Thanks to one of our great members who pointed out this fantastic across-the-aisle op-ed about the ERA: It’s time to finally pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
We love this op-ed for so many reasons. First off, we're huge fans of the premise, obviously. Second, kudos to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) for working together on a bi-partisan effort to get this done. Here's what they have to say:
"As we approach the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, it comes as a shock to so many that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee women the same rights and protections as men."
Quick reminder (as though you needed one): Here in Wyoming, that's the 150th anniversary of Women's Suffrage. Not sure of our history? There are some excellent details here, in the text of the Joint Resolution making its way through the Wyoming State Legislature that would declare December 10, 2019 Wyoming Women's Suffrage Day.
Here's what the ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Did you assume that protection is already in the Constitution? Most people do. It isn't.
As the Senators write in the op-ed, "Why is this still necessary? During a 2011 interview, Justice Antonin Scalia summed up the need for an Equal Rights Amendment. He said: 'Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.'”
Curious what the Wyoming Constitution says on the subject?
Sec. 3. Equal political rights. Since equality in the enjoyment of natural and civil rights is only made sure through political equality the laws of this state affecting the political rights and privileges of its citizens shall be without distinction of race, color, sex or any circumstance or condition whatsoever other than individual incompetency, or unworthiness duly ascertained by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The Senators close out their op-ed with a clear-eyed statement--a principle that our organization exists to make manifest: "Women should not be held back or provided less opportunity, respect or protections under the law because of their gender. This is not a partisan issue but one of universal human rights. Gender equality should be an explicit, basic principle of our society."
We believe that this making this happen will be the key to Wyoming's economic future. And we'll continue fighting for that equality here in the Equality State. Right alongside you.