FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2023
Washington, DC –– Following the news that Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Senate to remove the time limit on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality President and CEO Zakiya Thomas released the following statement:
“Advocates for sex equality began the fight to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution 100 years ago. We’ve watched opponents of equality for women and LGBTQ+ persons take unprecedented steps to roll back our rights, showing just how fiercely urgent our fight is today as it was a century ago. There is no time limit on equality, and we urge the House of Representatives and the Senate to act swiftly.
“Senator Cardin and co-lead Senator Murkowski, Congresswoman Pressley and co-leads Congresswomen Bush, Spanberger, Dean, Garcia, and Kamlager-Dove are true leaders in the fight for equality, and we’re grateful for their continued leadership. Until the ERA is enshrined in the Constitution, we won’t give up the fight, because our rights depend on it,” Thomas said.
“There should be no time limit on equality. Ratification of the 28th Amendment is complete. Most Americans already think it is a part of the Constitution. Congress needs to finish its job,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to work with the ERA Coalition, Senator Murkowski, Congresswoman Pressley, and all our colleagues on finally enshrining the ERA into the Constitution and advancing true legal equality on the basis of sex.”
“Women have done the work of preserving and defending our democracy for centuries, and it’s high time our laws recognize our contributions and the historic role that we have played,” said Representative Pressley. “It also is not lost on me that the first time the ERA was put forward, women of color were not part of the conversation – today we’re leading and working in coalition with advocacy organizations like the ERA Coalition to advance this priority. Our resolution will help address centuries of gender disparities in America by removing the unnecessary barriers that have prevented us from enshrining the dignity, humanity, and equality of all people into our Constitution. We as women have done our job, the states have done their job, and now it’s time for Congress to do its job and pass this resolution.”
Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment in January of 2020, thus fulfilling all constitutional requirements set forth in Article V. However, Congress arbitrarily inserted a seven-year time limit for ratification with a three-year extension when it proposed and passed the ERA in 1972. 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, Congress should vote to support the joint resolutions proposed today affirming the Equal Rights Amendment and removing the arbitrary time limit.
January 27, 2022 ended a two-year waiting period for the ERA to go into effect after meeting all the constitutional requirements. The Attorneys General in two of the last three states to ratify the ERA, Nevada and Illinois, are suing the U.S. Archivist to force publication of the ERA to the U.S. Constitution. The ERA Coalition will continue pursuing all avenues to push for full recognition.
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. Composed of more than 280 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 women of color (African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latina, and Native American), gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people – those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.
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