C. R. Havelka, Rt 5, Box 544, Arcadia, Fla. 33821
Governor Bob Graham,
State Office Bldg.
Tallahassee, Fla. 32303
March 1, 1980.
As a very concerned American, I am urging you to oppose emphatically the Equal Rights Amendment.
It is only a resounding name which misleads people. Actually it is another useless, confusing, costly and fraudulent piece of legislature. It sounds great, that's why uninformed people believe it is a great thing.
If all Americans would be capable of studying it and visualizing possible consequences and damages ERA would cause, they would have to reject it.
It is not the duty of elected representatives to do it for them? All our Represenatitives should know by now that we have already several Acts covering the same aims and first of all they should realize that equality was eliminated by nature. Our Representatives should know that any human act that does not respect the laws of nature is doomed. For instance, drafting women for full scale military service is against nature. Do we have yo break our necks first before we admit it cannot work?
Why does the administration of Mr. Carter not take care of much more urgent problems such as our terribly inadequate Armed Forces in face of Soviet Russia military threat and why does Mr. Carter listen to women like Bella Abzug and many otther well meaning do-gooders of communist subverters?
No, Sir, I am not getting into something entirely different. I know only very well that a Constitution is as good as people are capable of making it. We all know that Soviet Russia has a "perfect" constitution but most of it remains on paper only. USSR citizens are actually concentration camp inmates. Great Britain does not have a written Constitution, yey provides greatest freedoms to its people.
Laws and Constitutional Amendments will not improve our society, will not turn thiefs and killers into honest citizens, will not make men out of women a vice versa. Only impeccable moral examples from highest places, strong discipline and unbending justice will improve our society.
Oppose ERA and help to restore time honoured American virtues. We have very little time left before our Nation will be put to a fateful test.
(Signature) O.R. Havelka
State Archives of Florida: Series 850, Box 16, Folder 6
Letter requesting that the governor oppose the Equal Rights Amendment.
March 1, 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.