Nearly 3/4 of Utahns say they would favor the Utah Legislature voting to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.
The poll from UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics finds 48% of respondents would “strongly” favor a vote to ratify the ERA, while 23% said they “somewhat” favor ratification. Just over ¼ (28%) would either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose ratification.
The ERA is a proposed constitutional amendment that guarantees legal equal rights for all Americans regardless of sex. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1923 and reintroduced in 1971 and sent to the states for ratification in 1972. So far 37 of the required 38 states have voted to ratify the amendment. Virginia is poised to become the 38th state to approve the amendment this month, but Congress set a 1982 deadline for an affirmative vote, so it’s unclear whether that vote would result in the ERA being added to the Constitution. Additionally, five states have voted to rescind their ratification of the amendment, but whether a state can revoke ratification is an unresolved legal question.
Rep. Karen Kwan, D-Salt Lake City, has introduced legislation for the 2020 session that would have Utah also ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Similar legislation has failed to even reach a legislative committee in recent years in the Republican-dominated legislature.
Support for the ERA breaks down along ideological lines, with Democrats and independent voters in favor of ratification while Republicans are mostly opposed. More than 90% of “strong” and moderate Democrats are strongly in favor of the ERA, as are more than 80% of independents who lean Democratic. 60% of truly independent voters and 52% of Republican-leaning independents also favor ratifying the ERA. 54% of strong Republicans and 55% of moderate Republicans oppose ratification.
Not surprisingly women are much more in favor of the ERA than men, but both groups would like to see the amendment ratified. 80% of women in our survey said they would favor ratification, while 64% of men agreed.
The LDS Church has opposed the ERA since the 1970s, and Church officials recently reiterated that stance. Despite opposition from Mormon leadership, most faithful Latter-Day Saints say they would favor a vote to ratify the ERA. 64% of “very active” Church members and 66% of “less active” Church members say they would favor the Utah Legislature voting to ratify the amendment. 71% of “not active” Mormons would support ratifying the ERA, including 60% who would be “very supportive.”