Activism On the Hill

The Feminist Majority Joins The ERA Coalition in Urging Biden-Harris Administration to Prioritize Enshrining the ERA into the US Constitution

The Feminist Majority has signed on to a letter sent by The ERA Coalition to the Biden-Harris administration calling for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to finally be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution within the first 100 days of the Biden presidency. President Biden and Vice President Harris are both strong supporters of the ERA.

A diverse coalition of over 150 national, state, and local groups with memberships representing millions of people, prominent ERA activists, women of color led organizations, women’s groups, civil rights organizations, LGBT rights groups, Black and Latinx sororities, religious organizations, legal defense groups, labor unions, educational groups, professional associations, and progressive groups have signed onto the letter.

Signers also include feminist activist Gloria Steinem, actor and activist Alyssa Milano, Feminist Majority Foundation board member and co-founder of United Farm Workers Dolores Huerta, ERA Coalition president Carol Jenkins, Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal, United Federation of Teachers, National Congress of Black Women, Voto Latino, the National Organization for Women (NOW), TIME’S UP Now, Supermajority, The Women’s March, GLAAD, She the People, Transformative Justice Coalition, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), and many more.

The letter reads in part:

With Virginia’s becoming the 38th state to ratify the ERA on January 27, 2020, all requirements for it to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have been satisfied. The ERA has yet to be published by the Archivist, however, following the opinion issued in a memo from the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel. We ask you to work with Congress to pass historic resolutions to remove the arbitrary time limit from the preamble and recognize that the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by three-fourths of the states and is now the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“We are so close to enshrining the ERA into the U.S. Constitution,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and a 50-year veteran in the ERA struggle. “After 100 years of struggle these 100 days are the most important for finally banning sex discrimination in our states’ and nation’s laws, programs, and policies. It will unleash the talents and contributions of tens of millions of people. There cannot be a time limit on equality especially when the overwhelming majority need and want it.”

Resolutions have been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate in recent weeks to remove the arbitrary timeline that is in the preamble and not in the actual text of the Equal Rights Amendment. ERA advocates assert that the timeline was enacted by Congress and therefore can be removed by Congress to ensure that the ERA is placed in the Constitution now that three-fourths of the states have ratified.

“For almost 100 years, there has been a constant battle to enshrine in our constitution that the equality of rights cannot be denied or abridged on the basis of sex or gender,” said Carol Jenkins, president and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality. “The ERA Coalition and our allied partners have fought a state-by-state campaign across the country to see the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Now is the time for Congress to act and acknowledge the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Read the full letter here.

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