“The ERA is 24 simple words. No money needs allocation; no language needs reconciliation. Just an up or down vote for equality.”
Those words were spoken by Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg on December 18, 2018, when she pre-filed H.3391 for the 2019-2020 South Carolina legislative session.
EQUALITY OF RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW SHALL NOT BE DENIED OR ABRIDGED BY THE UNITED STATES OR BY ANY STATE ON ACCOUNT OF SEX.
While individual states are continuing to push for ratification, last week real progress was made at the Federal level. H.J.Res.79, a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to “remove the deadline” for ratification of the ERA was passed. The vote was 232-183. Attention now moves to the Senate, and their version of the bill, S.J.Res.6. There are currently 47 sponsors in support. They just need 4 more! (Here's a list of current sponsors).
This is amazing. This is herstory.
It's now up to Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, and Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, to decide if any discussion or vote will be held on removing the deadline in the Senate. Unfortunately, neither has shown any interest in the ERA.
That has to change. We need to ask Senator Graham to support S.J.Res.6 and hold hearings to move the resolution forward.
Here’s a link to contact information for Lindsey Graham in DC as well as his local state offices. Give him a call, or stop by to register your support for the ERA. You can send an email (if you can figure out which of the 30+ pre-assigned categories on the contact form that the ERA fits into). Or you can write a letter or host a special Postcard Party, just for him. Please take a minute to let him know where you stand.
And ... one would think ... a great way to get Senator Graham’s attention, would be to pass our ERA resolutions right here in South Carolina!
So if you haven't done so already, please contact your state Senator and Representative, and ask them to support the ERA resolutions currently before them in the South Carolina General Assembly.
Here’s the look-up tool for your legislators. The Senate resolutions are S.901 & S.918; the House resolution is H.3391. Here are the current Vote Tally Scorecards for the South Carolina House and the Senate from this website. If/when we get the ERA passed, it would be pretty hard for Senator Graham to ignore the intentions of his own state's government.
Let’s make it difficult!
We have the American Bar Association behind us; the Chair of the SC House Judiciary Committee; city councils and local churches; and even Senator Strom Thurmond.
It’s time for our Constitution to guarantee equal rights under law for all.