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Thursday, 24 October 2013 17:46

Monday Vintage Demonstrations on Equal Rights Amendment

Written by  Marena Groll

In the spirit of Moral Mondays the Onslow County Democratic Party announced that this Monday’s demonstration on  October 28th  will focus on pushing back against the wave of legislation negatively impacting  women’s rights to include the targeting of their voting rights. Demonstrators are civilly rallying from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm outside the Jacksonville City Hall at 815 New Bridge Street to support the passage of an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) checking state laws that are eroding women’s rights.

Women and men at the rally will be wearing all white. Suffragists traditionally wore white with purple sashes in their fight for the right to vote which was finally won with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Several women will be fully costumed in white vintage dress with full length skirts, ruffled tops, hats, gloves and sashes. Men will also be attired in white.

“We will not be silenced” said Carolyn Bryan, Chair of the Onslow County Democratic Party. “We will not go back to the days when we had no voice in our own government.”

The rally marks the refusal of women to cede ground on their voting rights which are under assault. This past session, H.B. 589, the Voter Identification and Verification Act (VIVA), passed requiring strict forms of photo ID which impacts women to a stunning degree.

According to a Democracy NC report, the State Board of Elections matched its list of registered voters with the DMV list of people holding a license or state identity card. The Board found that about 506,600 active, registered voters could not reliably be matched with the DMV list. Focusing on those voters consider that women are 54% of all active registered voters, but 66% of the active registered voters without a NC photo ID. Almost 335,150 women are at risk for being silenced because they don’t have the exclusive photo ID being required. They are the largest demographic at risk as a result of the strict forms of photo ID laws.

Ms. Bryan continued “Our time for the ERA is clearly now so that no one ever gets another chance to make voting laws or any laws that discriminate by sex.”

The ERA passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. But, by the final deadline it had been ratified by only 35 states, falling three states short of the 38 required to put it into the Constitution. NC was one of the states that refused to ratify the ERA.

Under the ERA, sex would be a constitutionally suspect classification putting women on a stronger legal footing to join those challenging VIVA on the grounds of suspect classification of race. Sex discrimination cases do not require the same high level of "strict scrutiny" nor have to meet the same high level of justification — a necessary relation to a compelling state interest — that the classification of race currently requires.” Women are defending their vote and seeking the ERA at a time decidedly unfriendly to women. The government shutdown, slashing of education funds, cuts to domestic violence programs and ripping up of social safety net programs coupled with a refusal to expand Medicaid have hurt women the worst. The NC Council of Women reports that nearly 17 percent of North Carolina women live in poverty or near-poverty. Almost 200,000 of them, operating with no health insurance, may lose out further because our legislators refused to expand Medicaid although it was largely paid for under the Affordable Care Act. Onslow County Democratic Party organizers invite anyone of any party holding similar concerns to join this demonstration rally for which a permit has been received. Participants should bring their own signs. The general public should direct questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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