The Washington Post Blog - May 3, 2011

D.C. Council Calls for Passage of the Federal Equal Rights Amendment

Bill sponsors pictured from left to right are:

Councilmembers Mary Cheh (Ward 3); Muriel Bowser (Lead-Ward 4)

United 4 Equality's Maureen Gehrig Cook; United 4 Equality's

Carolyn A. Cook, and Councilmember Yvette D. Alexander (Ward 7)

The D.C. Council re-engaged in a decades-old fight Monday when it unanimously approved a resolution calling for the passage of the federal Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution was sponsored by council members Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Yvette D. Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), the three women who serve on the council.

In arguing for passage of the resolution, Bowser recounted the history of the amendment, which was first devised in 1923 by suffragist Alice Paul. The House and Senate both approved the amendment in 1972, but it was never ratified by two-thirds of the states.

Although Bowser noted that the District has among the toughest anti-discrimination protections in the nation, she called on her colleagues to take a stand for women in other states.

“It’s not the law across the country, therefore, this resolution gives additional attention and much-needed focus to this important body of work,” Bowser said.

By Tim Craig | 12:11 PM ET, 05/03/2011

DC Council ERA resolution R19-100.pdf