Organizer Janette Dean’s remarks:
Welcome, sisters! Welcome, brothers!
Today, we stand up and walk together through our state Legislature–united in hope, united in strength, and united in the wisdom that human rights for all is the only path for a civilized society, the only road possible for an acceptable present and future.
Most of humanity instinctively knows that human rights are elementary, that they are supreme, and that they are priceless. Nothing matters more than our human rights. It is therefore simply unconscionable to withhold human rights from 51% of Americans! By not having the essential Equal Rights Amendment in the United States Constitution where it has long belonged, our country does not offer the strongest protection of equal rights for both women and men like over 175 other countries including all of our friends and allies. The United Kingdom passed its Sex Discrimination and its Equal Pay acts in 1975 and updated them in 2010 under their Right Honorable, and yes, conservative Prime Minister David Cameron; and it is high time we in the U.S. finish ratifying our own Equal Rights Amendment!
Whether one be male or female in their body, mind, and/or soul, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged in the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Therefore, we fellow sisters and brothers here today–and all across the nation–shout that we are no longer willing to wait and, instead, insist that our great state of Nevada finally fulfill its role and duty in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment not later, not never, but now with the utmost attention and urgency.
Nevada quickly ratified the 19th Amendment in 1920 which ensured--in the Constitution itself--womens’ right to vote across, not just Nevada, and we call for Nevada to now ratify the equality of Constitutional rights for women and men with the Equal Rights Amendment. This is because the highest human rights are not just states’ rights, they are national rights as well as international rights that must be universal!
So, again, Nevadans and Americans from coast to coast and over to Hawaii and up to Alaska must not ignore where we are right now today in 2015 on equal rights for women and men in our Constitution. We are nowhere. We are being kept a backwards country by just fifteen states who prefer to prevent equality of rights in America, one of the very birthplaces of democracy as a constitutional republic! What kind of representatives are then in these fifteen states including Nevada who continue to give excuses and using stalling tactics? The kind that must be held accountable by hearing that we strongly protest non-ratification of the ERA and will not sit idly by as they hold up current and future generations on their equal human rights. For now, we can consider these states the “mean fifteen” who are cruel in their delay and oppressive in their ignorance. Nevada must walk away from them over to the right side of history, and it must walk away soon. So let us sisters and brothers begin our walk together now, too, and turn this state and its leaders back toward ratification of the essential Equal Rights Amendment once and for all.
Do you hear us Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson? Do you hear us Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate Mark Hutchinson? Do you hear us Governor Brian Sandoval? We are here to remind you of what is still missing in our Constitution: our Equal Rights!