Alyssa Milano and Rep. Carolyn Maloney rally for passage of Equal Rights Amendment
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (left) is joined by activist/actress Alyssa Milano (far left) and other members of an ERA coalition calling for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in a press conference held in Lower Manhattan on Monday June 4, 2018 (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)
Actress Alyssa Milano joined New York pols Monday to push for an amendment to the constitution to guarantee legal rights for women.
Milano and Rep. Carolyn Maloney rallied at Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” statue to say the Equal Rights Amendment, introduced decades ago, should finally be ratified.
“I am here today because women are not guaranteed equal justice under the law of our Constitution,” Milano said. “Lack of recognition of women’s equality perpetuates the belief that women are less than, which leads to unequal treatment, abuses of power, sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.”
Illinois last week became the 37th state to ratify the ERA, which would guarantee equal treatment under the law for both genders - one short of the 38 states necessary to add it to the Constitution.
But the deadline for ratification passed back in 1982, meaning ratifying the amendment would require another vote of Congress to change the deadline. That’s unlikely in the current Republican-controlled Congress.
Maloney (D-Manhattan) has introduced the amendment in Congress 11 times, but it has never received a committee hearing.
So she plans to hold a shadow hearing in Washington, D.C. this week to give advocates an opportunity to testify.
“It’s time - long past time - to put equality of treatment [and] fairness in the Constitution for women,” she said. “The current crop of Congressional leaders have not only refused to do anything about it, they’ve refused to even talk about it.”
Congress originally passed the ERA in 1972, but the amendment faced a conservative backlash and failed to get the necessary three quarters of states on board by the deadline.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (right) is joined by activist/actress Alyssa Milano (left) and other members of an ERA coalition calling for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in a press conference held in Lower Manhattan on Monday June 4, 2018 (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)