Florida President Shares Insight Regarding Renewed Push for ERA

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Dr. Tom Duncan serves as a valuable political, economic, & social commentator.

December 21, 2012

As a Florida State Representative proposes legislation to ratify the long-dormant Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Northwood University Florida President Dr. Tom Duncan weighed-in on the reasons for this renewed push to ratify a Constitutional amendment that failed back in 1982, and what such an amendment would mean for America.

"Passed by the Congress in 1972, the ERA to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the state legislatures of 35 states, but it needed approval by 38 states to become national law," said Duncan, whose Master's degree is in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. "Now there is a renewed effort to pass the ERA, but to do so would require Congress to pass another version of the amendment that would, in effect, eliminate the original deadline of 1982." Duncan noted that a U.S. Senator from Maryland, Sen. Ben Cardin, has proposed a Joint Resolution to do just that.

"Even if Congress passed a new ERA amendment that also retroactively eliminated the 1982 deadline for state ratification, the new proposal still would require ratification by three additional states. Since Florida is one of the states that did not ratify the original ERA amendment by 1982, this explains the reasons for a renewed push in the Florida legislature for ERA approval," explained Duncan.

"Many observers of the equal rights movement in the United States have noted that, even though the original ERA amendment failed to be ratified, most if not all of the purposes in passing the amendment have since been achieved through federal and state legislation, and by numerous court decisions.. But as Duncan noted, "There are many who believe that full equality of persons cannot be guaranteed without enshrining such language in the U.S. Constitution.. Speaking to the reasons why this issue has re-emerged after thirty years, President Duncan expressed his belief that issues somewhat related to the equal treatment of women – such as same-sex marriage and equal treatment of gay, lesbian, and trans-gendered persons – may be influencing the current ERA movement.

Appointed Northwood Florida President in July, 2012, Duncan has become recognized as a valued political, economic, and social commentator for CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX television affiliates in the Palm Beach area. He served as a senior staff member to Missouri Governor John Ashcroft in education and policy management from 1985-1989, as well as Director of the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, from 1989-1992. Prior to his government service, he was an assistant professor of government and public administration at Evangel College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, Missouri from 1980-1984. He later served colleges and universities in California, Arizona, and Ohio in faculty and administrative capacities.

Duncan earned his PhD. in higher education from the University of Arizona in 2005; an M.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1979; his B.A. in government from Evangel College in 1975; and a course of study in preparation for Anglican ordination with the Anglican Mission in the Americas. He is an ordained minister with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). In addition to his higher education service, Duncan has remained active as a chaplain and pastor in religious communities in California, Arizona, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

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