Jacksonville Coalition for the era
Equal Rights Amendment
February 6, 1974
Dear Senator Smathers:
Opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a blow to all Americans who believe that an individual's rights and responsibilities should not be dependent upon sex or marital status.
Why is it that men and women are not equally treated in awarding of child custody? Why is it that men and women are not considered equally in promotions?
Please help change these inequities. Vote for, speak for, encourage support of the Equal Rights Amendment.
State Archives of Florida: Collection M75-93, Box 16, Folder 6
Letter from Luann Bennett asking Florida State Senator Bruce Smathers to vote for, speak about and encourage support for the Equal Rights Amendment.
February 6, 1974
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.