Earlier this week, I proudly joined my colleague Rep. Padma Kuppa in calling on Congress to extend the ratification deadline for the national Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Originally proposed in 1923, the ERA was meant to amend the Constitution to explicitly prevent any person from being discriminated against on the basis of their sex. This was the natural continuation of the push for equality following the ratification of the 19th Amendment just a few years earlier.

In 1972, Congress approved the ERA and sent it out to the states for ratification. In the decade that followed, 35 states, including Michigan, voted to ratify the amendment — falling just short of the 38 states necessary for full ratification ahead of the 1982 deadline.

But in recent years, there has been a renewed national interest in finally ratifying the ERA. Nevada, Illinois, and just a few weeks ago, Virginia, have now ratified the ERA. The addition of these three states means that we have reached the required 38-state threshold for full ratification, even though the original deadline has passed.

Now is the time for Congress to extend the ratification deadline so that the ERA can be officially added to the Constitution. I’m honored to join Rep. Kuppa and all of my other colleagues in this fight to declare that both men and women in the United States are equal under the law.

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