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house Bill H. Joint Res. 52

Is There a Need for a Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing Women Equal Rights?

Argument in favor

Women still face many obstacles in the workplace and in society at large, so passing a constitutional amendment ensuring they have equal rights would help fix existing disparities at the federal and state level.

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07/27/2016
Okay, so here's the deal: there's no reason not to ratify this. Another user posted below "Women already have equal rights" and then immediately followed up with "stop whining about not being able to be shirtless in public". So, what you're saying is, women DON'T have equal rights? There are plenty of other cases, but the fact alone that women can be arrested for doing things in public that men do every day is a damn disgrace. Sure equal rights legislation exists, but it isn't everywhere! Women EVERYWHERE need legal precedent for defending their rights, and ridiculing this kind of legislation is just evidence that you have no understanding of how much of an issue this really is. EDIT: To those citing the 14th Amendment, you're aware that the 14th Amendment has never been adequately enforced, and was ratified 60 years before women had the right to vote? The language in the Amendment is clearly not specific enough to actually give women or anyone adequate rights.
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07/27/2016
ERA should've been passed years ago. And transwomen need to be included as well, not just cisgender women.
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SouthernGal's Opinion
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07/27/2016
Given all the assaults on women's reproductive rights, this amendment is necessary. I'm tired of being held hostage to the right wing evangelical Christians.
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Argument opposed

There are already plenty of federal laws on the books protecting women from being discriminated against because of their sex, and the Equal Rights Amendment already went through an unsuccessful ratification process.

Loraki's Opinion
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07/27/2016
OH, PLEASE! GIVE ME A BREAK! We don't need a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for every individual group! This kind of thinking has come about because of Obama's efforts to divide Americans and pit all of the various groups against each other. He has also done everything he can to make it "fashionable" to feel like a victim. The Left has apparently swallowed all of this hook, line, and sinker! There are already plenty of laws to protect women from discrimination. The fact that people are still discriminated against from time to time is not for a lack of laws prohibiting it. It is because the moral standards are too low in America, and too many people don't believe that all authority inheres* with God and the Bible, and too many (like everyone in the Obama Administration) have little or no respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. *belongs to; comes from
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SherryTX's Opinion
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07/27/2016
No - the constitution gives us equal rights already
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Bill.W's Opinion
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07/27/2016
The Constitution already provides equal rights for everyone.
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMay 14th, 2015

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 52?

This resolution would propose an amendment to the Constitution that would ensure equality of rights between men and women under federal and state law if ratified. The Equal Rights Amendment (as it’d be known) would prohibit denying or abridging a person’s rights because of their sex.

The key clause of the bill reads as follows: “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

38 of the 50 states would need to vote to ratify this amendment after it passes through Congress, and two years after the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified it would take full effect. As a joint resolution, this legislation would advance to the Senate if passed and would have the force of law if enacted.

Impact

Women throughout the U.S.; states that’d need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; Congress; and the Constitution.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 52

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced legislation to advance the Equal Rights Amendment in every congressional session since 1997 (it was first introduced in 1923), but has been unable to get it to a floor vote thus far. Maloney emphasized to CNN that its passage and ratification would empower women to continue playing an increasingly vital role in American society:

“Equality, rights and opportunity are basic values in our country. And the world is changing. We can’t compete and win in the global economy if we don’t use the skills of all of our people. This is something you can do to strengthen the country, and it doesn’t run up the deficit. It just runs up womens’ self-esteem.”

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), an original cosponsor of this resolution, praised the impact the Equal Rights Amendment would have on the economic contributions of women to their families in the same interview with CNN:

“One of the Republican themes is, ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ This is a rising tide and it will lift all boats. When women are out of poverty, their families are out of poverty, their children, their husbands, their significant others are out of poverty… Why wouldn’t we want their tide lifted? They’ll lift the entire economy.”

This legislation currently has the support of 194 cosponsors in the House — including 187 Democrats and seven Republicans.


Of Note: Congress actually passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, but arbitrarily set a 10-year deadline for states to ratify it, and by the time 1982 arrived only 35 of the required 38 states had ratified it. There is currently legislation in Congress that would retroactively eliminate the deadline, effectively allowing the ratification process to pick up where it left off in 1982.

Time limits on constitutional amendments hadn’t been utilized prior to the 18th Amendment, so ratification time limits are a self-imposed restraint rather than a constitutional requirement. Case in point, the 27th Amendment wasn’t ratified until 203 years after Congress passed it and it sent it to the states!


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user kneelcenter)

Official Title

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women.

