Above: The GQP Freedom (sic) Caucus, more accurately described as the GQP Fascist Caucus.

March is Women’s History Month, and the history of women in this country is being denied equal status under the U.S. Constitution. The closest women have ever come is white women attaining the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920. Women of color had to wait for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The annual attempt to get a vote in the Arizona Legislature on the Equal Rights Amendment met with the same stupid games Republicans play every year. Arizona Republican lawmakers again block ERA ratification vote:

Republican lawmakers have once again blocked a vote on whether Arizona should ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment.

But they did it in a way that allowed [cowardly misogynist] GOP lawmakers to avoid actually having to take a position on the measure.

The fight is over HCR 2030. As crafted, it would put Arizona on record in support of the measure, proposed by Congress in 1972, to add language to the U.S. Constitution to say “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.”

While it has reached that goal, some states have since rescinded their approval [once again, the Constitution has no provision for rescinding ratification], with no court ruling on the validity of that action. [Not true. In Coleman v. Miller, 1307 U.S. 433 (1939), the Supreme Court indicated that whether a state could ratify an amendment after rejecting it—or rescind an amendment already ratified—were political questions for Congress to resolve. As support for this theory, the Court cited Congress’s 1868 adoption of a concurrent resolution declaring that the Fourteenth Amendment had been ratified. Congress adopted this resolution despite the fact that three states had previously rejected the amendment before later ratifying it, and two states (Ohio and New Jersey) attempted to rescind their prior ratifications]. And there is a question about whether a 1982 deadline for states to act is enforceable. [The 27th Amendment was proposed in 1789; it was not ratified until 1992, a record-setting ratification period of 202 years, 7 months, and 10 days.]

HCR 2030 would remove Arizona from the list of 12 states that have not supported ratification.

House Speaker Ben Toma, R-Peoria, assigned the measure to the House Judiciary Committee. But Rep. Quang Nguyen, the Prescott Valley Republican [and member of the Yavapai County Oath Keepers] who chairs the panel, refused to give it a hearing.

Nguyen did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his decision.

So on Wednesday, Rep. Patty Contreras, D-Phoenix, made a motion to bring it directly to the floor, regardless of the lack of committee review.

It never got that far.

House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, used a procedural move to substitute another motion, this one to instead go directly to floor debate on other issues.

That made a vote for his motion not, strictly speaking, against the Equal Rights Amendment, but instead one to go back to the regular order of business. And that, as in similar GOP motions going back more than a decade, sidestepped any need for lawmakers to actually go on record against the ERA.

Fucking cowards.

Contreras, in arguing to allow a vote on the ERA, called the measure necessary.

“Women for too long have been treated as second-class citizens,” she said.

“As women, we face a gender pay gap,” Contreras said, saying that women earn only 77 cents against every dollar earned by white males. And she said the issues go beyond that, including sexual harassment in the workplace and pregnancy discrimination.

[On] Wednesday, House Majority Whip Teresa Martinez, R-Casa Grande, said she sees no need for a constitutional amendment.

“I believe that a woman should be looked at as a person, not a gender,” she said.

“As a woman, I appreciate giving birth, I appreciate being a mother, I appreciate my pro-life choices,” Martinez said. Foes of the measure have said in the past that they see the amendment as a back-door method of putting a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.

But Martinez said that, in her capacity as majority whip, her colleagues see her as a person.

“They look at me as equal to them,” she said.

“When the Republican Party looks at me, they don’t see a brown, poor woman,” Martinez said. “They see a mighty warrior for a conservative Republican cause.”

Wow. I see a head case. They most definitely see you as a “two-fer,” a Latina woman who will do their bidding.

MAGA Republicans don’t believe in equality and inclusion. Arizona Senate outlaws diversity, equity and inclusion programs in governments and universities:

Saying he was doing what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted, a Queen Creek senator got Republican colleagues to vote to outlaw diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state and local governments and the university system.

SB 1694, crafted by [fake GQP elector and Coup Plotter co-conspirator under investigation by the Attorney General and the DOJ] Jake Hoffman, bans the use of government money for any such program. It also forbids a public agency from requiring workers to engage in those programs, allowing those employees to sue.

But Hoffman told colleagues that he’s not against the ideas. What he opposes, he said, is what these programs include, ideas Hoffman argued actually work against the concepts of inclusion and equality.

“That’s a problem,” he said. “The bill says we don’t want public entities influencing the composition of their workforce based on race,” Hoffman said.

He then quoted a line from King about children living “in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Quite literally the only line from any speech by Dr. King that right-wing Republicans ever cite, incorrectly, out of context, distorting its meaning. “Pretty much every right-wing politician will mark MLK Day with the same quote, stripped of all context REMINDER: MLK SAID MORE THAN 35 WORDS,” Judd Legum tweeted  as the first tweet in a 16-part Twitter thread addressing the topic. Republicans Mocked for Using Famous MLK Quote.

Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, said proponents fail to understand that not everyone is coming from the same starting point and born with the same advantages.

“For those of us who did not win the cultural lottery, much of one’s life outcome can still be predicted by the biases towards race, class, ability and identity,” he said.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion programs are only set out to help us understand and prepare our citizens for what it means to live in a diverse and inclusive society,” he said. “It’s through these diversity, equity and inclusion programs that institutions are beginning to investigate and correct structural roadblocks that limit the access to the resources and opportunities that improve lives and communities for everyone.”

As approved, SB 1694 has a laundry list of what would be off limits.

For example, programs could not describe or expose systems, relations of power, privilege or subordination on the basis of race, sex, color, gender, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation. Nor could they describe methods to dismantle or oppose those systems.

Also off limits would be advancing any theories of a host of theories ranging from unconscious or implicit bias and systemic oppression to inclusive language and neopronouns.

WTF? This is quite literally insane. I did civil rights compliance training courses for employers for years. This is an attempt to preserve white male privilege and a patriarchal society in law. Not going to happen. We are not going back to the 19th Century, no matter how much MAGA Republicans like Hoffman fantasize about the “good old days.” Gov. Katie Hobbs needs to veto this insane GQP culture war bill.

Also outlawed would be concepts of “anti-racism.” Hoffman describes that as the idea that “the only answer to past racial discrimination is present discrimination.” [There’s an unhinged distortion.]

So are we now going to repeal the several Civil Rights Acts, the Anti-Klan Acts, and the post-Civil War Amendments (13th, 14th, 15th)? The Voting Rights Act? Because these laws are all about “anti-racism” and addressing systemic racism. Goddamn white supremacists and their anti-anti-racism shit.

All of that, he said, goes to what he said is the goal of SB 1694 to treat people as equals.

Mendez, however, said all that ignores what he believes are the real intent of these programs. That, he said, seeks to educate that there are people in society who have not necessarily been treated equitably — and that something should be done about that.

But this proposal attempts to broaden the cultural wars, claiming that equity and inclusion and diversity is racist because it doesn’t put white, male, heterosexual, conservative views on a pedestal to remain unquestioned,” he said. “It should not be our job taking apart programs that are helping our citizens work together and work toward progress.”

The party-line vote late Monday now sends this GQP culture war measure to the Republican-controlled House.