The "Equal Rights Amendment" seeks to amend the Delaware's State Constitution to read: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.
Why we oppose the language of the ERA being added to the Delaware State Constitution:
Amending the state constitution is serious, and its permanent. It means a change in the system of government because it shifts authority from the (elected) Legislature to the (unelected) Judges in Delaware's court system.
Policy decisions and how they are interpreted and applied comes down to the redefinition or meaning of words, and who gets to decide.
The original framers and supporters of the ERA over 70 years ago, lived during a time when women were not granted the same opportunities as men, or paid equal pay for equal work.
That's not the case today. Delaware law already can and does demand that a man and a woman who perform the same task with equal skill, and with the same background and experience, merit equal wages (Simply google "Equal pay, Delaware"). It does so without demanding a false notion that women are like men in all ways.
It's pretty safe to say that the original framers of the ERA never contemplated the days when retail stores would allow men who felt like women to enter their bathrooms, nor boys winning medals in girls’ sports competitions, or children being allowed to choose their gender and race. Nor did they plan for scenarios like in Virginia, where there was a recent legislative effort to replace the term "pregnant woman" with the term "pregnant person" to reflect the apparent belief of some that pregnancy applies equally to men and women.
True feminism does not fear the use of the word “woman,” or insist on androgynous symbols on bathroom doors. Gone are the days of outdated feminism that claimed in order to earn a “male” salary we must be exactly like a male.
While supporters believe that the ERA is a "women's rights" issue, the language of the ERA in fact rejects the differences between women and men, by declaring a “sameness” of men and women.
“Equality” and “sameness” are not synonymous. Embracing diversity means recognizing and appreciating our differences, rather than pretending there are none.
Recognition of the differences between men and women is not discrimination. It is an honest appreciation of fact.
Men and women are distinct. Ignoring it, running from it, or passing some overly broad statement of “sameness” does not move us to equal ground.
--------------What does the ERA accomplish and why is it needed in Delaware?
The ERA has proven to be unnecessary. No one noticed - even the bill sponsor in the House said she was "unaware" until the director of "ERA Now" brought it to her attention.
In the committee hearing leading up to the ERA votes in the Senate, attorneys were asked repeatedly, "what precise issues the ERA would address in Delaware?" "How are the rights of women currently limited?" Not one had an answer, because there is none.
However, what was said is that the ERA is vague on purpose and that the ERA would have "broad applicability" for "future rights" and judges will make decisions that reflect “Delaware values.”
------------- What future rights are they really talking about here? And are we ok with (unelected) Judges making decisions about it and not our (elected) Legislators?
Who is behind this aggressive push for the ERA after so many decades of it being dormant and unnecessary?
Extreme Liberal organizations and legislators are advancing the ERA - because the ERA is permanent and the pinnacle of everything the radical Left needs to advance their agenda for generations.
If we look at the missions of the organizations that have resurrected the ERA, we see radical groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Women's March which exist to promote abortion on demand, as well as the extreme transgender ideology - as a matter of equal rights. Their new tool and strategy is the resurgence of the ERA.
At least one court, the New Mexico Supreme Court, has interpreted its state ERA to protect a right to abortion, tax payer funded abortion.
This resulted in the ERA failing to pass with the necessary 2/3 majority vote.
The far left, abortion supporting, bill sponsors then hit social media in their anger and started in with unhinged accusations and attacks against the men who voted NO.
Because of a procedural maneuver, the ERA could be brought back up for reconsideration in June. It was then "re-negotiated" with Republican Senators, which resulted in removing the clarifying amendments that were so effectively and eloquently debated in May.
The senate bill sponsor, in selling the change, admitted on the floor that verbal intent only matters if someone bothers to dig up the recording of the bill proceedings. If they care to.
(Let's all take note of that important point! In the previous House debate, Representatives who voted for the ERA used expressed verbal intent as their only clarification.
Verbal intent is POINTLESS.)
Is written intent enough to guarantee that the Left in Delaware cannot use the ERA a generation from now to advance it's radical agenda?
The Republican Senators whose votes were needed to pass the ERA believe that written intent is enough.
The ERA passed in the Senate (6/6/18) and the next day was passed in the House (6/7/18) with the necessary 2/3 majority votes.
According to DFPC legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, the ERA is still a problem because:
1) The clarifying statements are placed in the preamble, rather than the actual text of the ERA language. Therefore, the amended preamble may have no effect at all in interpreting the actual text of the proposed amendment.
2) Although the clarifying statements are helpful, they do not go far enough. There is no clarifying provision that the proposed amendment does not create a right to abortion. At least one court, the New Mexico Supreme Court, has interpreted its state ERA to protect a right to abortion.
3) There is no clarifying provision defining the term, “sex” to mean a person’s biological sex and not a person’s perceived “gender identity.” The absence of these amendments creates significant deficiencies in this proposed amendment.
All things considered: the fact that the ERA has proven to be unnecessary, the radical pro-abortion agenda of who is behind it, the intolerance of a radical and relentless gender fluid ideology and forcing the idea that biological sex is now discriminatory and irrelevant, how the ERA will be used for "future rights" and be applied with "broad applicability" and decided by (unelected) Delaware Judges, and the expressed doubt that "written intent" is not enough... we are urging legislators to vote down the ERA in January 2019.
The ERA is not mere symbolism to be added to state constitution. It will be used as a tool.
The ERA was and still is an imprecise tool, to solve precise problems, that our Legislators are more than capable of addressing.