Sunday, April 8, 2007
I admit to being mystified by Phyllis Schlafly. As a kid growing up in a progressive household, a woman arguing against the ERA made about as much sense to me as a black guy arguing against the Thirteenth Amendment. But in this LA Times op-ed, almost overshadowed by her riveting account of the previous demise of the ERA, she actually lays out her case against an amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender. And it comes down to... alimony payments:
The amendment would require women to be drafted into military combat any time men were conscripted, abolish the presumption that the husband should support his wife and take away Social Security benefits for wives and widows.
Hmmm. Well, there's still the riveting account, which includes this jewel about a conference organized in Houston in 1977 to give a final push for ratification:
The conference featured virtually every known feminist leader and received massive media coverage. But it backfired. When conference delegates voted for taxpayer funding of abortions and the entire gay rights agenda, Americans discovered the ERA's hidden agenda.
A couple of months later, a reporter asked the governor of Missouri if he was for the ERA. "Do you mean the old ERA or the new ERA?" he replied. "I was for equal pay for equal work, but after those women went down to Houston and got tangled up with the abortionists and the lesbians, I can tell you ERA will never pass in the Show-Me State."
Abortionists and lesbians. They'll kill a constitutional amendment every time.