Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Republican Congressman Richard Hanna Tells Women to Donate to Democrats

A Republican congressman has raised eyebrows by suggesting to women at an equal rights rally that they ought to donate to Democrats because they’re more supportive of gender equality.

The Huffington Post reports that Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), a pro-choice conservative, addressed a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment in Washington, DC on Thursday. The ERA, which was passed by Congress in 1972 but has not been ratified by the 38 states necessary to become part of the Constitution, states that equality under the law “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.”

“I think these are very precarious times for women,” Rep. Hanna told the gathering. “So many of your rights are under assault. I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.”

“This is a dogfight, it’s a fistfight, and you have all the cards,” Rep. Hanna added. “I can only tell you to get out there and use them. Tell the other women, the other 51 percent of the population, to kick in a few of their bucks. Make it matter, get out there, get on TV, advertise, talk about this. The fact that you want [the ERA] is evidence that you deserve it and you need it.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who reintroduced ERA legislation in hopes it would finally become enshrined in the Constitution, said:

“If equality had been enshrined in the Constitution for these past 40 years, I wonder if we would still be hearing today from right-wing presidential contenders that women should not serve in combat, that women should think twice before they seek to work outside of the house, that women should not use birth control, and that women who do are called names that are not fit to repeat here.”


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