Church Renews Opposition to ERA

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moksha
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Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by moksha » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:59 am

The Church has renewed its opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment citing the bogus reasons given back in the 1980s, such as women getting jobs and women running amok in the streets after being overwhelmed with too many rights. The only difference now is that LDS women may no longer buy into such bogus reasons. They might shout back at the elderly Brethren, "Give me liberty and give me sense", two items that the Brethren will steadfastly refuse to supply. The Brethren are expected to counter this call by women for equal rights with a new family proclamation entitled, Pregnant, Barefoot and in the Kitchen: An LDS Women's Guide to Attaining the Celestial Kingdom.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/12/03/ ... ounces-it/
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Yobispo
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Yobispo » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:02 am

I've done a bit of googling this morning but I think I'm finding mostly one-sided arguments on both sides, with a fair amount of fear and disgust for the other side. I barely remember this fight from childhood - can anyone share a good source on the actual legal ramifications, pro and con, for this amendment? I admit to having a deep distrust of politics and government officials (who act more like celebs these days) but I'd like to hear some honest legal analysis.

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Hagoth
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:16 am

Here is the entire text of the ERA:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.


Pretty scary huh?
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:27 pm

I was aware through the time period of what was happening but didn't really study all of the legal ramifications. I wasn't sure why the church was so opposed to the amendment.

Still on the other hand, what struck me as critical was that the entire thing seemed redundant. I think everything that women want is or can be covered in the Constitution as presently written and good lawyers, politicians and common sense judges could easily make that case.

The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" which includes women. So both sexes already have equal rights across the board.

That may not have been viewed that way in early American culture but then neither was slavery. And yet it didn't require a constitutional amendment to end slavery. The abolitionist movements and a civil war were enough to get the job done. Not that we would remotely need a civil war to ensure women's rights in this day and age. I think the foundation is already intact and able to address any concerns if properly approached.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:27 pm

Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:27 pm
I was aware through the time period of what was happening but didn't really study all of the legal ramifications. I wasn't sure why the church was so opposed to the amendment.

Still on the other hand, what struck me as critical was that the entire thing seemed redundant. I think everything that women want is or can be covered in the Constitution as presently written and good lawyers, politicians and common sense judges could easily make that case.

The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" which includes women. So both sexes already have equal rights across the board.

That may not have been viewed that way in early American culture but then neither was slavery. And yet it didn't require a constitutional amendment to end slavery. The abolitionist movements and a civil war were enough to get the job done. Not that we would remotely need a civil war to ensure women's rights in this day and age. I think the foundation is already intact and able to address any concerns if properly approached.
Actually, it did require a constitutional amendment to end slavery -- the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. And no, I don't agree that the entire thing is redundant. It may seem obvious to you that "The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" . . .includes women" and that thus "both sexes already have equal rights across the board," but a lot of us would like to see it stated explicitly. Especially since when the phrase was written (in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution by the way) it was definitely understood NOT to include either women or slaves. Your tone seems very dismissive for someone whose rights aren't at issue.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Dravin » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:51 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:16 am
Here is the entire text of the ERA:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.


Pretty scary huh?
I'm really struggling to find anything objectionable there. The only thing I could think of is it would require things like reworking unequal paternity leave offerings from employers. I guess nudity laws could be another example where I could see someone objecting, but more than one state already has already concluded to allow men to go topless but not allow women if they so desire to do the same isn't kosher.

I guess you could argue it is redundant based on current interpretations of the US Constitution as Palerider mentioned, but if it's moot because it is already covered by one's reading of the constitution I can't see any harm coming from ratifying it other than, "Oh no! The U.S. Constitution is now less concise!"
Last edited by Dravin on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Dravin » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:57 pm

Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:27 pm
The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" which includes women. So both sexes already have equal rights across the board.
The phrase "all men are created equal" is not in the United State Constitution but rather the Declaration of Independence.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by glass shelf » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:00 pm

"Man" and "Mankind" are both gendered terms. Just saying.

What's the big issue with explicitly spelling out equal rights for women? If they "already exist" then it should be no problem to put it in writing. :D

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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:52 pm

Fifi de la Vergne wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:27 pm
Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:27 pm
I was aware through the time period of what was happening but didn't really study all of the legal ramifications. I wasn't sure why the church was so opposed to the amendment.

Still on the other hand, what struck me as critical was that the entire thing seemed redundant. I think everything that women want is or can be covered in the Constitution as presently written and good lawyers, politicians and common sense judges could easily make that case.

The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" which includes women. So both sexes already have equal rights across the board.

That may not have been viewed that way in early American culture but then neither was slavery. And yet it didn't require a constitutional amendment to end slavery. The abolitionist movements and a civil war were enough to get the job done. Not that we would remotely need a civil war to ensure women's rights in this day and age. I think the foundation is already intact and able to address any concerns if properly approached.
Actually, it did require a constitutional amendment to end slavery -- the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. And no, I don't agree that the entire thing is redundant. It may seem obvious to you that "The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" . . .includes women" and that thus "both sexes already have equal rights across the board," but a lot of us would like to see it stated explicitly. Especially since when the phrase was written (in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution by the way) it was definitely understood NOT to include either women or slaves. Your tone seems very dismissive for someone whose rights aren't at issue.
I bow to your better information.

