The Lifelines commentary on Aug. 22 about the vote in 1982 on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for women [Equal Rights in retrospect], was an interesting subject to review, especially in these emotionally political days.
Having been involved in many Oak Park issues, I well remember the diverse opinions expressed by many of our local good citizens. However, the article gives rather simplistic and excessive descriptions of the strong support for ERA without covering basic issues such as the language of the ERA and of relevant sections of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments.
These issues are well covered in the sidebar written by then Oak Park Republican state Rep. Redd Griffin. As he states, he saw “the issues dividing families … males against females … threatening a kind of cultural civil war. … After months of searching for an objective evaluation of ERA beyond the all-consuming passions on both sides,” he voted against the ERA, which failed to pass. He found that “justice” defined equal rights which “could be better achieved through an approach that the U.S. Constitution suggested.”
Forgive me for repeating so much of what Redd has written, but it takes me back to the identical struggle I had making my personal decision on the ERA and reminds me of the many struggles I had in political, legal and church disputes long ago.
In these emotional, political times, we and the media need to objectively analyze these issues and keep the emotions under control, as did Redd Griffin on his difficult decision.
Ward P. Fisher