Monday, January 29, 2007

Opponents of ERA were right in the 70's; ERA has been used to force public funding for abortion and gay marriage

ERA – A wolf in sheep's clothing


Representative Lindsley Smith has filed a Equal Rights Amendment bill in Arkansas, HJR1002. This should be of great concern to anyone who opposes abortion or homosexual marriage.

The following excerpts from an article entitled, "Marriage Must Be Protected from the Judges," is proof that the opponents of Equal Rights Amendment (that nice sounding law supposedly designed to prevent discrimination against women) did not exaggerate the negative consequences of the ERA Amendment as ERA supporters vehemently claimed. This entire article can be found at this link: http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2003/dec03/psrdec03.html

"The concurring opinion in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health cited the Massachusetts state Equal Rights Amendment as authority to legalize same-sex marriages. The state ERA was added to Article 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1976. It provides: "Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin."

"Judge Cordy's dissent (joined by both other dissenting judges) reminded the court that just before the 1976 election when the voters adopted the state ERA, the official Massachusetts commission, which was charged with the duty of advising the voters what ERA's effect would be, issued this statement: "An equal rights amendment will have no effect upon the allowance or denial of homosexual marriages. The equal rights amendment is not concerned with the relationship of two persons of the same sex; it only addresses those laws or public-related actions which treat persons of opposite sexes differently."

"Boston newspapers echoed this disclaimer, labeling claims that the ERA would be the basis for same-sex marriage as "exaggerated" and "unfounded." Editorializing for ERA, the Boston Globe noted that "those urging a no vote . . . argue that the amendment would . . . legitimize marriage between people of the same sex. In reality, the proposed amendment would require none of these things."

"The Goodridge decision did use the Massachusetts ERA to legalize marriage between people of the same sex. This caused UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh to post on his website: "Phyllis Schlafly said it would be like this." He cited typical examples from the liberal press ridiculing the opponents of ERA for "canards," "scare tactics," and "hysterics" in predicting that ERA would require same-sex marriage.

"U.S. News & World Report (4-28-75): "Opponents, for example, suggested passage of ERA would mean abortion on demand, legalization of homosexual marriages, sex-integrated prisons and reform schools -- all claims that were hotly denied by ERA supporters."

"New York Times (7-5-81): "Discussion of [the ERA] bogged down in hysterical claims that the amendment would eliminate privacy in bathrooms, encourage homosexual marriage, put women in the trenches and deprive housewives of their husbands' support."
Washington Post (2-19-82): "The vote in Virginia [against the ERA] came after proponents argued on behalf of civil rights for women and opponents trotted out the old canards about homosexual marriages and unisex restrooms."

"Volokh concluded: "So the Massachusetts ERA did contribute to constitutional protection for homosexual marriage — as the opponents of the ERA predicted, and as the supporters of the ERA vehemently denied."

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodridge v Public Health

Excerpts from the decision:

On October 19, 1976, just before the general election at which the amendment was to be considered, the commission filed its Interim Report, which focused on the effect of the Massachusetts ERA on the laws of the Commonwealth. 1976 Senate Doc. No. 1689. A section of the report, entitled "Areas Unaffected by the Equal Rights Amendment," addressed some of the legal regimes that would not be affected by the adoption of the ERA. One such area was "Homosexual Marriage," about which the commission stated:

"An equal rights amendment will have no effect upon the allowance or denial of homosexual marriages. The equal rights amendment is not concerned with the relationship of two persons of the same sex; it only addresses those laws or public-related actions which treat persons of opposite sexes differently. The Washington Court of Appeals has already stated that the equal rights amendment to its state constitution did not afford a basis for validating homosexual marriages. In Colorado, the attorney general has likewise issued an opinion that the state equal rights amendment did not validate homosexual marriage. There are no cases which have used a state equal rights amendment to either validate or require the allowance of homosexual marriages." (Footnotes omitted.) Id. at 21-22. [FN16]

The views of the commission were reflected in the public debate surrounding the passage of the ERA that focused on gender equality. See, e.g., Referenda reviewed, Boston Globe, Nov. 1, 1976, at 26; Voters' guide on nine state referendum measures, Boston Herald American, Nov. 1, 1976, at 17. Claims that the ERA might be the basis for validating marriages between same-sex couples were labelled as "exaggerated" and "unfounded." For example, before the vote, the Boston Globe published an editorial discussing and urging favorable action on the ERA. In making its case, it noted that "[t]hose urging a no vote ... argue that the amendment would ... legitimize marriage between people of the same sex [and other changes]. In reality, the proposed amendment would require none of these things. Mass. ballot issues ... 1 Equal Rights Amendment. Boston Globe, Nov. 1, 1976, at 29. And in the aftermath of the vote, the Boston Globe heralded the electorate's acceptance of "the arguments of proponents that the proposal would not result in many far-reaching or threatening changes." Referendums fared poorly, Boston Globe, Nov. 4, 1976, at 29.

While the court, in interpreting a constitutional amendment, is not bound to accept either the views of a legislative commission studying and reporting on the amendment's likely effects, or of public commentary and debate contemporaneous with its passage, it ought to be wary of completely disregarding what appears to be the clear intent of the people recently recorded in our constitutional history. This is particularly so where the plain wording of the amendment does not require the result it would reach.

