Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Soon to Become Law after 50 Years?

By Lori Perkins


When I was a young feminist in the 70s, the most important political item on the agenda for me (Roe vs. Wade had already happened) was the Equal Rights Amendment, which I expected would be passed in a matter of three or four years. Never in my wildest imagination could I have predicted that what I thought of s a simple, straight forward amendment that acknowledged in writing that men and women in the United States should be treated equally in the eyes of the law would take 50 years to become law. FIFTY YEARS!!!!


In 1972, Congress passed the ERA, which stated, "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." This should not be considered some radical amendment.


But there was a caveat – that 38 state legislatures needed to vote yes on the amendment by 1982, and that didn’t happen. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, Virginia finally came onboard, but there are those who contend that because the original deadline was missed, the amendment should not be made law.


Yesterday, President Biden urged Congress "to pass a resolution recognizing ratification of the ERA," saying recent legal analysis showed there was nothing preventing lawmakers from acting.


For the record, the amendment was first introduced in 1923, nearly 100 years ago.


Isn’t it about time?