Most of you don't know that my passion for writing and politics come from my mother, Maggie. She was the 1970s version of a blogger, a letter to the editor writer. Following is one of her gems that appeared in the Cleveland Press in July 1980.
I am happy to read that the Republican platform is not endorsing the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). I agree with Mr. Reagan's stand and I too believe in equal rights for women, but not by way of an ERA amendment to our Constitution.
The ERA amendment, as it now stands, does not guarantee equality for women. Nowhere in the ERA are the words "woman", "female", or "minorities" .
Section 1 states: "equality on account of sex", very vague. The only persons who would benefit from this amendment would be some men, those with alternative life-styles, i. e. homosexuals. Why isn't the ERA specific and use the words "woman", "female" and "minority"? In fact, Congress rejected the Hayden amendment which clearly stated : "conferred by law upon persons of the female sex." There were also 9 other provisions by Senator Ervin that listed specific rights, exemptions and protections for "women". Why was all of this language removed from the original ERA bill?
All of the things that women think the ERA would provide (and aren't even mentioned in the amendment) are already the law of our land. Such as, economic rights, equal pay, equal opportunity, equality in contracting business and equal opportunity in obtaining credit. These are provided for us in the 14th amendment of our U.S. Constitution (giving civil rights to all, including women and minorities). The Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 all specifically and clearly state "women", "female" and "minorities" and are not vague like the ERA.
Any woman can go to her Equal Opportunity Office in her city and obtain free lawyers to defend her. Thousands of women and minorities have already benefited from these very specific laws that protect women and minorities.
So you see, we don't need the ERA with its vague implications that leave the door wide open to any interpretation of "on account of sex" and in reality strips all women of their privileges and protections provided by current law. We have beautiful laws already firmly established and already in use giving equality and protection not only to all women and minorities, but to each and every individual in these United States of America, all one has to do is use them.
In view of this, isn't it time we all wrote our representatives in Columbus urging the rescinding of ratification of the ERA by Ohio?