Document 12: ERA Iowa 1992, "Equality of Men and Women is no Longer Open to Debate," 1992. Box 1, ERA Iowa 1992 Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.
This brochure is another produced and distributed in 1992 by ERA Iowa 1992. It takes a less apologetic, more aggressve, stance in response to the arguments used by ERA opponents. It is the first pamphlet to attack opponents as a conglomerate of the right opposed to equal rights for women. The brochure equates the opponents attacks to rhetoric and fiction. It is one of the few brochures to attribute the defeat of the 1980 campaign to sensationalist attacks from the radical religious right. The Coalition takes an aggressive stand with voters claiming that the ERA will no longer be debated. They refer to other states that have effectively adopted and implemented state ERA's. Unlike other brochures, this one does not directly attack the claims of the opposition, instead it addresses the motivation and tactics of the right and claims that equality under the law will end gender discrimination.
Equality of Men and Women is no Longer Open to Debate
135 YEARS IS TOO LONG...
Women have been left out of this state's law for 135 years.
Simply, the Equal Rights Amendment will secure equality for women and men. Even though it's true that Iowa law currently views women and men equally, the State Constitution does not. And, as we know, laws can be changed to take away rights.
No Legislature, board of supervisors, city council, school board, board of township trustees, agency, or governmental unit in Iowa will be allowed to discriminate against men or women.
Sixteen other states* have added equality provisions to their constitutions. In fact, two added it in the 1890's. In those states, the Equal Rights Amendment has been used to assure equal economic treatment, equal educational opportunities, and equal status in the courts for men and women.
*Includes: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachustts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
THEY'LL SAY ANYTHING TO SCARE AWAY EQUALITY IN IOWA
It's only fitting that Halloween falls near election day. No doubt, you'll hear many scary stories. One story goes that a group of "radicals" will be able to do all sorts of evil things by adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Iowa Constitution.
Members of the radical religious right who tell this story won't tell you the facts...that the Amendment will simply make the constitution read, "all men and women, are by nature, free and equal..." It will also add, "Neither the State nor any of its political subdivisions shall, on the basis of gender, deny or restrict the equality of rights under the law."
Those who oppose the Equal Rights Amendment say that it provides a "stepping-stone" for women who want to legalize abortion. This is another lie. Pennsylvania has enacted some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. It also has an Equal Rights Amendment in its constitution. Courts in that state have repeatedly said there is no connection between the two issues.
In 1980, scare tactics defeated equality. Don't let absurd statements change your heart or your mind.
By adding women to the Iowa Constitution, you ensure equality and correct an historic injustice. To not gurantee equal rights before the law to over half our citizens, the women of this state, denies justice to all of us.
By voting "yes" on November 3, you will help create an era of dignity.
Vote "yes," because equality is no longer a matter for debate.
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