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Constitutional Equality:
State & Federal Initiatives
M. Kathleen Murphy,
Founder/Director of MN C.A.F.E. Coalition
Constitutional Equality:
I. History
II. Why?
III. ERA MN Strategy
I. History
1800’s: Constitutional Amendments
1920: Suffrage
1923: Introduction of ERA
1970’s: Trying to Ratify the 27th
Am...
1868: 14th Amendment
(broad definition of citizenship)
Adopted after the Civil
War (July 9, 1868) as one
of the reconstruc...
1870: 15th Amendment
(voting rights)
The right… to vote shall
not be denied or abridged…
on account of race, color,
or pre...
1920: 19th Amendment
(women’s right to vote)
A 50 year fight
finally won women
their only
Constitutionally
guaranteed righ...
1923: Alice Paul Proposes the
Equal Rights Amendment
Section 1 Equality of rights under the
law shall not be denied or abr...
1970’s:
Active ERA Movement
The late 1960’s and early
1970’s brought back a
resurgence of the fight for an
Equal Rights Am...
’71 & ’72: Overwhelming Support
In June of 1971 the Amendment easily passed the House of
Representatives 354 to 24, and th...
By 1977: 35 states (out of the 38 necessary) had
ratified the federal Equal Rights Amendment
Ratified
Passed in 1 body
Not...
• ERA original 7 year deadline:
June 1979
• Congress extended
deadline:
June 30, 1982
At the same time: 1979
• UN General Assembly adopts
CEDAW: the Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of
Discriminatio...
(I. History continued)
What happened?
Why didn’t enough states ratify the ERA?
Why wasn’t CEDAW ratified?
What were the op...
Scare Tactic #1
Would force women out of the home.
Scare Tactic #2
Men would NOT be required to
provide for their families.
Scare Tactic #3
forced sex integration
 Fraternities &
Sororities
 Boy Scouts & Girl
Scouts
 Same-Sex Public
Bathrooms
Scare Tactic #4
Women in Combat
Women soldiers are now in almost
all areas of our military. They fight
and die for our cou...
Scare Tactic #5
false notion of ‘protected class’
So called “protective” labor laws
actually prohibit opportunity
Women we...
Why defeated?
Insurance Lobby
Insurance Companies have millions of dollars to
spend on lobbying--and they didn’t hesitate ...
Why defeated?
Feminist Backlash
Claims made:
• Anti-family & anti-American
• Alimony & child support
laws would be ignored...
Why defeated?
Change in political atmosphere
The 1980 election of Ronald
Reagan meant change:
• 1st U.S. President to ever...
Now jump ahead 20 years…
2001 Public awareness poll
shows 72% of Americans
believe the “Constitution
makes it clear that m...
II. WHY?
So why is Constitutional Equality
still necessary?
1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed.
2) No guarantee wome...
Why necessary?
1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed.
• Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Minnesota
Constitution ex...
Case #1: Equal Pay for Equal Work.
Lilly Ledbetter began her career at Goodyear
Tire with the same starting salary as her ...
Compared to the lowest paid male for a
random month she made $3,727 to his $4,286
- that is $.87 to his $1.00 (or 13% less...
Case #2: Women’s Healthcare Under Attack
• Family planning funding to be eliminated
• Emergency reproductive care could be...
• The Courts hold sex discrimination to a lower standard than
discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin.
...
• The courts & the legislature have
the power to replace existing laws
by a mere majority vote.
• Judicial precedents can ...
• Lilly Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire reversed 40 years of Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws
• Citizens Uni...
According to the “Benchmarking Women’s
Leadership” report, women’s advancement
across 10
working sectors
has stalled at
18...
Gender Violence.
• Endemic = the norm, to be expected
• Femicide reports (28 people in 2010 in MN)
• Reported rapes (avera...
Gender Violence.
“Sexual violence is a clear indicator of gender
inequality. The single greatest risk factor for
becoming ...
