It was fifty years ago today that the Equal Rights Amendment passed Congress with a supermajority and was sent to the states for ratification — March 22, 1972.
The simplicity of the language was its undoing. "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." In 1972, everyone understood that "sex" meant biological sex. Fifty years later, the definition of sex has expanded to include orientation and identity. Note that the amendment never mentions "women".
A reporter from National Public Radio asked me the following question:
"When we talked about how the definition of “sex” would be very broad if the ERA were passed today, possibly including transgendered people, you said: "If you blur the distinction between male and female, it is the vulnerable females who are most at risk, whether it's athletics or in elementary schools or in prisons or in women's shelters.” Were you talking specifically about transgendered people or other nontraditional gender identities as well?"
"Sex" confuses everyone, including NPR reporters. What is a "nontraditional gender identity" and is that a brand-new class of people demanding special rights? ERA will never become a part of the U.S. Constitution for multiple reasons, including its effect on abortion laws and the military draft. Today, the transgender movement is boldly attempting to erase women. If anyone can declare to be a woman, then "woman" no longer exists.
Eagle Forum celebrates this day, the fiftieth anniversary, because it is the birth of Eagle Forum. The majority of American women rejected ERA in the 1970s, because they understood that it would bring them no benefits but cause lots of harms. Eagle Forum represents and advocates for women and we reject the notion that women are interchangeable with men. ERA is an attempt to erase women, but the members of Eagle Forum understand biology and we will not allow women to be erased.
On this date 43 years ago, I stood with my mother, Phyllis Schlafly, at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., in celebrating the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment. It was a victory for all women. The ERA proponents are still suing to force ERA into the Constitution, but they cannot even muster enough support for ERA to pass Congress.
For fifty years, Eagle Forum has supported women and defended the rights of women! Join us, because girls and women are under assault by an ideology that discourages fertility, undermines marriage, and actively harms females by denying them safe spaces separate from biological males.
Eagle Forum, led by Phyllis Schlafly, successfully defeated ERA. Two generations later, our vital mission continues and I am honored to be part of this important work.