Who are we?

All people have rights!

At least they should.

The Equal rights movement is not just about women’s rights, or black rights, or gay rights; it is about ALL people’s rights.

As author of what I lovingly call “ERA 2.0” I have been asked why a white, middle aged, middle income male is promoting equal rights. Today one of the oppressed classes is in fact middle aged, middle class, white males!   Of course women, regardless of race, have been discriminated against in many ways – Wage equality being one. There is also still significant discrimination of blacks and Hispanics. In addition, there is housing and employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community.  There is also a serious problem with reverse discrimination practiced by our government and by special interest groups (think "Affirmative Action" and the "Equal Opportunity Act."  These acts would not be needed if equality were part of our Constitution.

We all need to band together. We need to lock in equal rights under the law in the Constitution. This is not currently in the constitution, despite the popular belief that it is. The Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yet these are but words to the King of England, not U.S. doctrine.

The U.S. Constitution sets rules and precedence, and not set law. Laws, on the other hand, are designed specifically to circumvent the Constitution. With each law we give up a piece of our constitutional rights in exchange for safety, security, etc. Without equal rights being spelled out in the Constitution, government can set the rules of equality as it pleases. We have yet to see this done fairly. Laws are created at the federal, state and local level and must comply with the policy set forth in the Constitution. An equal rights amendment would ensure that those laws are enforced equally.

Some states, including my home state of Pennsylvania, have amended their state constitutions to add the wording of the 1972 equal rights amendment, ensuring equal rights regardless of sex (and our state has had no issues with this, as some said there would be.)

Still, the amendment that passed in 1972 but did not ratify is incomplete – Hence why it failed. You need all of America on board for this to pass. It needs a re-write without compromise.

Even the United Nations has a viable equal rights policy. Most developed nations have equal rights policies to ensure that no group of people is treated better or worse than another.

I have been chastised by conservative groups demanding a smaller government with less control over the states. My response is that a solid equal rights amendment in the Constitution will do just this. Many special interest laws will not be needed, since one law will cover all people. Also, many laws will not be needed since the rights of the people will be already covered. Splinter laws across the states that are contradictory will be eliminated. With all the movement of people through the states these days and the shrinking of the world by high speed travel it is imperative that our basic rights and basic treatment as humans be standardized across the states.

I have also been accused by the religious right of supporting the “gay agenda.” Obviously this group does not believe in equal rights! No, my support is not for any particular group of people – It is for ALL the people. This is not about politics, this is about reason. It is not for our government to judge us as individuals, even the founders knew this.

The Constitution of the United States is a wonderful document, listing the rights of all the people. One problem, however, is that nowhere in this document does it state WHO the people are, nor does it explicitly state that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the Constitution and in the eyes of the law.

Case in point. Blacks were once not even considered “people” and therefore had no rights. Women were regarded as the “property of men” and were considered second class citizens and couldn’t even vote until early in the 20th century.

It is only recently that blacks and women have gained a greater status, but there are still significant iniquities that exist.

Women tried to gain equal rights under the law with the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution which was proposed in 1923 and failed. It was then proposed again in 1972 and passed, but the amendment failed ratification and was never adopted. The primary objectors? Women! The women’s group going against the ERA felt it would negate certain privileges that women had, and also that it would mandate women in the selective service plan.  

The problem with the original equal rights amendment is that it represents too narrow a group, and does not allow for exemptions when there is no reasonable accommodation for equality.

The lack of unified equal rights in our constitution has caused the issues we have today. We have women’s rights, black’s rights, gay rights, Hispanic rights, etc… Why can’t ALL people have rights?

 “All People Have Rights” was created to author and enact an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that is truly equitable, yet palatable to those leaning to the right. It must not invalidate the Constitution, and must cover all the citizens of the United States. It must allow for preemption of special circumstances to which no equitable resolution is possible. (Think - a female “Abe Lincoln” in a documentary?) And lastly, it must respect the needs and rights of the states.

“All People Have Rights” is a small group of concerned citizens that has been researching all circumstances involving equality, and seeks to propose a resolution. We hope to work with many groups that support these causes currently, and publish our research as it becomes available.

The path has been long and arduous to author such an amendment. The few words must be concise, precise, accurate and indivisible. They must also be indisputable and clear in definition such as to preclude misinterpretation. To be sure, there will be winners and losers, but the system will be fair and equal for everyone. We will also be posting information on the pros and cons of equal rights.

We have composed just such an amendment and have been testing it in mock court sessions. We have also presented it for review to a select group of participants of all Parties and all walks of life.

Our goal is to present this to Congress for consideration.

We will be posting further details as they materialize.

Comments and suggestions are welcome via our feedback form. Your input will help us forge the future!


“We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. It is time now to write the next chapter - and to write it in the books of law.” -  Lyndon B. Johnson

“I'm not an activist; I don't look for controversy. I'm not a political person, but I'm a person with compassion. I care passionately about equal rights. I care about human rights. I care about animal rights.” -  Ellen DeGeneres

“I believe the equal rights amendment is a necessity of life for all citizens. The cabinet sometimes felt that I shouldn't be so outspoken.” -  Betty Ford

“There have been tons of politicians who were slow to accept equal rights when it meant changes in the established social order. Many eventually came around, admitted they were wrong, and were forgiven. But the ones who actively choose hate-mongering don't ever get a pass.” -  Gail Collins


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