By Lori Perkins
The US Senate failed to extend the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee equality for all regardless of sex or sexual orientation by a vote of 51-47, even though two Republican Senators were behind it. With Diane Feinstein MIA, Sen. Manchin crossed ranks and voted with the Republicans.
The ERA, a proposed amendment to the Constitution, was designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.
Its exact language is: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
The ERA was first introduced more than a century ago in 1923 as women fought to obtain the vote. It took more than 50 years for 38 states to give the amendment the green light, but the arbitrary deadline Congress had set for approval of the amendment had passed. This vote was to extend or eliminate the deadline so that the amendment could be entered into the constitution as the 28th amendment.
Republicans have argued that the amendment is unnecessary because of the equal protections provided to women in the 14th Amendment.
All is supposedly not lost. Senator Shuman changed his vote to against, so that it could be appealed.
Senator Schumer said the ERA was more important since the Supreme Court last year overturned the national right to abortion.
"To the horror of hundreds of millions of American people, women in America have far fewer rights today than they did even a year ago," Schumer said.