Kansas is debating whether to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the Kansas Constitution (2/26, Local).
The opposition is trying to frame the debate by making the slippery-slope and fear arguments. They make the usual charges of abortion conspiracy, that it will invalidate rape laws, and that it would d be a pathway to gay marriage. Beyond the fact that these arguments are absurd, one must only look to the 22 states that have ERAs to know the claims are ridiculous.
Many states with ERAs have stricter abortion laws, and Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania courts have held that their ERAs do not allow for any change to abortion provisions existing in their states. The 22 ERA states all have laws against rape, and we already have an anti-gay marriage amendment.
When all fear and smear are debunked, the ERA is simply a collective constitutional commitment. It incorporates into the Constitution the prohibition of sex discrimination. While there are federal and state laws that address sex discrimination, it’s not the same as a constitutional commitment. Laws can be repealed and revoked at any time.
Support the ERA.
State Coordinator, Kansas National Organization for Women