Resolution Takes Critical Step Toward Enshrining Gender Equality in our Nation’s Founding Document; Support for Pressley’s Resolution to Affirm the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment
BOSTON—Today during Pride Month, a coalition of LGBTQ+ grassroots organizations expressed support for H.J.Res. 25, a bicameral joint resolution led in the House by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution.
Rep. Pressley, a founding Co-Chair of the first-ever ERA Caucus, unveiled the resolution earlier this year with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the lead sponsor of the Senate companion bill, as well as co-leads Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), and Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
“For far too long, women and our LGBTQ+ siblings have been relegated to second-class legal status in America and it’s high time we change that. Today we are leading and working in coalition to affirm gender equality in the Constitution, for everyone who calls America home,” said Rep. Pressley. “Enshrining the ERA as the 28th Amendment will be transformative for LGBTQ+ folks and women – including trans women – and I’m proud to have the support of these organizations as we work to get this urgent priority over the finish line. During Pride Month and every month, we must continue fighting to affirm gender equality, address centuries of gender disparities in America, and codify the dignity and humanity of all.”
Kierra Johnson (she/they), Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, chimed in on the immediate need and relevance for the support and passage of the ERA.
“Our LGBTQ community has been fighting to end the blatant discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people, which widely targets our trans and gender nonconforming siblings. Even after decades of progress, we are facing a tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ hate bills that are weaponizing fear to cut out our existence in education, public spaces, and health care. The Equal Rights Amendment is not only necessary for women, but also necessary for LGBTQ+ people in the fight against ALL sex-based discrimination involving gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation. We enthusiastically support the advancement of the ERA and affirm its passage as an essential step in expanding permanent federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people nationwide,” said Johnson (she/they), via a statement.
Latinx organizations also expressed support for the ERA.
“I am ecstatic and grateful that we can make history through the efforts of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley uplifting the rights of LGBTQ+ people through enacting the Equal Rights Amendment. It has taken so long but I am optimistic of what the future holds for us, despite the attacks that we are experiencing right now. The ERA will set precedence to protect all peoples!” said Bamby Salcedo, President and CEO of The TransLatin@ Coalition.
Others expressed how poorly the current Justices have stood to block human and equal rights for others, not already protected by the Constitution.
“H.J. Res. 25 and the ERA are critically important to LGBTQ+ people in the United States, as it would enshrine equality on the basis of sex into our Constitution,” said Jerame Davis, Executive Director, Pride at Work. “The Supreme Court precedent interprets workplace discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity as equivalent to sex discrimination, but our current Court has shown little desire to be bound by precedent. And with so much anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being debated, and too often passed, by state legislatures, the need for further protections is clear. By adding the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution we will take a giant leap toward equality for LGBTQ+ people and protect our rights from the whims of Congress or the Supreme Court.”
Securing the ERA, thus, would become the main defense against discrimination.
“The National Black Justice Coalition proudly champions efforts to make the Equal Rights Amendment the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution. By securing explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, and sexual orientation, the Equal Rights Amendment will be a powerful tool in dismantling systemic barriers and ensuring our rights are protected without compromise,” said Dr. David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition.
The ERA would also provide inalienable protections to all and not just a group of people.
“The ERA facilitates critical steps towards creating a society where all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or racial/ethnic background, can fully and authentically participate in all aspects of life as they so choose,” added Johns. “We urge lawmakers and advocates across the nation to rally behind the Equal Rights Amendment, as its ratification will signal our collective commitment to achieving true equality for all.”
Rep. Pressley is a founder and co-chair of the ERA Caucus and has fought to affirm gender equality in the Constitution.
- In April 2023, Rep. Pressley and the Congressional Caucus on the Equal Rights Amendment rallied behind the Senate’s efforts to bring the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to a vote. Later that day, Rep. Pressley responded to the failed passage on the House Floor.
- In March 2023, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) led their colleagues in launching the first-ever Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment.
- In March 2023 ahead of the ERA Caucus launch, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful House floor speech commemorating the legacy and contributions of Black women at the forefront of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
- In March 2023, on the House floor, Rep. Pressley honored the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her contributions as a legislator, including her advocacy to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
- In February 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Chairwoman Lois Frankel (FL-21) and the Democratic Women’s Caucus, issued a statement applauding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
- In January 2023, Rep. Pressley and Sen. Cardin led their colleagues in introducing a bicameral, joint resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA and recognize the amendment as a valid part of the Constitution.