On March 22, 1972 the United States Congress put before the states the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution. The proposed 27th amendment was, at the time, a culmination of over 100 years of work by a variety of advocates to try to introduce true equality into the political framework of our nation and, as a companion to the 14th amendment, recognize that all men, and women, regardless of race, ethnicity and religious affiliation must be treated equally.
At the time of its introduction it was supported by both political parties and enjoyed widespread appeal. In the year of its introduction, it was immediately ratified by 22 states. However, the pace slowed dramatically as opposition began to organize with only 8 ratifying in 1973, 3 in 1974, 1 in 1975, and 1 in 1977. The effort to reach 38 states for ratification had stalled at 35.
Anti-ERA organizers claimed that ERA would deny a woman’s right to be supported by her husband, women would be sent into combat, and that homosexual marriages would be upheld. Though, at the time, the opposition thought their efforts successful and that the battle for gender equality was lost, recent developments have shown the battle continues.
In 2017 the state of Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Following an additional surge in support, Illinois became the 37th state in April of 2018.
Today, on the 47th Anniversary of its original passage, Louisiana has an opportunity to make history and in becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. On the opening day of the 2019 Legislative Session, I will be introducing a Senate Concurrent Resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
Working with the cosponsors of this bill, and my colleagues within the legislature, we will continue to fight for equality for all and this is one of my many bills to move #LouisianaForward in my final year in the Louisiana Legislature.
Senator JP Morrell
Cosponsors of the ERA Ratification Resolution: Senator Karen Carter Peterson
Senator Yvonne Colomb
Senator Troy A. Carter, Sr.
Senator Wesley Bishop
Senator Jay Luneau
Representative James Harris, III
Representative Gary Carter, Jr.
Representative Walt Leger, III
Representative Royce Duplessis
Equal Rights Amendment Resources: