22222222100 YEARS IN THE MAKING: Announcing the House Discharge Petition for HJ Res 25 Affirming the Validity of the Equal Rights Amendment
Washington, DC –– Today, the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality joined Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA), and Representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA) and other equality leaders on Capitol Hill to honor the centennial of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and announce the launch of a discharge petition for HJ Res 25.
House Joint Resolution 25, introduced by Representative Pressley, affirms the validity of the Equal Rights Amendment and removes the time limit currently being used to justify blocking publication of the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Employing a discharge petition will require 218 House members to sign on in order to bring the resolution to the House floor for a vote, bypassing the potential for anti-equality legislators to hold the resolution captive in committee.
“This week marks the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Equal Rights Amendment at Seneca Falls. Seeing the ERA through to publication will require bold and decisive action, which Rep. Pressley is taking today by launching a discharge petition to bring HJ Res 25 to the House floor for a vote. Today’s ERA movement is multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intersectional, and inclusive, led by Black and Brown women, LGBTQ+ people, and youth,” said Zakiya Thomas, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality. “We’re grateful to the leadership of Representatives Pressley, Bush, Dean, Garcia, Kamlager-Dove, and Spanberger for advancing equality of all women, especially women of color, and LGBTQ+ folks; making sure we are all represented and seen in our Constitution. This fight won’t end here! We are in this, along with our nearly 300 partner organizations, until we’ve achieved true equal protection under the law for all.”
“Nearly 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced, our broad, diverse, and intersectional movement is using every tool available to get the ERA over the finish line and enshrine gender equality into our Constitution,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “Our Republican colleagues have the opportunity, once again, to stand on the right side of history and support the dignity, humanity, and equality of every person who calls America home. They must meet the moment.”
“The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is all about equality—the most fundamental of American values. After 100 years, we are closer than ever to realizing the vision of the ERA,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “The required 38 states have already ratified the ERA, and it is long past time that Congress formally recognized the ERA as a part of our Constitution. I’m committed to pushing forward on all fronts until we finally see equality enshrined into our Constitution. There should be no deadline on equality.”
“For 100 years – an entire century – women and queer people have been fighting for our place in the Constitution. We will not allow an arbitrary deadline keep Black and brown women, LGBTQ+ folks, and people seeking abortion care, out of the Constitution,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues and the diverse, intergenerational, and multiracial coalition of advocates to push for the Archivist of the U.S. to certify and publish the Equal Rights Amendment. This is the immediate-term step we can take to get it across the finish line.”
“There is no deadline on equality,” said Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove. “This year marks 100 years since the introduction of the ERA, and it is 100 years overdue. As a Co-Chair of the ERA Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to get the Equal Rights Amendment across the finish line, ensuring equal protections for women nationwide. I join Congresswoman Pressley and the ERA Caucus in supporting this discharge petition to abolish the arbitrary deadline placed on the ERA and enshrine this critical freedom for our mothers, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers who have championed this cause.”
“It is past time to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment — this discharge petition will bring us one step closer to ending a century-long fight and achieve constitutional protection for the rights of women and girls,” Congresswoman Madeleine Dean said. “The ERA is as simple as it is necessary: ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.’ I’m thankful to my colleagues, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Cardin, for leading the fight to ensure that gender equality is a value protected by our Constitution.”
“Supporting the Equal Rights Amendment is a very personal issue for me. As a young college student, I visited the Texas State Legislature to fight for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Yet here I am, years later, still fighting for the ERA and women’s rights as a member of Congress. We have forged our paths in history – yet we’re still not equal to men under the eyes of the law. As a lawyer and a former judge, I know you cannot say that we, as women, have equality under the law if it’s not in the United States Constitution. All laws emanate from the Constitution. Simply put, we are not equal until the Constitution says we are equal. I cannot and will not give up on the fight to enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to our Constitution,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia.
“Virginia delivered as the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. “Across our Commonwealth and across the country, generations of advocates pushed to guarantee constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of sex — only to have their decades-in-the-making achievement blocked by an arbitrary deadline. But Congress has the power to honor the states’ decision to enshrine the ERA as the 28th Amendment to our Constitution. I’m proud to help lead this effort — because we are long overdue for action.”
A century is too long to wait for equality. The resolution to affirm the ERA and remove the arbitrary time limit deserves full consideration in the House. This discharge petition is a powerful act; the movement for equality will not be stopped.
The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. As a “movement of movements” composed of nearly 300 organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on the issue of equality.
While the effort to amend the Constitution to include sex equality began a century ago, our renewed efforts are centered on women of color (Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latina, and Native American), gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people – those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.
www.eracoalition.org | www.fundforwomensequality.org