To the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform,
Chairperson, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney:
I offer the following for the record from South Carolina Equal Means ERA:
Enshrining the Equal Rights Amendment in the United States Constitution is of great importance in South Carolina especially because we remain an unratified state. History details South Carolina’s often bloody and brutal struggle with equality. Today we are a state with one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation and, here, women of color are paid about half as much as white men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Our record on the status of women will forever be tarnished by South Carolina’s failure to ratify the 19th Amendment until 1969 and again delaying by failure to certify until 1973. Among other things.
In March of 2020, our four women state senators stood together – two Democrats and two Republicans – to insist that the South Carolina Senate ratify the ERA. Although that voice was heard clearly, it was lost just a few days later in COVID chaos. The longest serving member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Gilda Cobb-Hunter has worked for years to see the ERA ratified.
Of course, you will not hear support from South Carolina’s Congressional Delegation. It refuses to honor Senator Strom Thurmond and his support of the ERA. From time to time, you must also deal with the extremely imaginative thoughts of Senator Lindsey Graham concerning the ERA and his complete lack of understanding on the scope of the 14th Amendment.
Please know, that many people in South Carolina realize how important the ERA is on our country’s journey to a more perfect union. Know as well that our hearts are with you in this fight to simply do what is right and ensure equal scrutiny in law for all Americans through the power of the United States Constitution.
South Carolina Equal Means ERA