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ERA supporters to rally at state Capitol in support of nationwide ratification

The original Equal Rights Amendment effort fell three states short of the necessary two-thirds by the 1982 deadline. Now ERA supporters are working to get more states on board and want Congress to create a new deadline.

Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment will speak out Thursday at the Minnesota state Capitol in support of a new push to ratify the constitutional amendment nationwide.

Minnesota ratified the ERA in 1973, one of 35 states to do so by the 1982 deadline. But the effort fell three states short.

Supporters in many unratified states continue to push their elected officials to take up the effort, and the Minnesota supporters want Congress to reactivate the ratification of the 35 states and create a new deadline.

Supporters of ERA legislation — state Sens. Sandy Pappas and Richard Cohen of St Paul and Scott Dibble of Minneapolis, and state Reps. Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis and Rena Moran of St. Paul (all DFLers) — will hold a press conference Thursday morning on the issue.

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They’re doing it in advance of Sunday’s International Women’s Day.

Said Moran, in announcing the effort:

“As long as women are not specifically recognized in the Constitution, women – and even more so, women of color – will continue to encounter double standards in the law; so we still need the ERA. Currently the only right named in the Constitution for women is the right to vote – and even that is being constantly eroded: last year 92 bills were offered in states that would make voting more difficult.”

On Thursday afternoon, the supporters will attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at 1:30 p.m. on a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the deadline on the ERA in order to re-activate the 35 states — including Minnesota — that ratified the amendment statewide before it expired by the 1982 deadline.