Excerpt from Goodridge:

Justice Greaney concurred "with the result reached by the court, the remedy ordered, and much of the reasoning in the court's opinion," but expressed the view that "the case is more directly resolved using traditional equal protection analysis." He stated that to withhold "relief from the plaintiffs, who wish to marry, and are otherwise eligible to marry, on the ground that the couples are of the same gender, constitutes a categorical restriction of a fundamental right." Moreover, Justice Greaney concluded that such a restriction is impermissible under art. 1 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. In so doing, Justice Greaney did not rely on art. 1, as amended in 1976, because the voters' intent in passing the amendment was clearly not to approve gay marriage, but he relied on well-established principles of equal protection that antedated the amendment.

Article 1, as amended by art. 106 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, provides: "All people are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin." The last sentence is the one which was the amendment of 1976.

9:45 PM, January 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last post sounds just like the bull proponents of ERA put out 35 years ago included in the original post. There has to be another agenda for the ERA amendment in Arkansas becasue we have already gained everything by law that can be gained for the rights of women. So why are they trying so desperately to pass something that can't be used for the federal amendment because the time has elapsed - unless they are wanting it for another agenda? Go figure.

10:19 AM, January 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The clan of Fayetteville liberals are destroying the Democrat Party. Hahahaha. In Arkansas, one way or the other, this only helps Republicans. They really should have left this alone. I look forward to more from these left wing nutjobs. At a time when the entire Republican agenda is being implemented by the Democrats, there is very little reason to vote for Republicans. Linsey and crew, I would like to thank you for giving a reason for the Republican Party to exist.

11:14 AM, January 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:45 You are double-talking, as is Greely to some extent.

YOU SAY Greely did not rely on the last bit added to amendment one in 1976, but Greely is not saying that. Just by a plain reading of the amendment it is clear that the part tacked on in 1976- which is the same language in the Arkansas resolution, makes it a lot easier for an activist judge to impose homosexual marraige as a "right".

He may make vague references to "traditional equal protection analysis" but in the over 100 years since we had the equal protection amendment no judge used it to order a redefinition of marriage. Only once SEX became a factor under which "equal rights" could not be denied has this notion been the subject of bench-legislation.

11:15 AM, January 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:19: The laws have come a long way, but we have not gained all we can by law for women.

Women can't:

Be stationed on a US Submarine

Fight on the front lines in combat



This can work the other way, too:

Men should be allowed leave for when they father a child (male version of maternity leave).

Men should not be the only ones who have to register for the draft. Women should have to register and serve, too.


Also, I know the following isn't based on any law but on tradition, but, as a female attorney, there are still a few courtrooms in AR where the judge will throw me out if I am not wearing a skirt. This is not something I can fight right then and there because it could be detrimental to my client since judges have so much discretion. It's a shame that in 2006 some male judges believe I cannot do my job if I am wearing pants.

Forty years ago, my mother was denied entrance to her college library because she was wearing pants and not a skirt. It's sad that I can be in that same situation in a court of law.

8:47 PM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean 2007 (time flies by!).

8:48 PM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dislike the cultural shift advocated by feminists such as yourself. Having said that, I believe that you should be able to move to a state filled with like-minded people who can implement some/all of the things you've described, or gather enough support to make your current state of residence such a place. What really bugs me is that you want to force ALL of us to adopt your radical culture via federal law. Not every woman wants to be a man with female 'hardware.' Many women liked the distinctions we had before the modern feminist movement, and many of us don't care much for sissified men, either.

9:52 AM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

women and men being viewed as equals under the law is radical?


how far back do you want to go? what distinctions do you mean? women can't vote? women can't own property? women can't enter into a contract? women are automatically given custody of a child because they are the mother? women cannot attend law school?

Feminism is defined as "the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men." I don't think that's radical. I just want my daughters to grow up in a world where they won't be told they cannot do something because they are female. I'd want the same if they were sons.

I see inequalities between men and women as radical. You are trying to force me to live that way.

How can giving me the same rights as a man make him a sissy?

10:49 AM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 9:52, I guess you were against the civil rights acts and the thirteenth amendment? If a group of like-minded individuals who wanted slavery lived in a state, then that should be ok? What about the 19th amendment (sufferage for women if you don't know)? Against that too?

11:02 AM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, she must be an ignorant, barefoot and pregnant hillbilly bride if she doesn't agree with you, is that it?

Well, if you can't figure out the difference between people opting to live a certain way, and people being forced to live a certain way, then you're probably not talking down to anyone else here.

12:41 PM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm being forced to live unequal to man.

12:48 PM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a man I mean (oops).

12:48 PM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter "how far back" I want to go. The point is, if enough people feel as I do, we should have the RIGHT to live that way, without people using federal laws to force their 'ideal' androgynous society on the rest of us.

I see inequalities between men and women as radical. You are trying to force me to live that way.

If you cannot convince your fellow citizens to adopt your values, should they change them to suit you? Barring the ability to find a place in America that believes like you, yes, in that sense you are forced to live a certain way. But the tyranny of the minority is also tyranny. At least I advocate a way that both of us might possibly be able to live the way we want to without being at each others' throats.

2:04 PM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if enough people feel a certain way about something, then it should be legal?

Is that your argument 2:04?
Simple yes or no will suffice.

4:23 PM, February 04, 2007  

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