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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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Yes, Texas ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) on March 30th, 1972.

The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution that passed both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. It was sent to the states for ratification on March 22nd, 1972. Ultimately the proposed Amendment did not meet the requirement that it be ratified by at least 38 states before the 1982 deadline (only 35 states ratified the Amendment by 1982), so it was not added to the United States Constitution. However, two states have recently ratified the ERA: Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on March 22nd, 2017, and Illinois became the 37th state on May 30th, 2018.

The proposed Amendment stated:

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.

Read more about Acts 1972, 62nd 2nd C.S., SCR 1, the Texas session law that ratified and adopted the proposed constitutional amendment, at the Legislative Reference Library website.

Texas added an equal rights amendment to its own constitution in November of 1972. The Texas Equal Rights Amendment states:

Sec. 3a. EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. This amendment is self-operative. (Added Nov. 7, 1972.)

If you are interested in learning more about the Texas Equal Rights Amendment, the Texas State Historical Association has an article about the amendment's history on their website.

You can also find more information about Frances Tarlton “Sissy” Farenthold, a key figure in passing the Texas ERA, via this project from the University of Texas School of Law and the Dolph Briscoe Center.

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