High Country Press / HCPress.com


North Carolina Targeted for Equal Rights Amendment

By Bernadette Cahill

A Washington, D.C., group campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) hopes to pressure North Carolina into action by persuading potential visitors, business or personal, not to come to the state or to buy North Carolina goods until the state ratifies the amendment, which would prohibit discrimination because of sex.

The group, United 4 Equality, which has a Facebook page, plans to target North Carolina because it was late North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin who helped to engineer a deadline for the ERA's ratification. In 1982, he also worked in the state Senate to ensure that the ERA, which had already passed in the House, was shelved.

Simultaneously, United 4 Equality, a grassroots organization, is working to have the deadline removed from the Congressional bill that imposed the ratification deadline. The deadline is not part of the amendment and since the 1990s, questions have arisen about its legality.

The group launched its campaign at a rally in front of the White House on Women's Equality Day last Thursday, August 26, which was the 90th anniversary of the day that women of the United States won the vote after a campaign of 72 years.

North Carolina is one of the 15 states that have not passed the ERA, which was first introduced into Congress in 1923. The other states are Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Illinois.