On its face, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) reads like the sort of legislation most elected leaders would be thrilled to vote for. It is a straightforward declaration that women be treated equally under the law. It may seem hard to believe, but this basic proposition has been met with lots of opposition over its struggle towards ratification. That's why, in 2017, there are several Equal Rights Amendment petitions asking that 21st century supporters join the decades-long movement by adding their names to a growing list of new voices demanding that the ERA be approved.
Some of the arguments against the ERA are now wholly outdated, such as longtime opponent Phyllis Schlafly's fear that the presumption of a husband supporting his wife would be upended. That's already come to pass, without ERA ratification. Other concerns from ERA naysayers are still debated, such as whether or not women should be drafted alongside men for military service, an issue that popped up during the 2016 Republican primary. Given the language of the ERA, both women and men would ostensibly be equally eligible for conscription.
But what Alice Paul's original text from 1923 sought was not a dictate on societal norms, but a guarantee enshrined within the Constitution that women be treated equally. Here are a few places to support that vision by signing an ERA petition.
Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment— Paula Miller (@ItsPaulanotrunt) November 28, 2016
Sign the petition!
As in many other places, the description for change.org's petition to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment includes a quote by former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't."
There are actually several petitions on moveon.org, so feel free to sign them all.
3ERA Coalition Pledge
While not a traditional petition, the ERA Coalition does have a pledge that supporters can sign, promising to support the Equal Rights Amendment through their votes.
"CREDO Action organizes for progressive change." That's the first line on its "About" page, and its site hosts an array of petitions to sign, including one supporting the ERA.
Of all the petitions, the one with the most momentum appears to be the change.org effort, working with the Equal Means Equal film and social action advocacy. The documentary takes a hard look at the reality of female equality in America today. And it's a powerful reminder of why the ERA remains relevant.
It only takes a few minutes to go through and add your signature to these important petitions. The ERA was passed 45 years ago exactly, and it's time it becomes ratified.