The First Six
Ohio Equal Rights Amendment Debate
The Equal Rights Amendment (known as ERA) was first proposed in Congress by the National Woman's Party in 1923. In the 1960s and '70s, efforts were made to ratify the amendment as a way to eliminate all legal gender-based discrimination in the United States.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the measure in 1970, and the U.S. Senate followed suit in 1972. But in order to ratify the U.S. Constitution, three-fourths of the states - or 38 of the 50 - had to vote in favor of its passage.
On March 28, 1973, the measure was brought up before the Ohio House of Representatives. Although Ohio was among the 35 states that voted in favor of ratification, the measure fell three votes/states short of winning passage, and as of 2006, the U.S. Constitution still had no explicit provisions prohibiting gender discrimination.
With thanks to the Ohio Historical Society and the archives of WOSU Radio, portions of Ohio's legislative debate on the Equal Rights Amendment have been made available.
the audio to your mp3 player.
WOSU Radio's Mary Webster reports on the history of the Equal Rights Amendment in the Ohio Legislature.
Rep. Mike Stinziano, sponsor of HJR 11, speaks in support of the resolution.
Rep. Harry Lehman, co-sponsor, speaks in support of the resolution.
Rep. Donna Pope speaks in support of the resolution.
Rep. Thomas Kindness, wearing a kilt, explains why his heritage encourages him to oppose the resolution.
Rep. William Batchelder delivers an impassioned speech opposing HJR 11.
Rep. M. Joan Douglass speaks to why she supports the resolution.
Rep. Don Maddux, a main Democrat opponent of HJR 11, explains his stance.
The vote is taken and leaders of various women's groups respond.
Equal Rights Amendment