“We are so glad to have had this hearing, after 36 years. We hope it will be followed quickly by the removal of the Congressional deadline," said Jessica Neuwirth, Founder and Co-President of the ERA Coalition. "This will clear the path for the Equal Rights Amendment.”
“This gives us a chance to rectify a centuries old exclusion from equal rights in our Constitution," said Carol Jenkins, Co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition. "While the original drafters may not have foreseen the possibility of an equal future for girls and boys, women and me, they did give us a way to make amends for the document's shortcomings. It's time to add the Equal Rights Amendment.”
“The ERA will build a wall – a wall that will actually do something—against the never-ending assault on women’s rights from current or future Presidents,” said Alyssa Milano. “Ratification will make sure that all people, no matter where we fall on the spectrum of gender identity, will have sovereignty over our own bodies at home and in the doctor’s office, and it will change the face of business as companies enact recruitment, retention, and advancement programs that ensure a woman’s path to the executive suite doesn’t stop at ‘executive assistant.’”
“Just because women didn’t achieve full equality in America in 1787 or by 1982 doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have it today,” said Patricia Arquette, who testified at today’s hearing. “There is a groundswell in this country. Women are being elected in record numbers. Women are rising up by the millions and saying they will not be sexually assaulted. They will not be paid less. They will not be treated as subhuman and their voices will be heard. I hope by now we are all ready to make women’s equality a bedrock American value by enshrining it in the U.S. Constitution. I hope we are ready for our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends to have full equal rights.”
“Our Nation has always led and inspired the written constitutions of the world, but we lag woefully behind all other major industrial democracies in failing to have an ERA in our constitution,” said Kathleen Sullivan, Partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan and witness at today’s hearing. “With ratification by one more state, we may once and for all end this national embarrassment and enshrine the equality of men and women in our foundational document.”
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enshrine women’s equality in get United States Constitution. As one of the first women to graduate from the Virginia Military Institute, I personally know how important it is to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment," said VA Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy. It’s time to be on the right side of history.”
“We should all ask ourselves in this moment - how long must we wait for women and girls to be included in the Constitution? If you believe and stand with women, you will vote for women. No more lip service, no more empty promises, no more 'I respect you by shaking your hand,'" said VA Del. Ayala "Respect will be shown when we gain equality in the Constitution. As elected officials we have a moral obligation to listen to our constituents and let their voices be heard and now is not the moment to shy away from correcting the historical exclusion of women and girls from our Constitution. Now is the time to stand up, and speak out.”
“Without the ERA, women have been forced to fight against gender discrimination one law and one court case at a time," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. "Far too often, we see those hard-fought gains rolled back by new anti-woman legislatures and judicial rulings. The time is now to permanently and Constitutionally prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.”
“As evidenced by this historic hearing, momentum is growing to finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” said National Organization for Women President Toni Van Pelt. “For more than 50 years NOW has mounted countless actions to protect the equal rights of women and girls in the Constitution and we are excited to begin this final march towards ratification.”
“Equal rights for women just seems to be a no brainer, but I guess we've been guilty of asking rather than demanding for too long!" said Dr. E. Faye Williams, National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women Maybe somebody just got the notice from Cecile Richards that women are now the SuperMajority!”
“The US Constitution is an outlier globally - women in this country are still not equally protected under the law," said Shelby Quast, Americas Director, Equality Now. There is a growing movement to have an Equal Rights Amendment and we call on Congress to urgently clear the path for ERA and remove any and all potential barriers.”
“Women in the United States have waited long enough for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and constitutional equality with men," said Kimberly Churches, CEO at the American Association of University Women (AAUW). "AAUW thanks Representative Maloney for her years of outspoken leadership and dedication to fighting for this issue. We look forward to working with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure a path towards ratifying the ERA.”
Congresswoman Speier is the House sponsor of H.J. Res. 38, the ERA joint resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline to ratify that was included in the preamble of the original constitutional amendment in 1972. The United States is just one state shy of meeting the three-fourths threshold set by Congress for ratification of the ERA. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have introduced the Senate companion joint resolution, S.J. Res. 6, that also would immediately remove the ratification deadline and revive the consideration of the ERA. The Senate resolution had 36 cosponsors in the 115th Congress and has growing bipartisan support today.
Congresswoman Maloney is the House sponsor of the ERA, H.J.Res.35, that would restart the amendment ratification process and hosted a “shadow hearing” with the ERA Coalition last June to give advocates a platform to share with Members of Congress why an ERA is needed. At this hearing, Chairman Nadler said that in the event that the Democrats became the House Majority, the Committee would hold a hearing on the ERA. Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) is the lead Republican on H.J.Res. 35. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is the Senate sponsor of S.J.Res.15, the Senate resolution to restart the amendment ratification process.