ERA Minnesota (ERAMN) will conduct a briefing and training session for activists at 9:00 am in Room 3236B of the new State Senate Building, followed by visits with legislators. Their purpose is to highlight two bills that would embed an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) into our state and national constitutions.
ERAMN supports SF113 / HF212 – a resolution to Congres memorializing Congress to remove the deadline for ratification by the states of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2015, the state senate version SF113 passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support by a vote of 55-6. Its companion bill, HF212, has been referred to the Rules & Legislative Administration Committee.
In addition, ERAMN supports SF62 & SF93, with companion bill HF165 - an Equal Rights Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. SF62 proposes to amend the Minnesota Constitution, article I, with the addition of the sentence: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender." SF62 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee and HF165 has been referred to the Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee.
In 1923, Alice Paul proposed the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1972, it easily passed through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and was sent to the states for ratification. By the imposed deadline in 1979, only 35 of the 38 required states had ratified the ERA. The deadline was extended to June 30, 1982, but an arbitrary deadline was attached to the proposing clause the time expired before reaching the requisite 38 states needed for inclusion in the federal constitution. The amendment that instead became the 27th Amendment to the constitution dealing with Congressional pay raises took 203 years to pass, yet no deadline was ever imposed upon it. ERAMN seeks to remove the deadline on ERA and reactivate the 35 states, including Minnesota, that have already ratified the federal ERA, thereby needing 3 more states for ratification.
“An equal rights amendment will set forth the principle of gender equality and offer women and men a more effective avenue of legal recourse against discrimination on the basis of sex,” said Betty Folliard, ERAMN Founder.
Several efforts are being made by coalitions in previously un-ratified states to garner the 3 more states needed to reach 38 states – the 2/3 majority needed for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to pass. Unratified states organizing ERA actions include Nevada, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.