Gender Violence.
What any form of sexual violence against women shows is an
essential lack of respect for women. It fails ...
• Many other countries - including Iraq, Japan, and emerging
nations since the 1970‘s - specifically affirm legal equality...
But is a State ERA necessary?
• Minnesota Laws: 116 statutes with gender
classifications have been overturned in MN since ...
22 states have added Equal Rights
Amendments to their own Constitutions
ERA adopted in the 1800’s
ERA adopted from 1972-19...
Benefits for men…
• Acceptance of men in
non traditional work
• Acceptance of pay
equality
• Cultural shift
• Maternity le...
Minnesota Strategy
• Build Statewide Coalition
• Legislative Strategy
• Placed on the Ballot
Minnesota Strategy:
Build Statewide Coalition
 Public awareness
campaign.
 Go from city to city and
build a grassroots
c...
Minnesota Strategy:
Legislative Strategy
• Grassroots:
community by community education, awareness & citizen
lobbying
• Ma...
Minnesota Strategy:
Placed on the Ballot
• A Major advocacy campaign
will require resources:
money and volunteers!
Once on...
Join Us! Spread the word
• Find us on the web
www.ERAmn.org
• Follow us on facebook
• Check out our blog
• Display our but...
Join Us!
Volunteer or Donate to the Coalition
Thank You!
For more information:
www.ERAmn.org
or
eracampaign.net
equalrightsamendment.org
2015 er amn_presentation
2015 er amn_presentation
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2015 er amn_presentation

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Overview of the need for an Equal Rights Amendment--history, facts, etc.

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2015 er amn_presentation

  1. 1. Constitutional Equality: State & Federal Initiatives M. Kathleen Murphy, Founder/Director of MN C.A.F.E. Coalition
  2. 2. Constitutional Equality: I. History II. Why? III. ERA MN Strategy
  3. 3. I. History 1800’s: Constitutional Amendments 1920: Suffrage 1923: Introduction of ERA 1970’s: Trying to Ratify the 27th Amd. 1982: Defeated / Reasons
  4. 4. 1868: 14th Amendment (broad definition of citizenship) Adopted after the Civil War (July 9, 1868) as one of the reconstruction Amendments. The word “male” was inserted into the Constitution for the first time.
  5. 5. 1870: 15th Amendment (voting rights) The right… to vote shall not be denied or abridged… on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Note that women are excluded.
  6. 6. 1920: 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote) A 50 year fight finally won women their only Constitutionally guaranteed right — the right to vote.
  7. 7. 1923: Alice Paul Proposes the Equal Rights Amendment Section 1 Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Section 2 The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Section 3 This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
  8. 8. 1970’s: Active ERA Movement The late 1960’s and early 1970’s brought back a resurgence of the fight for an Equal Rights Amendment - led by many great women, including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and bell hooks.
  9. 9. ’71 & ’72: Overwhelming Support In June of 1971 the Amendment easily passed the House of Representatives 354 to 24, and through the Senate in March of 1972 with a vote of 84 to 8.
  10. 10. By 1977: 35 states (out of the 38 necessary) had ratified the federal Equal Rights Amendment Ratified Passed in 1 body Not ratified MN was 26th state to ratify in 1973
  11. 11. • ERA original 7 year deadline: June 1979 • Congress extended deadline: June 30, 1982
  12. 12. At the same time: 1979 • UN General Assembly adopts CEDAW: the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women
  13. 13. (I. History continued) What happened? Why didn’t enough states ratify the ERA? Why wasn’t CEDAW ratified? What were the opponents’ arguments? - Scare Tactics - Insurance lobby - Feminist Backlash - Change in Politics
  14. 14. Scare Tactic #1 Would force women out of the home.
  15. 15. Scare Tactic #2 Men would NOT be required to provide for their families.
