Equal Rights Amendment - Celebrations and time to roll up our sleeves!

Last week, one of the two ERA bills (HF13 - to establish gender equality under the law, and propose a constitutional amendment) passed in the House. Hooray!!!!

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The debate was something to behold as Representatives argued that the word “gender” should be replaced by “sex” or “biological sex”, worried that the bill would spell the end of women’s sports by granting rights to transgender people, and were concerned that this bill could lead to the lifting of bans on taxpayer-funded abortions. Watch the whole debate here.

The bill passed by 72 - 55, which means that 55 representatives did not agree with the statement “equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender”. Let us not forget who voted against the idea of “equality for all”, when election time comes around!

This victory in the House was followed by ERA Lobby and Rally day on International Women’s Day. See here for full coverage of the wonderful event, with fantastic speeches from chief authors to the Governor and Lt Governor. For shorter clips of the rally, see here.

This bill (HF13/SF200) needs a hearing in the senate, as does the second ERA bill (HF71/SF208). Both bills have been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, but the Chair of that committee - Sen. Warren Limmer - is not scheduling either bill for a hearing. He is leaving it up to Senate Majority Leader, Paul Gazelka to decide whether these bills should move forward. See this good assessment from ERA MN on the situation.

Time to get busy!

  1. Contact your senator and urge to support these bills.

  2. If your senator is on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, ask them to pressure their chair to grant these bills a hearing.

  3. Urge Senator Limmer, Chair of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, to give SF200 and SF208 a hearing.

  4. Urge Senate Majority Leader Gazelka to make sure that both ERA bills (SF200 and SF208) get a hearing in the Senate, as well as a vote.

Things to mention in your messages to your senator and others:

  • As a woman/mother/sister/aunt/grandmother/father/grandfather, etc., securing equal rights for women is a top priority for me, and getting the ERA into the US Constitution is long overdue.

  • This is not and should not be a partisan issue.

  • Both women and men have been denied equality in the Constitution, because it does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. This amendment is for all people of Minnesota and this country.

  • Twenty-four other states in the United States (including Texas) have added an Equal Rights Amendment to their state constitutions. It is time to give Minnesotans the opportunity to vote for an Equal Rights Amendment for our state.

  • Recent events have shown clearly that despite claims of equality, women still face inequality due to sexual harassment, inequitable pay and unequal treatment in the courts. Our courts are an uncertain place to determine the equality of over half our population.

  • Now is the time to ensure equal justice for all Minnesotans.