Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution in the 1970s and 1980s. It would have given men and women full equality under the law. Alice Paul first wrote the ERA. In 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. It passed both houses of Congress in 1972 after the National Organization for Women protested outside the United States Senate. Some people opposed it because women were already becoming equal in most areas, and women did not want to be drafted into the Vietnam War. Though 35 states ratified it, the amendment did not pass (38 were needed). Most of the states that did not ratify it were in the Southern United States, which is the most conservative and religious part of the country.
The ERA would say, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
Twenty-one states have a version of the ERA in their state constitutions. Sixteen of those states ratified the federal ERA, while five did not.
The ERA has been introduced into Congress each year from 1923 to 1972. The amendment has been reintroduced in every session of Congress since 1982. In 2011, it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by 159 House cosponsors and several Senators.
- "Constitutional Amendments Not Ratified". U.S. House of Representatives. http://www.house.gov/house/Amendnotrat.shtml. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
- "Ratification Status in the States and State ERAs" (PDF). League of Women Voters, Fairfax Area. Archived from the original on March 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.lwv-fairfax.org/pdf_folder/era_ratifications.pdf. the 21: AK, CA, CO, CT, HI, IA, MD, MA, MT, NH, NJ, NM, PA, TX, WA and WY; the 5: FL, IL, LA, UT and VA.
- "Rep. Maloney, Sen. Menendez reintroduce Equal Rights Amendment". June 22, 2011. http://maloney.house.gov/press-release/rep-maloney-sen-menendez-reintroduce-equal-rights-amendment. Retrieved December 18, 2011.