “The equality of rights cannot be denied or abridged on account of sex. The time to affirm and center those at the margins is now. End Rape On Campus urges Senator Schumer to bring this historic legislation to the floor without delay.”
“Young women and queer people want to be protected by our Constitution. The House has acted to remove the deadline on the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. It is time for the Senate to do the same. Young people won’t let up until our Senators fight for our equality. We demand a vote on the Senate floor,” said Belan Yeshigeta, Co-founder and Executive Director of Generation Ratify.
On the two-year anniversary of Virginia becoming the final state needed to ratify the amendment, President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation affirming the Equal Rights Amendment’s validity. His remarks followed the current Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel release of a memo confirming that Congress can act to remove the time limit and any ambiguity around the validity of the Equal Rights Amendment’s status as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
“It has been nearly 100 years since this fight began to enshrine, into the Constitution, that equality of rights cannot be denied or abridged on account of sex. We urge the Senate to join the House in passing this legislation and making history this session,” writes Carol Jenkins.
The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. Comprised of nearly 250 organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality.
While the effort to amend the constitution to include sex equality began nearly a century ago, our renewed efforts are centered on Black, Indigenous and Women of Color, gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people– those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.