    Okay, so here's the deal: there's no reason not to ratify this. Another user posted below "Women already have equal rights" and then immediately followed up with "stop whining about not being able to be shirtless in public". So, what you're saying is, women DON'T have equal rights? There are plenty of other cases, but the fact alone that women can be arrested for doing things in public that men do every day is a damn disgrace. Sure equal rights legislation exists, but it isn't everywhere! Women EVERYWHERE need legal precedent for defending their rights, and ridiculing this kind of legislation is just evidence that you have no understanding of how much of an issue this really is. EDIT: To those citing the 14th Amendment, you're aware that the 14th Amendment has never been adequately enforced, and was ratified 60 years before women had the right to vote? The language in the Amendment is clearly not specific enough to actually give women or anyone adequate rights.
    Like (274)
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    14th says all citizens, no more is needed
    Like (153)
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    ERA should've been passed years ago. And transwomen need to be included as well, not just cisgender women.
    Like (112)
    Follow
    Share
    OH, PLEASE! GIVE ME A BREAK! We don't need a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for every individual group! This kind of thinking has come about because of Obama's efforts to divide Americans and pit all of the various groups against each other. He has also done everything he can to make it "fashionable" to feel like a victim. The Left has apparently swallowed all of this hook, line, and sinker! There are already plenty of laws to protect women from discrimination. The fact that people are still discriminated against from time to time is not for a lack of laws prohibiting it. It is because the moral standards are too low in America, and too many people don't believe that all authority inheres* with God and the Bible, and too many (like everyone in the Obama Administration) have little or no respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. *belongs to; comes from
    Like (97)
    Follow
    Share
    Given all the assaults on women's reproductive rights, this amendment is necessary. I'm tired of being held hostage to the right wing evangelical Christians.
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    No - the constitution gives us equal rights already
    Like (67)
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    Although we now legally consider women to also be included under our laws despite the sole use of male pronouns in its writing, we should amend the constitution to explicitly state that women are included under its law so as to clarify.
    Like (65)
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    But not only women. We need to explicitly enshrine universal rights — equal pay, healthcare,voting, education, etc.— in the Constitution for everyone — women, minorities, lgbt folk, the disabled — so that there can be no gray area for scumbags to deny anyone their constitutional rights.
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    The Constitution already provides equal rights for everyone.
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    Equality will never exist while we have laws giving certain groups preferential treatment. The very remedy ensures the continuation of what it intends to cure. The 14th Amendment is more than sufficient.
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    Technically, they already have equal rights, but some people see otherwise. This will make things clear that equality is more than just a buzzword. Honestly, this should have been done decades ago. There's no reason to not pass this.
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    I know this is subversive and will cause controversy: But why not re-write our Declaration of Independence and Constitution to include all groups that were omitted in the original documentation? Let's make a new blueprint for a more progressive and modern world. While still keeping the original copy holy and revered in our historic memories.
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    I know we already have the 14th amendment, but the fact that it's existed for over 150 years and still hasn't provided equal rights to women is evidence that we need something which more explicitly gives those equal rights.
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    We already have the 14th amendment.
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    Equal rights already exist, there's no need for this.
    Like (17)
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    I've always believed that to be the case under our Constitution, the salient fact being enforcement. 🙄
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    As a woman preparing to enter a male-dominated field, I have experienced and know fully well the discrimination that women face. But, I also know that the 14th Amendment already addressed this issue. There are a multitude of reasons as to why statistically women are paid less than men that aren't technically "sexist" at all, and two main ones are: A) Women tend to take jobs that are less dangerous, more dangerous jobs have higher wages/salaries and better benefits. B) Statistically speaking women take time off of work to focus on life at home (families), when they go back into the work force, their experience and resume doesn't match a man's that has been working the entire time. Men and women are not equal. At least the majority of the population is just unequal. There are some things that men are better at, and there are some things that women are better at. I believe the drift from a traditional family in this country is the root of this. I believe that more families don't have time to focus on traditional family values at home because life has just gotten too busy and it's taken a back seat to it. I feel like more and more women view being a stay-at-home Mom, or a Mom in general, as something unimportant and something less than a job. By enforcing an equality policy, women would have to sign up for the draft. I believe that if a draft was enacted again it would absolutely destroy women's athletics at the collegiate and professional levels, since the fittest and most physically alike females are located there. Also wouldn't that mean that maternity leave would be affected as well? Equality sounds well and good on paper, but it sounds to me like all it would do is have women do more dangerous things and take focus off family values.
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    I believe we need to clearly define this equality for women and other genders as society is drastically changing and policy needs to keep up with the change
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    The ERA should have been ratified decades ago. Considering the rampant inequality in this country, including the wage gap and assault on reproductive health for women, I would say that an amendment is needed. If nothing else, it expands on the 14th amendment, providing desperately needed inclusive language for women.
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    The 14A does that. Government needs to quit wasting their time and our money on nonsense.
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