Today in Texas History – November 7

From the Annals of the Constitution –  In 1972, Texas voters passed the Equal Rights Amendment to the Texas Constitution.  The Amendment was the end result of a campaign started in 1957 by the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women. In 1957, the TFBPW sent attorney Hermine D. Tobolowsky to testify for a bill authorizing married women to control property separately from their husbands. When members of the Senate Committee reacted to her testimony with amusement, Tobolowsky determined to shift direction and steer the TFBPW towards a campaign for an equal rights amendment rather than seeking incremental changes in particular statutes.  Despite several setbacks including resistance from later-disgraced House Speaker Gus Mutscher, the TFBPW ultimately succeeded in getting the amendment passed by the Legislature and almost 80% of Texas voters approved the amendment.  The amendment is remarkably simple in its phrasing but broad in its impact.

Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin.  This amendment is self-operative.

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