Didn't mean to be dismissive at all but I do dislike tinkering with the Constitution when other avenues can be just as, if not more effective. And if you had read carefully you would have seen that I did acknowledge that people of that time period probably didn't see the verbiage in the same way a more enlightened society would. We should be mature enough as a society to make that small leap.

As an example for not tinkering, I see ancient Israel and other societies going down a similar road. They start out with a fairly straightforward statement of principle with some few specifics and they begin to continually attempt to codify minutia ad nauseum. Before long you're counting how many steps you can take on the Sabbath. U.S. law is already lumbering down that road. Michael Bloomberg's laws regarding how much soda pop an individual may consume springs to mind.

Just as an aside I was very much aware that the phrase "all men are created equal" is from the Declaration of Independence. But being a founding document it does indeed inform the Constitution and how that document is perceived and interpreted. Otherwise no one would pay much attention to the Declaration and yet they quote it continually.

The 13th amendment did codify the abolition of slavery but it was more a matter of formality and was created after the Civil war in establishing the legal status of former slaves. What truly ended slavery was the emancipation proclamation and the Civil War.

I just think we should be grown up enough as individuals and a society, to acknowledge that women should, if they don't already, have every right assumed to all "human" citizens of the United States.

I'm just curious, what rights do you see as being currently restricted from women?

I'm aware of some financial compensation issues in certain states but couldn't that be addressed through the courts on a state level? Or even have remedies sought through the courts? I think it would be very interesting to take that issue to the Supreme Court and see if the court would declare whether it was constitutional. Also Congress could create federal legislation requiring equal pay.

I guess as a reiteration, I would really like to see our society do the right thing by way of integrity, good principle and rational thinking rather than having to codify good behavior. As I recall the intent of the Founders was to restrict the government in it's ability to interfere in our lives. The more we codify, the more power we give to the government to coerce our behavior.

We don't become better people, we just learn to avoid punishment from a domineering government. And then we look to that government to permit us our rights rather than reminding society by persuasion (legal if need be) what our rights are.
Last edited by Palerider on Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:54 pm

Dravin wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:57 pm
Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:27 pm
The phrase "all men are created equal" should easily be seen as signifying "all mankind" which includes women. So both sexes already have equal rights across the board.
The phrase "all men are created equal" is not in the United State Constitution but rather the Declaration of Independence.
See above response. :)
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:57 pm

glass shelf wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:00 pm
"Man" and "Mankind" are both gendered terms. Just saying.
They have only become gendered terms in the recent past.

When I was in school (1960's) we were taught that even the term "his" in the proper context was inclusive of the female gender and that we were obligated to see it that way. It was considered proper English. The term "his or her" was very seldom used and considered unnecessary for understanding the full meaning.

Just saying.... 8-)
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:20 pm

“The church’s position on this issue has been consistent for more than 40 years.”
And I guess their position on gays...not so much? Oh, wait, they always loved them, it was God who was to blame!

Keep it up you old cobblers and see how much the bleeding stops!
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:25 pm

As I look at the above conversation to this point, it occurs to me that it may be more of a generational issue than a conversation about rights.

By all means I am for women having the same rights as men. I have no argument there.

The question is more one of understanding the way people of my generation were taught language and processes as well as how people of earlier generations were taught those same things.

If a person of my generation had asked you to read the statement, "Let all beware of braggards and swindlers and let each keep close care of his own purse." and then you had said, do think this statement includes women? That person would have looked at you as if you were either illiterate or an idiot. It's obvious that it includes women.....At least it would have been to us. In our time and previously the word "his" could and did many times represent both genders. Plus it hadn't been that long since a man's wallet would have been called a "purse".

Further, if one really studies the creation of the Constitution, we find that it is very much a compromise. Concessions were made regarding slavery just to get the country established. Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others had a lot on their plate. At that point, with their understanding of the language it would not have been a concern to them that women weren't included in the language because most likely they felt they were.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:36 pm

Not trying to hog the thread here but having finally read the article referenced in the op I'm not sure why the church thought the ERA would damage families? Anybody have any insight on that end?
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by glass shelf » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:17 pm

Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:57 pm
glass shelf wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:00 pm
"Man" and "Mankind" are both gendered terms. Just saying.
They have only become gendered terms in the recent past.

When I was in school (1960's) we were taught that even the term "his" in the proper context was inclusive of the female gender and that we were obligated to see it that way. It was considered proper English. The term "his or her" was very seldom used and considered unnecessary for understanding the full meaning.

