2000 ERA flags handed out for Women’s Equality Day at the State Fair

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2018
Contact: Renée Cardarelle, 320-248-4629, reneeforhouse@gmail.com

(St Paul, MN)—August 26, 2018 marked the 98th anniversary of the 19th Amendment becoming law and has been deemed Women’s Equality Day. To celebrate, ERAMN, and MN NOW organized a Women’s Equality Day fan give away at the State Fair, which was supported by 29A Candidate, Renée Cardarelle. In addition, the AFLCIO had a “We Can Do It” picture spot, in celebration of the day.

Before the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, women could not vote in the United States (although a few states had enacted voting rights laws for women before this). In essence, August 26, 1920 was the day women were recognized as full U.S. citizens. Today, while women are able to vote, they still experience many barriers including lower pay in the work place and sexual harassment. An Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution would eliminate some of these legal barriers.

“Many people believe that there isn’t any inequality toward women these days, but this discrimination is real even if it is hidden. The recent #MeToo movement has revealed just how pervasive sexual harassment is, similarly court cases like Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co highlight how income discrimination against women is real. The longer a woman is in the workplace, the more likely she is to run into it. I have several female friends who report discrimination in their workplaces, including being passed over for promotion, lower pay and inequitable treatment. An ERA would be a big step toward ending these practices,” stated Renée Cardarelle.

The Equal Rights Amendment states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United Sates or by any state on account of sex.”

Its simple wording would provide equality for both men and women. Oddly, it is commonly believed that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was put into the US Constitution in the 1970s. It is true that it was passed by Congress in 1972, but it fell three states short in the ratification process and has never been made law.

ERAMN (Equal Rights Amendment, Minnesota) is an organization which, in partnership with national organizations, is working to finally get the ERA successfully into the U.S. Constitution. In the past two years, 2 states, Nevada and Illinois, have ratified the ERA, leaving only 1 state left to meet the 38-state minimum for a Constitutional Amendment. It is not unusual for Constitutional Amendments to be ratified years after they are introduced, the 27th Amendment, related to pay raises or decreases for members of Congress, was ratified 202 years after it was passed by Congress. What is highly unusual is that the ERA was given a deadline for ratification (this has happened only one other time). Once the 38-state minimum is reached for ratification, a court case will determine the validity of the deadline.

Meanwhile, ERAMN is working to get an Equal Rights Amendment on the Minnesota ballot so that Minnesotans can vote it into the Minnesota Constitution. Although the bill has been introduced to the Minnesota Legislature, it has not yet been brought to committee. Many Legislators say that there isn’t an interest in bringing an Equal Rights Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. ERAMN is now running a billboard campaign which points out that hunting, fishing and the lottery are all protected by Constitutional Amendments, but that there is not yet one which will end discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.

“It’s time we had an ERA in both the federal and the state Constitution!” States Renée Cardarelle. “There should be no excuse not to treat people with equality.”

To learn more about the ERA visit, ERAMN.org, or reneeforhouse.com/issue/ensure-equal-rights-all/.