The calendar reads March 2021 but the mindset of many ND Republican lawmakers hasn’t even entered the 20th century. Republicans in the Legislature have voted to rescind the state’s support of the Equal Rights Amendment during Women’s History Month. Their resolution accomplishes nothing aside from telling the nation and specifically to women that North Dakota Republican lawmakers don’t view them as equals. It really is that simple and that frustrating.
North Dakota voted to ratify the ERA in 1975. It was the 34th state to do so. The ERA has been demonized by opponents of equality in recent years. They’ve been feeding false talking points through far-right-wing media and hand delivering resolutions from far-right political organizations to gullible lawmakers to try and pass in their states. Turns out after years of failure to pull back support for equal rights in ND, these far-right groups finally found the perfect makeup in the 2021 North Dakota Republican Legislature to approve of their fear and falsehoods.
It is a damn shame nobody in the legislative chambers requested a roll call vote. A simple voice vote allows the condoners of discrimination based on sex to get their resolution approved without the public knowing who shouted “Aye” in their respective chambers. We do know that Senators David Clemens, Janne Myrdal, and Rep. Karen Rohr were proud enough of this backward mentality to place their names as sponsors of the resolution. We will be curious to learn which lobbying organizations will give them praise and political donations.
These same opponents of equality want the public to believe this was about process and not about condoning discrimination. They’re twisting themselves in knots to try and claim their vote against the amendment for equal rights wasn’t actually a vote against equal rights. All of this for a resolution that doesn’t change anything. The thing is, it isn’t hard to look at these same Republican lawmakers and see a voting pattern that paints a pretty clear picture of their world view on equality. For that, they can’t hide behind process.