Letter from Kelly Smith to Governor Bob Graham, February 14, 1982

Letter from Kelly Smith to Governor Bob Graham, February 14, 1982


Feb 17 930 AM '82

Feb. 14, 1982

His Excellency The Governor

Capitol Building

Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Dear Governor Graham:

Thank you for your support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Without this constitutional amendment, women will continue to be discriminated against in the market place and in the courts.

We are so close; I am trying not to give up hope. Please speak up for the amendment often in the next few days, and help us persuade the Florida Senate to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and make human rights consistent for men and women throughout the country.

All citizens need to be guaranteed equality in this great land of ours. It is not enough to support human rights in other countires. America will be greater if men and women share rights and responsibilities.

Thank you for listening to a concerned voter

Kelly Smith

#418 5700 N. Tamiami Tr.

Sarasota, 33580


State Archives of Florida: Series S850, Box 16, Folder 9


Letter asking the governor to speak often of the Equal Rights Amendment to persuade the Florida Senate to ratify the amendment.


February 14, 1982


Smith, Kelly


Letters (correspondence)


Modern Florida (1950-1990)

General Note

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.