Making Nationwide Equality a Reality: A New Equal Rights Amendment

Watch Rocky Introduce the New Equal Rights Amendment
During the 2012 Free and Equal Presidential Debate

Women’s right to equality should be protected…
And, at the same time, we can provide for equality, nationwide, for gays and lesbians!

Rocky Anderson, who earned a reputation as being a courageous and innovative Mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years, has been an ardent supporter of women’s rights and the Equal Rights Amendment for decades – and has advocated marriage equality since he ran for Congress in 1996.  He has been acknowledged by Freedom to Marry as a Voice for Equality. He was also honored with the Allies for Equality Award by Unity Utah (now Equality Utah) and named as one of the top ten straight advocates for the GLBT community.

Anderson has developed a simple but powerful new idea:  Renew the call for an Equal Rights Amendment, and add federal protections for gay and lesbian equality.

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The first sentence of the earlier proposed Equal Rights Amendment is as follows:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Rocky Anderson urges a renewal of the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment, but with the addition of three words. Those three words will make an enormous difference in the fight for equality.  The three words are: “. . . or sexual orientation.”

Imagine, a New Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing as follows: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex or sexual orientation.

Let’s make equality under the law, across the nation, a reality in our time. Equality for women and marriage equality for gays and lesbians nationwide can be achieved.

In the case of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court ruled that a statute forbidding interracial marriages was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. With the adoption of the New Equal Rights Amendment proposed by Anderson, all bans on same-sex marriage, including state constitutional provisions specifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, would be invalid.

President Obama (finally) said he supports same-sex marriage. But he hasn’t suggested – and won’t suggest – actually doing anything to achieve marriage equality.  He has scored political points – and a lot of money – for saying what he should have said years ago.  But he won’t commit to actually doing anything.

Rocky Anderson proudly proposes, and will vigorously support, a New Equal Rights Amendment that provides for nationwide equality for women — and marriage equality for gays and lesbians, once and for all.

You can demonstrate your support for equal rights under the law for everyone, without regard to sex or sexual orientation.

We ask that you do three simple things:

  • If you support a New Equal Rights Amendment, sign on to the letter below to President Obama and Mitt Romney by filling in the form at the top of the right column.
  • Donate to Anderson’s campaign to help him raise awareness and support for the New Equal Rights Amendment.  (Anderson voluntarily limits campaign contributions to $100/person.)
  • Share this message.

Imagine living in a nation where no governmental entity could ever deny or abridge equality under the law on account of one’s sex or sexual orientation.  We can do it, if we’re willing to fight for it.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE NEW EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT BY SIGNING THIS LETTER:

Dear President Obama and Mr. Romney:

The United States is supposed to stand for freedom and equality.  But it hasn’t always lived up to its promise.

Women have been, in many ways, second-class citizens, earning less than their male counterparts and being denied equal treatment and opportunities.

Gays and lesbians have also suffered from discrimination, even in the most intimate parts of their lives – and in the deprivation of common dignity and respect to which every person is presumed to be entitled.

We are asking for one simple, fundamental protection to be included in the Constitution – protection against unequal treatment under the law on account of sex or sexual orientation.

The Equal Rights Amendment, initially drafted in 1923, has never been ratified.  The original version provided that “men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”

The Republican Party included support of the ERA in its platform from 1940 until 1980.  President Dwight Eisenhower asked Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1958.  The Democratic Party finally united behind the ERA when it passed Congress in the early 1970s.

The most recent version of the ERA, approved by Congress in 1972, states as follows:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Once approved overwhelmingly by Congress, it was ratified by 35 states – three short of the required 38 states for passage.

We urge the renewal of the push for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, but with the addition of three words at the end: “. . . or sexual orientation.”  With those three words, the New Equal Rights Amendment will guarantee that equality of rights under the law on account of sex or sexual orientation cannot be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State. 

We’re pleased President Obama recently said the right words about supporting same-sex marriage. He has also claimed to oppose the Republican “war on women.”  We now expect that those words will be backed up by action.  We hereby request that you explicitly express your support for the constitutional protection of equality under the law by calling for the approval of the New Equal Rights Amendment, providing as follows:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex or sexual orientation.

President Obama and Mr. Romney, please make your position on this clear as soon as possible so the American people will know not just what you say, but what you are willing to do for the sake of equal protection of the law.

Thank you,