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On Women’s Equality Day, Humanists Reaffirm Commitment to Equal Rights Amendment

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: 202-681-2425, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, August 24, 2012) —In anticipation of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2012, and adding to a long history of supporting equal rights for women, the American Humanist Association Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution calling for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA was originally introduced in 1923, and passed by Congress in 1972. Thirty-five states have ratified the Amendment, three short of the 38 states necessary for adoption.

“There is no reason to wait any longer for women’s equality,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Discrimination on the basis of sex continues to this day, and the swift passage of the Equal Rights Amendment will finally provide the protection women deserve.”

“Until the Equal Rights Amendment is adopted, women will continue to be treated as second-class citizens, legally, because without protection under the Constitution, our fundamental rights are subject to the whims of local lawmakers and our recourse is limited,” said Zelda Gatuskin, co-chair of the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association. “This is long overdue. Congress needs to step up and commit to the ideal of equal justice for all.”

The American Humanist Association is supporting the Three-State Strategy, a legal position that holds there is no time limit for the remaining states to ratify the ERA because none is mentioned in the text of the amendment itself, only in its proposing clause.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) first supported the Equal Rights Amendment by issuing a resolution in 1975, and again in 1982. The AHA also adopted a resolution on Equal Pay for Women in 1963 and the World Bill of Rights for Women in 1981. The Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association was established in 1977 as a coalition of women and men working toward the advancement of women’s rights and equality between the sexes in all aspects of society.

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26 to mark the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, granting women the right to vote.

A copy of the resolution can be found here: http://www.americanhumanist.org/AHA/Board_of_Directors/resolutions/ERA

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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

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