WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) released the following statement after House passage of H.J.Res.17, removing the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

“Despite historic gains in women’s rights since the ERA was first introduced in Congress in 1923, the United States has yet to eliminate the scourge of gender-based discrimination and misogyny. Women continue to face discrimination in nearly every facet of society from staggering disparities in pay and economic opportunity, to widespread and deadly sexual and domestic violence, to inadequate access and resources in healthcare. This is especially true for Black and brown women, trans women, and others in marginalized communities.

“The patchwork of laws protecting women’s rights is riddled with loopholes and can easily be—and in the past has successfully been—undermined and scaled back. We must guarantee women the basic and fundamental rights to equal treatment and access to resources. The ERA would enshrine equality regardless of gender under the eyes of the law, creating additional avenues of legal recourse for people who face discrimination under the law on the basis of sex.

“The passage of this resolution marks a pivotal point in our history by clearing up legal ambiguity and honoring the people’s support for women’s equality. This resolution would remove the arbitrary time limit for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and affirms that there can be no expiration date on equality. Today, we take another step toward achieving equality for all.”