An amendment to the U.S Constitution proposed over 15 years ago is still a topic that is currently being debated. Because the Equal Rights Amendment, was only ratified by 35 states (instead of the necessary 38), it was never actually added to the Constitution. However, Florida women are hoping to help change that by urging the state legislature to finally ratify the amendment that would make gender discrimination illegal. The passing of the Amendment would bolster laws in place that ban discrimination in the work force.
Recently, a Florida state representative introduced a bill that would allow the ratification of the Amendment. In early April, women from around the state gathered at the legislature in support of it. Despite this show of support, some people question whether the Amendment is even still eligible to be added to the Constitution today because it was originally introduced so many years ago. Others still believe that, if three more states ratify it (including Florida), the Amendment will be officially added.
In addition to the bill that would allow for the ratification, the same state representative has proposed another bill that would make discriminating against pregnant women illegal. This bill has been must less controversial in the state. It was unanimously passed in a committee.
While the future of the Equal Rights Amendment is still uncertain, it is uplifting to know that so many people are passionate about the issue of gender discrimination and are determined to ensure that the practice is discontinued. Even if the bill fails to pass, the supporters of the bill have made it clear that they are watching the moves of the Florida legislature and voting accordingly to ensure that every person has equal rights. However, even without the ratification of the Amendment, anyone who feels as if they have been discriminated against based on their gender, especially in their place of employment, has an option to fight against the discrimination in a court of law.
Source: news.wfsu.org, "Fla. Democratic Women: 'We Continue To Be Under Assault In This State'," Jessica Palombo, April 9, 2013