As long as there has been a nation there has been inequality between men and women. The US Constitution does not prohibit discrimination. Just read the statement of the late 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. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Just look at our history. Women could be fired by becoming pregnant; women could not get a credit card or buy a home without their husband’s signature; women were prohibited from certain jobs; and newspaper want ads had separate listings for men and women.
If women are already equal under the constitution, as many opponents claim, why did we have to work so hard to ratify the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote?
Whatever women’s current rights are can be taken away each time the political climate changes. That’s why Scalia’s remedy is insufficient. What the legislature gives, it can take away.
Ninety eight years after the Amendment was first introduced in Congress, our country has a responsibility to show women they matter, now more than ever. The supporters are asking no more and no less than for our daughters to have the same opportunities to succeed in society as our sons.
Arizona is now poised to be the 38th and final state required to guarantee legal gender equity for all of the women in our country. Arizona gave us the first women on the Supreme Court and gave women the right to vote prior to the 19th Amendment.
Wherever you live, we in Arizona are asking for your help in our historic National Campaign to empower and protect all American women once and for all.
ERA Task Force Member