Monday, February 26, 2007

The Equal Rights Amendment Redux
by Idella Moore

When Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, in order to get around powerful North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin's opposition, it added a seven-year time limit on ratification. Even after Congress bowed to public pressure to extend the deadline, proponents were given only an additional three years to finish ratification.

Throughout the 10 years of the ERA campaign, national polls consistently showed the majority of Americans were in favor of the amendment. But state legislators who believed (or purported to believe) the anti-ERA claims that the ERA would destroy families, legalize gay marriage, subject women to the military draft, and mandate unisex toilets, were successful in preventing the ERA from being ratified in 15 state legislatures. By June 30, 1982 the deadline came with the ERA lacking just three of the 38 states needed for ratification. The ERA was defeated. Or was it?



Moore is the executive officer for