Video: U.S. Sen. Hirono pushes for Congress to enshrine gender equality in Constitution
U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pushed for Congress to enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution by recognizing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment during a full committee hearing.
During the hearing, which included testimony from U.S. senators, public officials and legal experts, Hirono highlighted the importance of ERA ratification in prohibiting sex discrimination and fighting for equal rights for all.
“The times in which we live where, sadly, violence — gun violence — is rampant; where we see a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, Jews, LGBTQ persons; where FBI Director [Christopher] Wray says that domestic terrorism and white supremacy are major concerns,” Hirono said. “When we live in times where sex discrimination is deemed okay, it’s not okay — this is why I would say we need the Equal Rights Amendment.”
Despite the required 38 states having voted to ratify the amendment, ratification has been stalled due to an arbitrary deadline put in place when Congress passed the ERA in 1972. During the hearing, Hirono asked Kathleen Sullivan, Sr. Counsel at Quinn Emanuel and former Dean of Stanford Law School, about how the ERA would replace the current “patchwork” of federal, state and local laws that address sex discrimination and also provide legal protection against this discrimination.
“The ERA would nationalize protections against sex discrimination that already exist in many of our statutes at the federal level and in many of our state constitutions,” Sullivan said. “It simply guarantees for all — all women, nationwide — what is already recognized in the patchwork of other laws.”
Last month, Senator Hirono joined several of her House and Senate colleagues in introducing a bicameral resolution affirming the ratification of the ERA, noting that Hawaiʻi was the first state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
A transcript of Senator Hirono’s full question line is available below and a link to download video is available here.