Document 2: Iowa ERA Coalition, "The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment: What Effect Will It Have On:," 1980. Folder: ERA -- Original Materials, Box 7, Iowa ERA Coalition Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.
This document is the second page of a two-page brochure distributed by the Iowa ERA Coalition in 1980. The first page, which has been omitted, quotes the text of the proposed ERA Amendment and describes the procedure for making it law. This brochure, like many others distributed by the Iowa ERA Coalition, is a response to negative claims made by anti-ERA campaigners including the Eagle Forum led by Phyllis Schlafley and the Christian Coalition. The ERA Coalition attacked the claims made by opponents that the amendment would destroy family values and encourage homosexuality. Since the major proponents of the ERA were feminist organizations, the Iowa ERA Coalition had to distance the amendment from the feminist agenda. Included among these was the pro-choice campaign linked to ERA advocates like NOW and the Feminist Majority. This brochure emphasizes the need for a change in the legal status of women while de-emphasizing the social implications of the amendment.
THE IOWA EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
What effect will it have on:Employment
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will provide a permanent guarantee of equal rights to all men and women in employment. The current Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, pay, discharge, classification, and all the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of sex. Unfortunately, the Iowa Civil Rights Act exempts retirement plans and benefit systems from the sex and age provisions of the Act. Passage of the Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will necessitate a re-examination of these provisions.
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not interfere with personal relationships in a family. It affects only legal relationships. Families will still decide who will work outside the home, who will care for the children and how family decisions are made.
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not prevent Iowa from prohibiting homosexual marriages. It will not guarantee the hiring of homosexuals. It will affect only sex based discrimination.
Full Time Homemakers
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not affect the status of a homemaker except when the marriage is ended by a death of the spouse of divorce (dissolution). At that time the Equal Rights Amendment would reinforce the important contribution of the homemaking spouse to the family.
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not affect the legal status of abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court reached its decisions in the abortion cases based upon principles now contained in the U.S. Constitution. It will neither add nor detract from these decisions.
Alimony and Child Support
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not change either. Iowa currently has non-discriminatory alimony and child support laws.
The Iowa Equal Rights Amendment will not affect our constitutional right to privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the right of privacy (e.g., Griswold v. Connecticut 1965). Equality under the law does not mean the sexes must be regarded as identical; states would retain the power to require segregations of the sexes in order to maintain an individual’s right to privacy
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