In the 1970s, ultra-conservative, anti-abortion, anti-feminist crusader Phyllis Schlafly organized STOP ERA, the successful campaign to tank the Equal Rights Amendment. So devastating was the loss that the legislation—proposed to remedy gender disparity in employment, property ownership, and other areas—has been mired in the courts and state legislatures for 40 years.
“Since the women are the ones who bear the babies and there’s nothing we can do about that, our laws and customs then make it the financial obligation of the husband to provide the support,” she said in 1973. “It is his obligation and his sole obligation. And this is exactly and precisely what we will lose if the Equal Rights Amendment is passed.”
And yet two self-proclaimed feminist organizations have found themselves on the same side as the ultra-conservative policy advocacy organization that Schlafly founded off the back of her STOP ERA win, the Eagle Forum. All three have filed amicus briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of cisgender students challenging the trans-inclusive school policies of a school district in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. In doing so, they join others including the anti-LGBTQ Institute for Faith and Family, anti-trans pediatrician Miriam Grossman, conservative former-secretary-of-education-turned-talk-show-host Bill Bennett, the Christian Educators Association, four constitutional law professors, and anti-trans activist Walt Heyer.
The Boyertown Area School District has a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination policy that includes the affirmation that students may use the bathroom and changing room that matches their gender identity. In 2017, the school district was sued by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of a handful of cisgender students who argue that permitting transgender students to use the same facilities is a violation of their privacy.