Isn't it time to codify into the Constitution that all people are created equal? I think so. Indeed, I am so sick of the radical right hiding behind "states rights" in an effort to oppress and discriminate against LGBT folks. I fear we won't have Democrats in total control for long so we need to act now.
What to do? Dive into this website from the Alice Paul Institute. It has everything you need to know about the ERA (yes, including that it won't pave the way for gay marriage) including current Congressional action. You can also sign a petition here.
But, I need your help in figuring out how to get LGBT issues included in the ERA. NOW talks about gay rights in their piece on the ERA, but I can't seem to find anyone who is actively working on the ERA and LGBT issues. Can you?
Finally, get inspired. Read the full text of Shirley Chisholm's remarks on the ERA. Here are my favorite parts:
The argument that this amendment will not solve the problem of sex discrimination is not relevant. If the argument were used against a civil rights bill, as it has been used in the past, the prejudice that lies behind it would be embarrassing. Of course laws will not eliminate prejudice from the hearts of human beings. But that is no reason to allow prejudice to continue to be enshrined in our laws -- to perpetuate injustice through inaction.and,
This is what it comes down to: artificial distinctions between persons must be wiped out of the law. Legal discrimination between the sexes is, in almost every instance, founded on outmoded views of society and the pre-scientific beliefs about psychology and physiology. It is time to sweep away these relics of the past and set further generations free of them.and,
The Constitution they wrote was designed to protect the rights of white, male citizens. As there were no black Founding Fathers, there were no founding mothers -- a great pity, on both counts. It is not too late to complete the work they left undone. Today, here, we should start to do so.Note that she spoke these words on August 10, 1970 and yet they ring so true today. Indeed, doubly true if you substitute lesbian, gay, or transgender for "sex" as you read along.
I think the time is now. The moment is now. Let's re-write the ERA to include our LGBT brothers and sisters and let's do it now. What do you think? Should we push to get the ERA passed as is, or work to include LGBT rights as well? If not now, when?