EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT Media Release
NC women call for equal rights following Nevada’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Women’s equal rights advocates call on the leaders of both chambers to take action on current ERA bills sitting in Committees on Rules. (Raleigh, NC) March 22, 2017 – Members from various organizations supporting equal rights for women in North Carolina will be in the gallery of the legislative House Chamber at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27, when Representative Carla Cunningham will recognize the work of all women and men to secure equal rights and congratulate the ten counties and municipalities that have passed an ERA resolution. Adoptions of ERA resolutions are rolling across the state since record-setting numbers of women’s rights advocates participated in the historic Women’s March in DC in January of this year.
A press conference is scheduled for earlier in the day on Monday, March 27, at 3:00 p.m. in the press room of the legislature. Legislators and members of organizations supporting women’s rights will call upon the leadership of the House and Senate to prioritize action on bills already introduced in this session for state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Representative Cunningham is the primary sponsor of H102; Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr. is the primary sponsor of S85.
The recognition of the work by women and men for equality comes on the heels of the historic ratification of the ERA by Nevada today, 45 years since its passage by Congress.
Representative Cunningham praised the development saying, “This week, Nevada took a historic step on the Equal Rights Amendment. The supporters of the amendment in North Carolina believe it is never too late to bring equality to all.”
Currently, H102 and S85 sit unheard in the Rules Committees of both chambers. Supporters are advocating that the bills be re-assigned to committees where they will become a priority to be heard.
“It is amazing that there is still a need to debate whether women are entitled to equal rights in America,” says Senator McKissick. “The need for the ERA is obvious. All women deserve the same rights, the same pay, the same equality as men.”
Roberta Madden, ERA-NC Alliance Co-President, points out that “the vote in Nevada in both legislative chambers was bi-partisan, and the state’s Republican Governor supported the ERA.” She believes that “the time is right for lawmakers of both parties to endorse constitutional equality for women and men in North Carolina and in the other unratified states.”
Advocates believe the emerging national push for the ERA signals a new energy in the women’s rights movement. Marena Groll, ERA-NC Alliance Co-President, noting the significance of the achievement says, “We are witnessing a pivotal shift, a new wave for women’s rights in America.”
North Carolina was not one of the 35 states that ratified the ERA during the campaign from 1972 through 1982. The nation fell 3 states short of the 38 states needed to pass it before a heavily disputed, and sure to be challenged, deadline expired. Supporters note that passage of the ERA by Nevada represents a legal push back against the artificial deadline and results in only two more states being needed to ratify the ERA to have women’s rights included in the U.S. Constitution.
For Immediate Release Contact: Audrey Muck, [email protected], 336-480-1947
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About the ERA-NC Alliance: The ERA-NC Alliance (www.era-nc.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization seeking ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Membership is open to individuals and organizations committed to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Lead organizations include the American Association of University Women of NC, Democratic Women of NC, League of Women Voters of NC, NC4ERA, NC Business and Professional Women, NC National Organization for Women, NC Women United, Ratify ERA- NC and the Women’s Forum of NC. The Alliance operates in direct collaboration with the national ERA Coalition (www.eracoalition.org)