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seafan's Journal
Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Fri Mar 02nd 2012, 08:30 PM
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." ---a portion of the Equal Rights Amendment

This war on women's rights isn't confined to Rush Limbaugh's latest bigoted bombast.

It blankets Florida politicians like fetid swamp muck.

In the Washington Post:

April 7, 2003

Federal and state lawmakers have launched a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, reviving a feminist goal that faltered a quarter-century ago when the measure did not gain the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.

The amendment, which came three states short of enactment in 1982, has been introduced in five state legislatures since January. Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the measure under a new name -- the Women's Equality Amendment -- and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers by the end of the session.

The renewed push to pass the ERA, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly in 1972 and was ratified by 35 states before skidding to a halt, highlights liberals' renewed sense of power since November's midterm elections. From Capitol Hill to Arkansas, legislators said they are seizing a political opportunity to enshrine women's rights in the Constitution.


The amendment consists of 52 words and has one key line: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." That sentence would subject legal claims of gender discrimination to the same strict scrutiny given by courts to allegations of racial discrimination.


Also notable in this article:

After every statewide office holder in Arkansas endorsed the ERA in 2003, Eagle Form President Phyllis Schlafly descended on the Arkansas state legislature to criticize the movement toward ratification. Her arguments from the 1970s were that passing the ERA would lead to women being drafted for the military, and it would lead to unisex bathrooms. In 2003 she argued that passing the ERA would force courts to approve same-sex marriage and would also 'deny Social Security benefits for housewives and widows.'

"It's very retro. It had 10 years of debate, very passionate debate for 10 years, and it was defeated," Schlafly said in an interview yesterday. "Anytime you get a fair forum where both sides are heard, we win."


"It's very retro.", said Phyllis Schlafly in 2003.

Keep that little gem in mind.

So, what was going on in Florida in 2003?

First off, Jeb Bush was governor.

Second, the legislature was nearing a decade of total GOP control.

(So you know THIS will be predictable....)

Here is what Jeb Bush thought about the ERA in 2003:

April 7, 2003:

TALLAHASSEE - As president of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs state chapter, Sue Banks says she was "dumbfounded" by the reception she received last month from a state senator when she asked him to support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
"That's silly," Banks recalled the senator telling her with a laugh, then adding, "You ladies are superior to us already."


Days later, Banks, a Palm Beach Gardens business consultant, was appalled to read comments by Gov. Jeb Bush ridiculing the ERA's revival as a "retro" movement that he said is "like going back and wearing bell bottoms." ..... "The Republican Party is supposed to stand for individual rights and freedom," said Banks, 53. "To have a party that is wrong on the ERA and yet feels that the female vote is so critical and so important, that's talking out of both sides of our mouth."


Coupled with his brother's recent decision to study the usefulness of Title IX, the federal law that requires equal opportunities in college sports for men and women, some Republicans worry that the Bush brothers' approach could hurt the president and other GOP candidates in Florida, where moderate female voters can swing elections. .....


While Bush's bluntness has made some people uncomfortable, others in his party are squirming in the face of a wedge issue that so clearly divides the party's loyal, conservative base from its growing dependence on moderate voters.
Toni Jennings, Florida's first female lieutenant governor and a former state senator who opposed the ERA in 1982, now tiptoes around the issue and refuses to take a stand.
"I'll have to do some research on it," said Jennings, who, as a likely candidate for governor in 2006, would rely in part on her appeal to female voters eager to elect a woman to high office.


What a stellar example of a right wing sycophant, Ms. Jennings.

2003 was the first time the ERA was voted on in the Florida legislature since 1982. It only needed a majority vote in both houses of the legislature and it was not necessary for Jeb Bush to sign it.

But, then-State House Speaker Johnnie Byrd raced in to oppose the effort, which killed the attempt to ratify it that year.


Other opponents – including Gov. Bush – argue that they support equality for women but believe the ERA is passé at a time that women are making advancements – a stance that some Republicans believe is a mainstream view held by many women who will continue to vote for GOP candidates.

The ERA is 'passé'; the ERA is a "retro" movement that is "like going back and wearing bell bottoms," said then-Governor Jeb Bush in 2003.

He and Phyllis Schlafly, on the same page, and using the same language.

Fast forward to 2007. What was going on in the GOP-controlled Florida legislature?

March 28, 2007:

ERA backers have enjoyed limited success so far -- Florida's House speaker has yet to assign the bill to committee, ....

Well, now, who was that Florida House Speaker in 2007 who refused to assign the ERA to committee?

Why, none other than Marco Rubio.

Sounds as if our shiny new U. S. Senator Rubio isn't so approving of women's equality.

Just yesterday, he was one of every Republican senator except Olympia Snowe (and another (R) who did not vote) to vote to advance the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny insurance coverage for his employees, for any medical procedure that he had a 'moral' objection to.

And Rubio is also on record introducing a bill that would allow any employer with a religious objection to deny contraception coverage to his employees.

Mr. Rubio just doesn't know when to quit.

February 2, 2012:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio believes that women who work for religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and charities should be subject to a religious agenda as a condition of their employment. The Florida Republican introduced a bill this week that would allow any employer with religious objections to avoid covering contraception in its employee health insurance plan. Rubio claims this would promote religious liberty. But whose? Certainly not the religious liberty of female employees. Rubio's bill, which has 20 co-sponsors including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is an attempt to extend religious dictates beyond the confines of churches and religious orders and impose them on a secular staff.


Lovely little junior right wing ideologue, that Rubio, for whom truth appears to mean nothing.

Fast forward to 2012.

What is going on in the GOP-controlled Florida legislature?

January 28, 2012:

Conservative Florida lawmakers consider abortion waiting period, other restrictions

This is an addition to the intrusive ultrasound bill passed last summer, aimed at women seeking an abortion, and gladly signed into law by Rick Scott.

And now, our right wing Attorney General Pam Bondi is on a crusade to deny contraceptive health care for women.

February 17, 2012:

FL Attorney General Pam Bondi joins 11 other AG's to 'vigorously oppose' Obama's contraception rule

She is an absolute joke.

People such as Rush Limbaugh, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and this entire GOP-occupied Florida legislature are primary evidence why these people must be driven out of power and influence.

What they are pushing is pure poison for the health of our country.

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