Washington, D.C. – Today, following a House vote to remove the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement:
“Let me be very clear: I support the ERA, but doing it the right way. Discrimination based on sex is wrong, and very frankly, should not be happening in the year 2020. Alaska ratified the ERA in 1972, and I am very proud of that. However, amending our Constitution requires following a very specific process; three-quarters of the states needed to ratify the ERA before the ratification deadline. Not only has the deadline come and gone, but five separate states have actually rescinded their ratification of the ERA. We need a fresh start, and very notably, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said the same. Discrimination is wrong, plain and simple, which is why we should be engaging voters and state legislatures and making a case for amending the Constitution. I am the father of two strong women, and I do not want to see opportunities denied to them or to my granddaughters on the basis of sex. That is why in this Congress alone, I have supported the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, helped pass paid family leave, and worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight human sex trafficking. Women make up 51% of our country, and I will always support efforts to empower them in Alaska and across our nation. Congress does not have the authority to change the ratification deadline retroactively, so that means we must start the process over to ensure that it is ratified in a constitutional way.”
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