January 16, 2020 | From NPR CNN, and The Family Foundation
With all the changes in sexuality and gender, the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment threatens to wreak havoc, rather than improve the quality of life of women in America. Please pray.
“Virginia became the pivotal 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment after its Senate and House of Delegates voted Wednesday to approve the change to the U.S. Constitution.
The ERA’s provisions include a guarantee that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
“The Virginia Senate voted 28-12 and the House of Delegates 59-41 to approve the ERA,”NPR’s Sarah McCammon reports.” (NPR)
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel is arguing that the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has expired, a blow to supporters’ push to enshrine the long-sought effort.
“We conclude that Congress had the constitutional authority to impose a deadline on the ratification of the ERA and, because that deadline has expired, the ERA Resolution is no longer pending before the States,” the OLC said in an opinion released Wednesday. The opinion, issued in response to a lawsuit filed by three conservative-leaning states, effectively prevents the archivist of the United States, who administers the ratification process, from verifying that the amendment is valid and part of the Constitution after the necessary number of states approve it. But his authority doesn’t prevent states from acting on their own to ratify the amendment — or preclude them from legally challenging the Justice Department’s opinion in court.”OLC’s opinion doesn’t directly affect the litigation, but unless it is overruled by the attorney general or the President, it likely will bind the archivist — meaning that the only way a new ratification by a state like Virginia would likely be effective is if the courts say so,” Stephen Vladeck, a CNN legal analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, told CNN. “This opinion suggests that, from the Executive Branch’s perspective, the matter is closed.
“Supporters say the ERA would ban discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantee equality for women under the Constitution, while opponents argue that the ERA would allow more access to abortion and that many protections are already enshrined at the state level. ERA proponents see Virginia as the next, and 38th, state to ratify the amendment, which would meet the three-fourths threshold necessary for an amendment to be added to the Constitution. Virginia’s state legislature returned to session on Wednesday and its Democratic lawmakers, who control both chambers, have said passing the ERA is a priority. But the OLC says that because the necessary 38 state legislatures didn’t ratify before the initial 1979 congressional deadline, “the Equal Rights Amendment has failed of adoption and is no longer pending before the States.” In its opinion Wednesday, the OLC disagreed with its own 1977 opinion that concluded Congress could extend a ratification deadline on an amendment pending before the states.”
Accordingly, even if one or more state legislatures were to ratify the proposed amendment, it would not become part of the Constitution, and the Archivist could not certify its adoption,” the opinion states. The OLC also says that Congress cannot revive a proposed amendment after it has exceeded its deadline for ratification, suggesting instead that Congress restart the ratification process from scratch. The ERA Coalition, which supports the amendment, said it “strongly disagrees with the OLC’s opinion that the time limit cannot be removed” and intends to pursue it regardless.
“We call on Congress to redouble its efforts to remove the time limit and we call on all remaining 13 states to ratify the ERA following the lead of Nevada, Illinois and soon Virginia,” the ERA Coalition said in a statement Wednesday. “This OLC opinion is not binding on Congress, the courts, or the states that have expressed their ongoing will to give women constitutional equality.”
“We believe it is imperative that Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi move ahead quickly with the floor vote to remove the time limit on the ERA,” Marianne Stack, a spokesperson for the ERA Coalition, said in a statement Wednesday provided to CNN. Efforts to eliminate the deadline are working their way through Congress, as bills have been introduced in both the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-led Senate. (CNN)
“Here is a list of some of the top reasons why we MUST oppose the ERA:
Top 10 Reasons to Oppose the ERA
- Women already ARE equal under the Constitution – Both women and men already have a full claim to equal rights under the 5th and 14th Amendments, since they are both “persons.”
- Enshrines abortion! – The ERA could be interpreted as enshrining in the Constitution a right to taxpayer-funded abortions because abortions would be deemed medically necessary just like “medical” procedures sought by men, forcing the state to fund them under Medicaid.
- Strips Churches of their tax-exempt status – Any church that has doctrines, policies, or practices for male-only clergy will likely lose their tax-exempt status because of “sex discrimination.” This will impact hundreds of churches in Virginia.
- Jeopardizes privacy and safety – Traditional male and female domestic abuse shelters, bathrooms, locker rooms, hospital rooms, nursing homes, etc. would be eliminated because under the ERA women and men must be treated as indistinguishable.
- Increases Auto and Life insurance for women – Regardless of the statistical evidence showing that women live longer than men and have better driving records, women will have to pay the same rates as men.
- Nullifies Title IX protections for women – The ERA would permit males and females to compete for inclusion on the same sports teams, as evidenced by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court which invalidated sex-segregated sports policies, including contact sports, citing the state’s ERA.
- Threatens religious liberty and conscience – The courts would be empowered to define “sex” and “equality of rights,” which could grant special legal rights to people on the basis of subjective characteristics like “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” which have proven hostile to religious liberty and conscience protections.
- Transfers more power to the Federal Government – Section 2 of the ERA would give extensive new powers to the federal government that currently belong to the states.
- Requires Integrated prison system – Male and female prisons will likely become integrated, resulting in dangerous conditions and harsher discipline for women since they would be required to be treated in the same way as men.” (Family Foundation)