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