The League of Women Voters of the United States sent a letter to Senior Advisor Vogelstein and Co-Chair Klein of the White House Gender Policy Council, encouraging them to urge President Biden to send guidance to the US Archivist to publish the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA would constitutionally protect the equality of rights under the law regardless of sex.
October 5, 2022
The Honorable Rachel Vogelstein and Jennifer Klein
The Gender Policy Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Senior Advisor Vogelstein and Co-chair Klein,
The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages you to urge President Biden to send guidance to the US Archivist to publish the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA will constitutionally protect the equality of rights under the law regardless of sex and is necessary to uphold the rights of more than half of the nation’s population. The League recognizes the complexity of this issue. However, the League implores you to move beyond politics to take swift action on this urgent issue. Women gained the right to vote over 100 years ago, and it is past time to ensure equality for women in the US Constitution finally.
Despite the significant legal and legislative advances that have been made in recent decades, women continue to face discrimination based on sex. The symptoms of this systemic discrimination are apparent in the ongoing fights against unequal pay, workplace harassment, pregnancy discrimination, domestic violence, and limited access to comprehensive health care. It is not enough to treat the symptoms; we must address the root cause of inequality through constitutional protections against the denial of equal rights.
The ERA has satisfied all requirements for ratification outlined in Article V of the Constitution and should be added as the 28th Amendment. In 1972, Congress passed the ERA with well over the necessary two-thirds vote and sent it to the states. It has been over two years since Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment, fulfilling the three-fourth state ratification requirement.
President Biden established the Gender Policy Council to help advance gender equity and equality in policy development and implementation. Since then, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, revoking a fundamental right that women and people who may become pregnant have held for nearly 50 years, and the US Senate failed to federally codify the right to an abortion through the Women’s Health Protection Act. It is evident that addressing sex discrimination requires additional executive action. In his proclamation on Women’s Equality Day, the President reiterated his support of the ERA. It is within the President's power to take the final step to ensure that the ERA is published immediately.
The League of Women Voters supports equal rights for all regardless of sex and, as an organization that defends democracy, believes that there cannot be a time limit on establishing equality. We are proud of our legacy of supporting the ERA. As a member of the ERA Coalition, we will continue to advocate for the unequivocal protection of equal rights under the law. We appreciate the work of the White House Gender Policy Council to advance gender equity and the support the President has shown for sex equity throughout his years of public service. We hope that he seizes this historic opportunity to add to that legacy and enshrine sex equality into the constitution, a vital step to ensure true equality under the law for every person in the nation. The time is now.
Virginia Kase Solomón