Just saying.... 8-)
Language evolves and grows as societies change. It's currently 2019, and those terms are widely considered gendered language. You might think that "the term 'his or her' was very seldom used and considered unnecessary for the full meaning" but many, many people disagree which is why the use of "they" is so common in similar contexts in modern English. (See how I used the word "people" there? That's a currently used, non-gendered term.) For much of humanity, women have been an afterthought and language reflected that.

Here's an interesting read on this topic: https://io9.gizmodo.com/think-twice-bef ... it-5962243

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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Jeffret » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:23 pm

Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:25 pm
As I look at the above conversation to this point, it occurs to me that it may be more of a generational issue than a conversation about rights.

By all means I am for women having the same rights as men. I have no argument there.

The question is more one of understanding the way people of my generation were taught language and processes as well as how people of earlier generations were taught those same things.
Palerider wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:57 pm
They have only become gendered terms in the recent past.

When I was in school (1960's) we were taught that even the term "his" in the proper context was inclusive of the female gender and that we were obligated to see it that way. It was considered proper English. The term "his or her" was very seldom used and considered unnecessary for understanding the full meaning.
I'm younger than you, by something like a decade, it sounds. I was taught much the same way, that "mankind", "men", and "his" included women. When we wanted it to. But not when we didn't. Then it was important that they meant different things.

That's what we were taught. But, like many other things I've been taught in my life, those teachings were just plain wrong. Using those strongly gendered words to be inclusive of women, sometimes, really erases women from consideration. It means they can be considered as some subset of men, when we allow it. It results in a very male-centric approach.

Yes, it was considered proper English, but that's before we as a society decided that women can be full members of society. That it's reasonable and even important to listen to their voices. To understand their experiences. To listen to why including them under the generalized heading of "men" really doesn't work. It used to be considered proper to not allow women to make many choices on their own. To not obtain a credit card. And many others.

As to why the ERA is still needed, no less a significant person in the law than Justice Antonin Scalia stated that sex discrimination was not protected by the constitution and if women wanted equality they needed to change the constitution so that it explicitly required that. Scalia has passed on but there are men on the court today more conservative than Scalia was.
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Thoughtful » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:57 pm

I told Spouseman, if I could resign again over this emphasis of their position on ERA I would.

For those confused about man/mankind being actually kinda not including women, go take a gander at Man Who Has It All. When the pronouns are swapped it becomes clear how translating everything, knowing you're not actually the default kind of human is inherently biased. Why not "all people are created equal"?

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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Palerider » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:24 am

Thoughtful wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:57 pm
Why not "all people are created equal"?
I think, using the language of their time, this is what the Founders thought they were saying.

As our language has changed and society has progressed (in some ways) it is we who somewhat unfairly find fault in them when there was no intention on their part to restrict.

But as Jeffret has pointed out, if someone of the caliber of Anton Scalia surmised that in order to clarify the law, the language should be more specific, then perhaps that is what is needed to secure the rights of all citizens.
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moksha
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by moksha » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:03 am

Why is it important to the Brethren to not have this protection for women written into the Constitution? After all, it does not prohibit the Church from denying equal rights to women. Women can still be second class citizens in the LDS Church and the ERA would not attempt to remedy that status, so what's the big deal?
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Re: Church Renews Opposition to ERA

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:05 am

I wonder if it comes down to them being fearful of women coming to expect equal treatment.

To take a step back, people tend to give thing like the bill of rights more credit and power than it really deserves. For example, the 1st amendment protects free speech. Simple right? you have the right say what you want. No. Not really. It prohibits the government from enacting laws that limit free speech, and even then it has limits. Courts have ruled that the government can limit speech in some instances, like public safety with someone yelling "fire" in a crowded theater being the classic example.

However that reality does not stop many people from thinking that the do have the right to say anything they want, any time they want, anywhere they want. For instance, people will go onto an online forum, say something, and then get mad when other forum members or moderators tell them what they are saying is inappropriate. They say that they have the right to saw what they want to. Reality: No, they don't. An online forums is a private company. As such, they owners of the company have the legal right to restrict what people say while on their company property, the forum in this case.

The thing is that because of the 1st amendment, people have the expectation of freedom of speech everywhere they go, regardless to whether they actually do. When it comes to private entities, this is a double edged sword. On one had they business can restrict speech on their premises, That allows them to deal with trouble makers and maintain their image. But the public can see that and react accordingly. If a business gets a reputation of being problematic for speech, that becomes public and people are less likely to patronize them. This can mean lost money if they get a bad reputation.

So what does this have to do with the ERA, I think the church is smart enough to see how this could affect public perception of them.

If ERA were to become a part of the constitution, then overtime people will get used to the idea that the government cannot discriminate on the basis of gender. Overtime, as the idea gets more embedded into peoples minds, eventually they will start having the same expectation outside of government arenas.

The church fears that as the idea of gender equality become more and more embedded in peoples minds, the will naturally demand more and more equality from the church like they do everywhere else. At that point, there will be more and more pressure to reform as the patriarchy will become more and ore unpopular. While they law says they can do what they want, social pressure will mount.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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