Saturday, April 14, 2018

Some political issues like ERA just won’t die, even after they’re long dead

When it comes to conservative political people in Illinois, they long have thought of their ability to kill off the Equal Rights Amendment as one of their major accomplishments.

A past image for an antique amendment
And it seems they’re not about to give up that “victory,” no matter how ridiculous they make themselves look in the process.

FOR THOSE OF you so young that you don’t have a clue about anything that came before your time, the Equal Rights Amendment was an effort that tried to put in the Constitution to protect women from discrimination.

It failed back in 1982 when enough state Legislatures failed to ratify the amendment. The Illinois Legislature was among those that failed to act, and some say it was Illinois’ failure to approve that inspired other holdouts to stubbornly act out as well.

But there are some legal scholars who have argued that the 1982 deadline for ratification is not as rock solid as political people always presumed it was. Which is what caused the Illinois Senate this week to take a vote this week.

The Democratic majority that now controls the Illinois Senate voted to approve, and the Illinois House of Representatives likely will take a vote in coming weeks. Even though it is likely the 1982 deadline remains in place, and the action becomes one of pure symbolism.

MEANING IT’S NOT likely to make a difference. We’re not likely to get the Equal Rights Amendment as a part of the Constitution any time in the near future.
Will we get future protest marches like this?
But that’s not stopping the ideologue-inclined from getting all bent out of shape.

Officials with the political action committees of the Federation for Right to Life, Illinois Citizens for Life, Lake County Life, Illinois – Stop ERA, Illinois Family Action and the Concerned Christian Americans signed off on a letter informing legislators that they’ll lose out on the endorsements and possible money that the activist groups might otherwise provide to them as they seek re-election come Nov. 6.

They’re going to make the demise of the Equal Rights Amendment – which is what the late Phyllis Schlafly used to gain her national reputation – their big issue.
Schlafly 'made her bones' on Illinois ERA failure

I KNOW SOME people are shocked to think that anybody in these days would vote against the Equal Rights Amendment. Although considering that ERA opposition always had a tinge of nonsense attached to it, nothing should be shocking.

How nonsensical?

I remember back when the issue was alive for real, opponents would toss out the argument that the Equal Rights Amendment would mean separate restrooms would no longer be acceptable for men and women and that women could face conscription into the military.

You can’t really use those arguments anymore because we have unisex bathrooms and women are a part of the modern military.

NOW, THE ARGUMENT being used is that equal rights for all would undermine local laws that restrict abortion access. Which means that ERA opponents must be the knuckleheaded-types who want to talk of criminal punishment for women when the day comes they can overturn the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that upheld abortion rights for women.

What is humorous about this is that the actual Equal Rights Amendment merely says, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied, or abridged, by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” That’s all!
The past's offensive image has largely come true

Where anyone ever read anything about unisex bathrooms into that is beyond me. Just as I don’t see anything in there about abortion – unless you really think it proper to harass pregnant women.

But like I wrote, the death of the ERA is a political victory the “right” can claim. And they’re not going to let any smart-alecked dames even think about taking it away – that’s the pathetic way some of us still think in this Age of Trump.


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