|More ERA Information|
Calls Urgently Needed Now To Stop Equal Rights Amendment|
To Prevent Taxpayer Funded Abortions, Same-sex Marriages, & Military Drafting Of Women
PLEASE TAKE ACTION AND CIRCULATE THIS WIDELY OVER THE NEXT 4 DAYS:
With little or no warning that a vote was about to take place, the Illinois House voted on Wednesday afternoon to approve the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it could come for a vote AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK.
The ERA reads simply: "Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex." Those words may seem innocuous, but, in fact, would be a tool to force radical policy change in this state, including:
This amendment is clearly NOT needed to protect the rights of women (equality between men and women is already guaranteed under the law), but threatens to drastically alter Illinois social policy.
CALLS ARE NEEDED TO ALL STATE SENATORS BEFORE A VOTE ON THE ERA.
IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT that you contact your state senator RIGHT AWAY to express your opposition to the ERA (HJRCA 1). Calls are needed to all Illinois senators, urging them to vote NO when the Equal Rights Amendment comes for a Senate vote. Your can reach your state senator in his or her Springfield office through the Capitol Switchboard (1-217-782-2000). Please ask for them BY NAME. You may also wish to call your senator's district offices in your area.
Call IFI (1-800-FAMILY-1 or 630-790-8370) or visit our Web site (www.illinoisfamily.org) to find all the information you'll need to contact your state senator concerning this bill. The IFI Web site also lists talking points to more fully explain what's wrong with the ERA.
LINK FOR FINDING YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS:
The addition of this amendment to the Illinois Constitution is not necessary, is potentially harmful and does not meet the original time limit.
ERA is not necessary because men and women are already guaranteed equal protection under the law. Both the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the 18th Amendment to the Illinois Constitution guarantee equal protection for everyone-not denied or abridged on account of sex-under the law. This amendment has successfully been used in cases of discrimination to protect the rights of women and will continue to do so.
ERA is not necessary because of the great gains by women since the 1970's. Women have made great economic progress. According to the book Women's Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the EconomicProgress of Women in America, (Furchtgott-Roth and Stolba) in a true "apples-to-apples" comparison, the ratio of earnings between women and men, ages 27-33, who do not have children, is about 98 cents on the dollar.
Scholastically, women today earn about 55 percent of all associate, bachelors and masters degrees, and nearly 40 percent of all first professional degrees (including law and medicine).
Other strides made include opportunities for the advancement in the military and professionally to the number of set-aside athletic scholarships in collegiate sports to position of power in government.
ERA would make taxpayer-funded abortions a constitutional right. Since only women undergo abortions, the denial of taxpayer funding for them can be construed as sex discrimination. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that its state's ERA forces the New Mexico taxpayers to pay for abortions under the Medicaid program. (N.M. Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson , 975 P.2d 841, 1998) Because there is no federal ERA, there is no right to have abortions paid for by public funds (Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297, 1980) allowing for the federal Hyde Amendment, and the statutes in 34 states forbidding the use of federal tax funds for most abortions.
ERA would make same-sex marriages a constitutional right. In 1998, Illinois passed the ban on same-sex marriages, in part because the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was sex discrimination and unconstitutional under Hawaii's state ERA. (Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.2d 44, 1993) Recognizing the problems with their state's ERA, Hawaii voters passed a new constitutional amendment on Nov. 3, 1998, stating that "the legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples."
In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (P.L. 104-199, codified at 1 U.S.C. 7), which states that, "the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." Over 30 states have enacted such language in their state statutes.
Time limit has expired. When the original Equal Rights Amendment resolution failed to receive ratification by the necessary 35 states before March 22, 1979, as prescribed by law, an extension was approved until June 1982. This deadline was upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court. (NOW v. Idaho, (459 U.S. 809, 1982)
Call your State Senator TODAY to voice your concern against HJRCA1.