  16. 16. Scare Tactic #3 forced sex integration  Fraternities & Sororities  Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts  Same-Sex Public Bathrooms
  17. 17. Scare Tactic #4 Women in Combat Women soldiers are now in almost all areas of our military. They fight and die for our country. What they don’t get is medals of honor when they die--side by side– with the men.
  18. 18. Scare Tactic #5 false notion of ‘protected class’ So called “protective” labor laws actually prohibit opportunity Women were led to believe that current law held us up on a pedestal to ‘protect’ us from ‘hard work’. Reality: we are still being kept from high wage jobs for this reason.
  19. 19. Why defeated? Insurance Lobby Insurance Companies have millions of dollars to spend on lobbying--and they didn’t hesitate to spend it in Illinois, Florida and Missouri.
  20. 20. Why defeated? Feminist Backlash Claims made: • Anti-family & anti-American • Alimony & child support laws would be ignored • Women were not REALLY being discriminated against
  21. 21. Why defeated? Change in political atmosphere The 1980 election of Ronald Reagan meant change: • 1st U.S. President to ever openly oppose equal rights • Equal rights was removed from the Republican party platform Constitutional rights had been supported by every US President since Teddy Roosevelt first supported them in 1914.
  22. 22. Now jump ahead 20 years… 2001 Public awareness poll shows 72% of Americans believe the “Constitution makes it clear that male and female citizens are supposed to have equal rights.” 88% replied the Constitution SHOULD make it clear that all citizens have equal rights.
  23. 23. II. WHY? So why is Constitutional Equality still necessary? 1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed. 2) No guarantee women’s rights won’t be rolled back. 3) Judicial standards need to be stricter and clearer. 4) United States needs to prove international commitment.
  24. 24. Why necessary? 1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed. • Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Minnesota Constitution explicitly guarantees that all of the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex. • The only right that either Constitution specifically affirms as equal for women and men is the right to vote.
  25. 25. Case #1: Equal Pay for Equal Work. Lilly Ledbetter began her career at Goodyear Tire with the same starting salary as her co- workers. Over 19 years in a supervisory role, she helped to train a number of new hires (all men) and in 1996 she received a “Top Performer” award for her contribution to the company. But over time she was paid much less than all her male counterparts. Why necessary? 1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed.
  26. 26. Compared to the lowest paid male for a random month she made $3,727 to his $4,286 - that is $.87 to his $1.00 (or 13% less) - in a year that added up to $6,708 less -- - over 15 years $100,620 less (assuming no increases for her or him) Compared to the highest paid male she made $3,727 to his $5,236 - that is $.71 to his $1.00 (or 29% less) - in a year that added up to $18,108 less -- in 15 years $271,620 less (assuming no increases for him or her) Why necessary? PAY EQUITY This was actual salary; it doesn’t include the loss in pension, retirement accounts and bonuses.
  27. 27. Case #2: Women’s Healthcare Under Attack • Family planning funding to be eliminated • Emergency reproductive care could be entirely eliminated • All men’s healthcare needs are covered by insurance (including Viagra) • Women pay more in premiums Why necessary? 1) Equal Rights are not fully guaranteed.
  28. 28. • The Courts hold sex discrimination to a lower standard than discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin. • Court decisions are inconsistent in applying current law - adding to confusion about how to review sex discrimination claims. • A Constitutional amendment would send the message that our state has zero tolerance for all forms of sex discrimination. Why necessary? 2) Need for a clearer and stricter judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination.
  29. 29. • The courts & the legislature have the power to replace existing laws by a mere majority vote. • Judicial precedents can be eroded or ignored. Why necessary? 3) Protection from rolling back significant advances over the last 40 years. • With an ERA in place, progress already made in eliminating sex discrimination would be much harder to reverse.
  30. 30. • Lilly Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire reversed 40 years of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws • Citizens United v. FEC reversed 63+ years of campaign laws • Corporate personhood Why necessary? 3) Protection from rolling back significant advances over the last 40 years. Examples in the US Supreme Court
  31. 31. According to the “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership” report, women’s advancement across 10 working sectors has stalled at 18% across the board. Why necessary? 3) Protection from rolling back significant advances over the last 40 years.
