On Monday evening, three Fargo City Commissioners demonstrated their belief that the Equal Rights Amendment is unnecessary. Commissioner Gehrig argued that the 14th Amendment already covers the equality issue. Actually, the 14th Amendment does not guarantee equal rights for women. That is why the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in the first place.
Commissioner Grindberg believes it should be left up to the Legislature to decide whether they nullify the ratification, lest the city of Fargo’s involvement set a precedent. But set a precedent for what? That Fargo believes women deserve equal pay, equal protections under the law, and “a level playing field” with men? This is a precedent that the city of Fargo should indeed set - that the female citizens of our city are just as important as the male citizens, and deserve the same rights.
I think what is most unsettling to me is the clear lack of empathy for and understanding of the many women who live with the consequences of unequal rights - in employment, in health care, in domestic matters.
My thanks to Commissioner John Strand and Mayor Tim Mahoney for showing true leadership; and to Karen Stoker, Arlette Preston and Josie Danz for their thoughtful comments demonstrating why we need women on the City Commission.