GOP, Democrats push 1970s' Equal Rights Amendment in SC
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — One of South Carolina's most liberal lawmakers and one of its most conservative are joining together to revive the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The 1970s ' proposal banning any discrimination based on sex is being revived in several state capitols across the U.S. It is just one state away from the 38 needed before it can become the 28th amendment to the Constitution.
But there is one other hurdle: a ratification deadline. Congress extended an initial 1979 deadline to 1982. Supporters acknowledge they will likely need the current Congress to grant another extension. Barring that, they will have to go to court.
Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter introduced a resolution in January to ratify the amendment in South Carolina, an action that she said would send a powerful message no matter what happens elsewhere.
“The effect it would have is simply saying to the women of South Carolina you are no longer second-class citizens," said Cobb-Hunter, a Democrat from Orangeburg.
The lawmaker was joined Wednesday by state Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican from Beaufort who served as former Gov. Mark Sanford's chief of staff.
Davis said any conservative who supports a limited government that allows people to succeed based on their intelligence and ability should support the Equal Rights Amendment. The amendment's text states simply that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex."
“That's what constitutional principles are," Davis said. “They are general expressions of what we stand for as a society. You look at the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion, assembly, speech and the press: very simple declarations.”
Women have achieved rights throughout the years even without...