  32. 32. Gender Violence. • Endemic = the norm, to be expected • Femicide reports (28 people in 2010 in MN) • Reported rapes (average 6 per day reported in MN, but only 16% are assumed to be reported = 38 per day or 13,687 per year, 84% know the attacker) We still have a long way to go for women everywhere to be safe. Why necessary? 3) Protection from rolling back significant advances over the last 40 years.
  33. 33. Gender Violence. “Sexual violence is a clear indicator of gender inequality. The single greatest risk factor for becoming a victim of sexual assault is being a woman.* Violence against women is a systemic, and literally deadly, expression of a fundamental gender inequity. Sexual violence, and all violence against women, not only reflects this fundamental inequality but moreover perpetuates it.” - Kate Ravenscroft, 10 Reasons We All Need to Care About Sexual Violence Why necessary?
  34. 34. Gender Violence. What any form of sexual violence against women shows is an essential lack of respect for women. It fails to see that women have full and equal rights and that any sexual activity needs to take those rights into account. To put it bluntly, it refuses women the right to not only choose, accept and initiate sexual activity as they see fit, but equally to refuse any sexual activity at any time, under any conditions, according to their own desires. A culture that doesn’t value a woman’s voice, that does not listen to women, will have trouble respecting a woman’s right to choose when, where, how and with whom she engages in sexual activity. Such a culture, as we know only too well, perpetrates violence against women at alarming levels. Why necessary? - Kate Ravenscroft, 10 Reasons We All Need to Care About Sexual Violence
  35. 35. • Many other countries - including Iraq, Japan, and emerging nations since the 1970‘s - specifically affirm legal equality of the sexes in their governing documents. Why necessary? 4) The United States needs to prove our international commitment to equality. • CEDAW has been ratified by all but 7 countries in the world: Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Nauru, Palau, Tonga and the USA. If the US is a leader--what are we saying? GLOBAL CHANGE STARTS AT HOME!
  36. 36. But is a State ERA necessary? • Minnesota Laws: 116 statutes with gender classifications have been overturned in MN since 1972 (current laws not protected) • A Constitution is the foundation on which all laws are based. It states the fundamental beliefs and principles of our state. • The MN Constitution protects hunting, fishing and a state lottery... WHY NOT WOMEN?
  37. 37. 22 states have added Equal Rights Amendments to their own Constitutions ERA adopted in the 1800’s ERA adopted from 1972-1982 ERA adopted in 1998 Sex discrimination protection
  38. 38. Benefits for men… • Acceptance of men in non traditional work • Acceptance of pay equality • Cultural shift • Maternity leaves for men • Parental rights
  39. 39. Minnesota Strategy • Build Statewide Coalition • Legislative Strategy • Placed on the Ballot
  40. 40. Minnesota Strategy: Build Statewide Coalition  Public awareness campaign.  Go from city to city and build a grassroots community by educating people and letting them know about and encouraging them to join the CAFE Coalition
  41. 41. Minnesota Strategy: Legislative Strategy • Grassroots: community by community education, awareness & citizen lobbying • Make into an election year issue in 2016: in ALL legislative races • If enough support: passage by both House & Senate (does NOT require Governor’s signature)
  42. 42. Minnesota Strategy: Placed on the Ballot • A Major advocacy campaign will require resources: money and volunteers! Once on the ballot, people must know if they DON’T mark their ballot, they are voting NO
  43. 43. Join Us! Spread the word • Find us on the web www.ERAmn.org • Follow us on facebook • Check out our blog • Display our button • Tell your friends! What can you do?
  44. 44. Join Us! Volunteer or Donate to the Coalition
  45. 45. Thank You! For more information: www.ERAmn.org or eracampaign.net equalrightsamendment.org

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