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ACTION ALERT! HEARING SCHEDULED FOR S362
March 31 2008

SUMMARY

Florida Senate Concurrent Resolution - S362 seeks to ratify a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, historically referred to as the Equal Rights Amendment

Text of Proposed Amendment
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

This amendment was approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification in 1972 with a 7-year deadline for 3/4 of the states (38 states) to ratify it. The deadline was later extended by Congress to 1982. The effort FAILED at the deadline with 30 states ratifying the language (35 less 5 states that rescinded their ratification). S362 (and identical H8001) fails to recognize that the ratification process failed and that 5 states rescinded their decision. The legislation promotes a position that Florida's ratification of this amendment is still viable, even though it is past the 1982 deadline imposed by Congress.

What is wrong with the concept of the ERA Amendment?

* Such an amendment might have made sense two hundred years ago, but certainly not today. The U.S. Constitution clearly defines equal protection under the law in the 14th Amendment. There is no legal need to place special emphasis in the Constitution on gender rights. The attempt to do so is not good law, but simply playing politics with the Constitution.

* The proposed second section will transfer virtually all the legislative powers of government on gender equality from the states to the Congress and the Courts.

* Many state or federal restrictions on abortion will be considered unconstitutional (i.e. funding restrictions, parental consent requirements, etc.).

* Gender neutral institutions may be required to become sex-integrated (i.e. Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts)

* Federal court decisions, which have upheld the constitutionality of the Selective Service (military draft) registration, will be neutralized, which means young women would also be required to register for the Selective Service.

* Women currently serving in the military may be involuntarily assigned to combat duty.

And much more...

ACTION

Please contact YOUR own state senator and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee listed below.

Ask them to OPPOSE S362. Remind them that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already specifies that ALL persons have equal protection under the law. There is no need to place a special emphasis on gender rights.

Chairman: Alex Villalobos (R) 850-487-5130 (voice); villalobos.alex.web@ flsenate.gov

Vice Chairman: Arthenia Joyner (D) 850-487-5059 (voice); joyner.arthenia.web@ flsenate.gov

Carey Baker (R) 850-487-5014 (voice); baker.carey.web@flsenate.gov

Ted Deutch (D) 850-487-5091 (voice); deutch.ted.web@flsenate.gov

Alex Diaz De La Portilla (R) 850-487-5109 (voice); portilla.alex.web@flsenate.gov

Mike Fasano (R) 850-487-5062 (voice); fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov

Don Gaetz (R) 850-487-5009 (voice); gaetz.don.web@flsenate.gov

Steve Geller (D) 850-487-5097 (voice); geller.steven.web@flsenate.gov

Jeremy Ring (D) 850-487-5094 (voice); ring.jeremy.web@ flsenate.gov

Burt Saunders (R) 850-487-5124 (voice); saunders.burt.web@flsenate.gov

Dan Webster (R) 850-487-5047 (voice); webster.daniel.web@flsenate.gov