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May 2, 2019

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Protestors on Capitol Hill last year call for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which got a hearing in Congress this week.
Via The Hill and Sojourners, the House Judiciary Committee today held its first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years this week.
  • The ERA affirms that, “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” If the ERA passes, the word “women” would appear in the Constitution for the first time in history.
  • If passed, H.J.Res.38 could lead to the successful end of the ERA’s 100-year journey. The amendment was first proposed in 1923 and re-written in 1943 by Alice Paul.
  • Congress passed Paul’s version by the required two-thirds majority in 1972. However, only 35 states ratified the legislation by the extended 1982 deadline — falling three states short of what the Constitution requires.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:25-28

Martin Luther King’s oft-cited quote “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” is a favorite among activist communities who long for hope amidst the long battle for justice.It is rare that supporters of social movements ever get to see the actual bend of the arc.Yet, this week, the arc of the Equal Rights Amendment inched towards justice and equality as a new piece of legislation was introduced to ratify the revolutionary document that would make women truly equal in the constitution.

As Congress continues to examine the implications of the Muller Report and Attonery General William P. Barr leaves his witness chair empty during the House Judiciary Committee hearing, it is as important as ever to remember the women who do consistantly fill their seats in Congress. (This year, of course being a record breaking number of female represenativies elected to government.)

The ERA has risen once again as a path forward for legal equality in our country. In Galatians, Paul makes it clear that all people, beyond binaries, are one in Christ. Let us hope for and fight for a constitution that also affirms that all people are equal before the law.

Download any part of the ERA Toolkit for FREE  and share with your friends and family via social media to promote awareness. Make sure to mark your calendars for ERA Day on June 30th and, if you’re able join, activists for gender equality as they gather in New Jersey at the home of Alice Paul, author of the ERA.

God of many names, grant us ears to hear the prophets of our own time and the cries of the prophetesses of the past like the Suffragettes and Alice Paul.
May we have the wisdom to discern their message through the noise and discord of our lives.
May we have the strength to do what must be done in this world.
May we find the courage to live our lives as lives of conviction, of spirit, of faith.
May we know justice, peace, and equality in our time.
-adapted from the Univeral Unitarian Blessing
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