Ouch, The Stupid! It Burns! Daily Dolt: Fran Eaton

Fran Eaton pulls out the Phyllis Schlafley lie book on the ERA

Pro-traditional family activists are very concerned that with the ERA, states will be forced to issue marriage licenses to any two persons who request them because the ERA eliminates discrimination based on sex.

The horrors.  But more to the point, passing the ERA would require than any differentiation based on sex by the government at any level be a suspect classification that would require a strict scrutiny test.  The ERA wouldn’t eliminate any differentiation based on gender, it would simply put the burden on the state to demonstrate there was a compelling state interest in treating the sexes differently.  Abortion rights and same sex marriage rights in states that have adopted them have primarily relied upon privacy rights. Those that do rely upon state level ERA provisions largely have more sweeping interpretations of text.  To put it simply, the ban on same sex marriage hits both genders the same way so no differentiation occurs.  The exceptions to such an interpretation are far smaller than the interpretation of the few states that have even considered the argument. Abortion wise, there are only two states where such an argument has been successful.  Federal law bases abortion on privacy grounds, not gender differentiation.

But Madigan may not be aware that stay-at-home moms and widows will be affected by the passage of the ERA. Women who have chosen a career of taking care of their families instead of a career outside the home no longer will be able to tap into their husband’s Social Security reserves upon his retirement or death.

Because sex no longer will be a factor, provisions within Social Security set aside for women who haven’t paid into the system will be discontinued. This is the opinion of none else than U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This is where one asks if the Southtown Star has editors. For those interested in the report, I have uploaded it here.

The problem here is, this report was written 30 years ago and much has changed. The  gender bias in the Social Security code is largely eliminated with survivors or either gender eligible for Social Security benefits under the same conditions.
But where Fran is lying outright is in stating the opinion of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  First, though kind of a secondary point, the report doesn’t address what the passage of the ERA would do, it simply lays out where the authors find evidence of differential treatment by sex in the US Code.

More importantly, Eaton specifically lies about Ginsburg’s position in the report because Ginsburg and her co-author argue to make it easier for women or men who stay at home to collect Social Security benefits, not that eliminating the bias would lead to a loss of benefits.  Don’t believe me?  Read page 45 of the report.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg actually argued for improved support for individuals who stayed at home and worked instead of entering the formalized workforce.

In other words, the Southtown Star has let one of their columnists brazenly lie about a matter of public policy in their pages.  It’s not an opinion Eaton is offering, she states the argument based on what she claims to be a fact about the report which is demonstrably false.  There is simply no excuse for this sort of shoddy work by a newspaper.  One expects it out of Eaton who seldom concerns herself with accuracy, but putting it in the Southtown start is inexcusable.

But not only will the ERA’s passage stir the hackles of little old ladies and helpless widows, 18-year-old college women may be up in arms

No longer will military registration be required of just males, it also will be required of females – again, no discrimination based on sex. While more and more young women are choosing the military as a career option, if the draft were to be enacted in a stepped-up defense in the war on terror, our 18-year-old women would be forced into service along with our 18-year-old men.

This is, of course, completely baffling.  If the country were to require the draft to be reinstated, there is no argument made by her against drafting women other than women might not want to go.  Most guys don’t either.  Hence, why one has a draft.  Given physical standards would largely separate women and men, women could take over a large share of the support functions along with the men who don’t meet physical standards for combat.