John F. Kennedy photo

Letter to Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller, Chairman of the National Woman's Party

October 21, 1960

Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to make a statement regarding the equal rights amendment.

As you know, I have long been convinced that discrimination in any form is contrary to the American philosophy of government. It is a basic tenet of democracy to grant equal rights to all, regardless of race, creed, color, or sex. This should be true even if there were no constitutional amendment dealing with the subject.

Forty years ago women received the right to vote. It is long past the time when similar equal rights should be granted in other fields. As the Democratic platform so well phrased our objective: "We support legislation which will guarantee to women equality of rights under the law, including equal pay for equal work."

There should be no "artificial and arbitrary barriers to employment based on age, race, sex, religion, or national origin." The platform has my full support.

You have my assurances that I will interpret the Democratic platform, as I know it is intended, to bring about, through concrete actions including the adoption of the equal rights for women amendment, the full equality for women which advocates of the equal rights amendment have always sought.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller, Chairman of the National Woman's Party Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives