War on Women continues: Republicans again kill ERA in Senate committee | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

War on Women continues: Republicans again kill ERA in Senate committee

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

FOR THE ERA: Sen. Joyce Elliott.
  • Jeff Dailey
  • FOR THE ERA: Sen. Joyce Elliott.

Sen. Joyce Elliott will try again today.

A resolution for Arkansas to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment is on the Senate State Agencies Committee agenda at 10 a.m. this morning.

The only point of interest is what fanciful argument will be mounted by Republicans to defeat the concept of equal rights yet again. Same-sex bathrooms? Gay marriage? Uppity wives?

UPDATE: The old Supreme Court chambers at the Capitol was SRO for the hearing. A big crowd of women, 150 by one estimate, turned out in support of the measure.

Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, predictably, asked why the ERA is necessary. Elliott provided good instruction on the lack of gender reference in the Constitution and the fact that legislation has been required to give women equal rights in some areas. Sen. Bobby Pierce worried about the military. Elliott responded that, of course, equal rights doesn't mean requiring giving the same assignment to people unable to carry out an assignment — such as physical demands for serving in combat. Elliott said job assignments should ask the same of Joe and Josephine. No one has a right to do something they cannot do. Or to be prevented from doing something they CAN do on the basis of gender.

And YES!!!!! There's the Family Council's Jerry Cox trotting out the forced mixing warhorse, along with other "unintended consequences." He fears women would be forced to share college dorm rooms with men. He also suggests ERA could be used to force public funding of abortion. (Are men getting abortions now? No, but a New Mexico ruling based on a state amendment supports this argument.) Sen. David Johnson said he saw nothing in the amendment that could allow the scenarios Cox depicted. As if that matters.

Former Republican legislator Dan Greenberg joined the mixed-bathroom, mixed-dorm, diminished-military, forced-abortion-payment chorus. He said affirmative action could be eliminated by the ERA. (Who knew? A conservative who claims to be in support of affirmative action.) Senator Johnson again argued that the ERA would only further support existing laws, not knock down equity laws. Senator Pierce jammed Greenberg pretty good for all the hypothetical problems he envisioned. Greenberg had pooh-poohed hypotheticals offered by opponents of the Voter ID bill he supported.

Greenberg was quoted by my in-room observer as closing by saying "equality in all circumstances is not always the best policy."

Really? Inequality is good?

Former legislator Lindsley Smith spoke in support and was widely lauded on Twitter accounts I've seen for her call for strict scrutiny on gender discrimination that an amendment would provide. Here's her remarks.

IN CONCLUSION: Senator Elliott closed by saying the ERA would give consistency that laws do not provide.

A motion for a do-pass failed 3-5. Robert Thompson, Johnson and Pierce voted for it. (CORRECTION: I recorded vote incorrectly originally as including Elliott, but she's not a member of the committee and doesn't vote. She just presented the measure.) The other members of the committee are Eddie Joe Williams, Jane English, Bryan King, Gary Stubblefield and Jimmy Hickey, all Republicans.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (33)

Showing 1-33 of 33

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-33 of 33

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation