6914 Limestone Lane
Tampa, Florida 33619
January 25, 1980
Governor Robert Graham
Dear Governor Graham:
After President Carters State of the Union address on Wednesday night he left one issue wide open for great dissention. That is the point of registering womenf or the draft. And that without the passage of the E.R.A.
How on earth can anyone justify such an action without formally giving women an equal status? I feel that if we are going to be made equal concerning military service, we should pass the E.R.A. and be formally, and truly equal by Constitutional law. And this, Governor Graham, is your responsibility.
You have an obligation to the women of this state (and country) to push for ratification of the E.R.A. Should we have to register for the draft, it would be the grossest insult of all time. To be made equal when a body of legislators sees fit for us to be euqal. This is just another form fo the patronization disguised as fairness. Why is it that only when we are really needed are we made equal? Again, Governor Graham, you have a responsibility to fulfill.
I would hope that you are able to see my point, and think about it. Remember, what the opposition to the E.R.A. seems to have feared most is about ot become a reality. So let's pass the E.R.A. and get on with living- which if you are a working woman (with no formal equality) is hard enough to do anyway- considering our lack of rights until someone decides to hand out a few tokens piecemeal.
(Signature) Stefanie A. Argudo
(Print) Stefanie A. Argudo
State Archives of Florida: Series 850, Box 16, Folder 4
Letter stating that the governor needs to push for the passage of the ERA.
January 25, 1980
Passed by Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposed that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Though 35 states had ratified the ERA by the extended 1982 deadline, it still needed the support of a three-fourths majority, or 38 states, to amend the U.S. Constitution. In Florida, the amendment was introduced or voted on in every legislative session from 1972 until 1982. Though it passed the Florida House of Representatives on several occasions, it never passed the Senate. With the deadline fast approaching, Florida was one of four states to hold a special legislative session to decide on the fate of the ERA in the summer of 1982. While it passed the House (60-58), it again failed in the Senate with a 22-16 vote against ratification. It did not pass any of the other three state legislatures in special session that summer, and the ERA was defeated as a constitutional amendment.