On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, congressional candidate Antoine Pierce spoke at a rally in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.
According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, in Louisiana, a woman makes only 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. This is the worst gender wage gap in the country. In spite of this, the state legislature claims that equal pay legislation is unnecessary. “Simply put, it’s embarrassing that Louisiana continues to have the highest gender wage gap in the nation,” Edwards said. “When we don’t pay women the same as their male counterparts, it harms our communities, our businesses, and our families.”
Louisiana is one of only 13 states that have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, which would guarantee equal legal rights for all Americans regardless of sex. It would make sex a “suspect classification” in the U.S. legal system, much the same as race, religion, and national origin currently are. This means that legislatures would not be allowed to write, enforce, or adjudicate laws in a way that discriminates against anyone – man or woman – on the basis of their gender.
“The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment will guarantee equal legal rights for all citizens regardless of sex,” Pierce stated. “In these defining moments, we put aside those social constructs that have historically divided us, and unify behind a singular, common goal: To make Louisiana a state where no one is ever discriminated against on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.”
You can watch Pierce’s full speech below.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.