Dear Governor Graham,
The nation is counting on your leadership to help win passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Florida is one of the first states in 1982 to vote on ratification of ERA. The outcome in Florida may well set the precedent for the votes in other state legislatures which follow.
Your leadership in helping win passage of the ERA will benefit not only the women of Florida but women all across the nation.
I urge you to establish your place in history by providing your leadership in this historic vote.
M. E. Rios Martin
State Archives of Florida: Series 850, Box 16, Folder 12
Postcard urging the governor to provide leadership to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
February 14, 1982
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.