FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC – MAY 09, 2013

CONTACT: Carolyn Cook, Founder/CEO, United 4 Equality, LLC / 202-309-1963

For more information:

WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today introduce legislation to remove the Congressionally-imposed deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The bill will be introduced today, May 09, 2013 to coincide with Mother’s Day celebrations across the country. The Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by 35 of the 38 states necessary to become part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women equal treatment by federal and state laws and in the courts.

The original amendment debuted in 1923 in the US Congress without a time limit, introduced by Susan B. Anthony’s nephew, Daniel Anthony and Senator Curtis, both Republicans, as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” after the woman who started the women’s suffrage movement. The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress spanning fifty (50) years until it was passed in 1972. Congress imposed an arbitrary, seven-year time limit in final passage to the proposing clause, as is the case for five other amendments, but not to the amendment language itself. Congress then extended that limit three more years. This bill introduced today removes any time limit, allowing states to resume ratification towards 38 required minimum, similar to no time limit on the amendment giving women the right to vote, which took seventy-two (72) years.

Carolyn Cook, co-founder of United4Equality, LLC with her mother, Maureen Gehrig Cook, said their social enterprise seeks to bridge the gap in work/life policy between the private and public sectors. They seek government accountability through elevating the status of women as key contributors to American society and prosperity. "Women and children have been 'outsourced' to nonprofits that cannot enact public policy reform. It's time for Uncle Sam to embrace his 'nieces' within these United States as equal partners. U4E represents a growing coalition from ERA ratified and un-ratified states determined to win the ERA by 2015." United 4 Equality, LLC has partnered with Senator Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Kirk (R-IL) and 19 original co-sponsors in the Senate; Representatives Robert Andrews (D-NJ), and 31 original cosponsors in the House "to ensure women have equal footing in modernizing US domestic and foreign policy in the 21st Century." She added, “There is no deadline on equality in a democracy. Every right a woman possesses can be taken away without a constitutional guarantee. We must all stand equal before the law.”

Cook explained, “Thousands of laws throughout the United States still discriminate against women. This amendment will provide a blanket of protection across all 50 states against unequal laws and unequal enforcement. The rights to equal pay, equal protection, and equal benefits can be taken away at any time without this amendment. In 2011, a US Supreme Court justice wrote in a published article that the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause does not apply to women,” continued Cook.

Cook added, “Our message to the 113th Congress targets three congressional priorities: 1) Response to Jan. 2013 Pentagon directive lifting the 1994 ban on women in combat key; “No more women put in Harm’s Way without the ERA.”; 2) the Obama Administration’s Immigration Reform policy to include a path to citizenship of immigrants, “Generations of women born in the US do not have full and equal citizenship. Women must be integrated into new policy adding… “We, too, were immigrants once.” 3) Unemployment and job creation, “By 2018, it is estimated that woman-owned small businesses will provide 1/3 of all new jobs created. Congress must not remain an obstacle to the progress or potential of women to contribute to our full economic recovery.”

United4Equality, LLC, (U4E) devised this strategy to reflect the overwhelming support already achieved for the Amendment. Without the ERA, sex discrimination grievances must be addressed individually through costly legal battles, at taxpayer expense. Discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin is prohibited by the United State Constitution, yet sex discrimination is still allowed."

Cook offered this historical analysis: "The amendment was written by a Republican suffragist, Dr. Alice Paul who held two doctorates in Civil Law and Economics immediately after women won the right to vote. It was adopted by the Republican Party platform in 1940, by the Democrats in 1944, and remained in both party platforms for several decades. ERA had the support of Republican Presidents Eisenhower (the first to publicly urge Congress to ratify ERA), Nixon, Ford and Bush Sr. (during primaries against Reagan) and Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Carter. After 49 years, it was approved with a restriction of seven years that Congress placed on eight other amendments. However, since Congress extended its previous deadline once, it’s high time to eliminate it altogether."

Cook continued, “The ERA is NOT a partisan divide but an exciting opportunity to honor our servicewomen with dignity and respect as full and equal citizens under the Constitution which they sacrifice life and limb to protect; to extend full and equal citizenship to immigrant and American-born women and to embrace woman-owned businesses, employees and caregivers as an integral part of our economic and social prosperity.”

The full text of the Equal Rights Amendment:

Section One: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.

Section Two: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section Three: This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

CONTACT: Carolyn Cook, Founder/CEO, United 4 Equality, LLC / 202-309-1963

For more information:

United for Equality is a social justice enterprise formed in 2010 to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.