The goal of equality remains


To the Editor:

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
–Equal Rights Amendment [ERA], as passed by the U.S. Senate on March 22, 1972

The amendment had first been proposed nearly 50 years previously, in 1923, by women’s rights leader Alice Paul of the National Woman’s Party — three years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the Right to Vote.

Variations of the Equal Rights Amendment were presented to every single session of Congress between 1923 and 1969. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ERA that year, but it failed in the Senate until a revised version finally passed in 1972.

During the first year after passing through the congressional gauntlet, 30 states ratified the amendment, but it has not achieved ratification in 38 states as was required. Nearly 100 years after first being proposed and nearly 50 years after Senate ratification, we still do not have an Equal Rights Amendment.  

The League of Women Voters continues to secure equal rights and equal opportunity — and to promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans.

To that goal, the League of Women Voters supports the endeavor to secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all under state and federal laws, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

Deborah Medders
League of Women Voters Martha’s Vineyard