It has been an awe-inspiring two weeks since more than 50 friends of the Equal Rights Amendment stepped up to support Equal Means Equal’s case in federal court to force the government to certify the ratification of ERA and add it to the Constitution as the 28th Amendment.
The amicus brief, brilliantly crafted by pro-bono attorney Arlaine Rockey, was signed by one of the most diverse and unique collections of labor, clergy, artist, activist, philanthropic, anti-violence, business and consumer groups ever assembled on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. This impressive showing of support for our attorney Wendy Murphy’s EME’s ERA Lawsuit, across multiple sectors was only the beginning.
Since the amicus brief was filed, Equal Means Equal has heard from about a dozen additional organizations asking how they too could support our case. We are thrilled to announce that Attorney Rockey will soon be adding the following organizations to our amicus brief signatories:
Goodwill toward our lawsuit continued when we learned that the powerful and highly respected U.S. Conference of Mayors, representing every city in the United States with over thirty thousand residents, would be filing its own amicus brief in support of our case!
Attorney Jodi Seigel, executive director of Southern Legal Counsel, filed the amicus brief Wednesday on behalf of the Conference of Mayors. The work of the Southern Legal Counsel is supported by the McIntosh Foundation and Winsome McIntosh, who is also an EME supporter and fierce ERA warrior. We are deeply moved and grateful for this support from these important organizations, foundations and attorneys.
Finally, this week, the ERA broke through into the crucial sphere of corporate consciousness with the announcement in Fortune Magazine that dozens of mega-corporations including Apple, Google, PepsiCo, Airbnb, Uber and the NFL are taking a public position, standing beside American women and girls by submitting a brief in support of ERA.
The fact that these companies are now lending their names in support of this cause bodes extremely well. It points to the long awaited social consensus that, as Alice Paul said so many years ago, “there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.”
What has become clear over the past two weeks is that the time for American women to be equal under our laws has arrived — and not a day too soon. The public is on our side and the moment is upon us. And while from the outside all signs look very good, we must remain extremely vigilant and remember that sadly there are still powerful forces who do not want to see this happen, regardless of the level of public support.
While these anti – equality forces may not show their faces overtly, we can hear the influence of their bigotry echoed in the poor arguments made by the government in opposition to ERA. Their response relies on technicalities; old outdated precedent; irrelevant parts of cited cases; clear intent to avoid the spirit of the law; and obvious attempts to find ways to push injustice through in the guise of purportedly keeping to the law’s letter… in a word, tricks.
Thankfully, the American public is not in the mood for tricks right now. The ground is shifting seismically every day and so we must push through this chaotic time with alacrity and singlemindedness of purpose to ensure that women’s rights do not, once again, become collateral damage to the vicissitudes of history.
The growing showing of support for the Equal Rights Amendment has been extremely uplifting and rewarding for us at Equal Means Equal as we enter our second decade of fulltime focus on ERA ratification and the Three-State Strategy. We feel an inevitable momentum of positive change coming as our forces continue to build and gather; we hope you do too. Thank you for keeping your hearts and minds in this fight with us, and here’s to crossing the finish line together.
Thank you, as always, for being there through it all. We are so close.
With love and thanks
Kamala, Natalie, Ken, Thila and the EME team