Culture

Forum: “Maine Equal Rights Amendment: What it is – Why we need it!”

Members of the public are invited to a free forum called “Maine Equal Rights Amendment: What it is – Why we need it!” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26. This event, sponsored by Equal Rights Maine, League of Women Voters Portland, and Rural Maine Rising will take place at Coolidge Family Farm, 1084 Lewiston Road. Light refreshments will be served.

Rep. Lois Reckitt will be leading a discussion of the Maine Equal Rights Amendment (LD 433). This legislative bill, referred to as the “Maine ERA,” would amend the Maine constitution to prohibit discrimination based on gender, which would benefit men as well as women.

Despite being introduced in the legislature every year since the 1980s, Maine has never added such language to our state constitution. This means that the only constitutionally protected right women have is the right to vote. Every other right they have has been won through statute or regulation, both of which are easier to undo than constitutional protections. Because LD 433 would amend the state constitution, ratification would require it to be approved by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature and passed by a majority of the voters approving the referendum question.

For more information, contact Anne Gass at 657-4935 or agassmaine@gmail.com. Attendees are asked to park across the street at the AmVets Hall, 1095 Lewiston Road.