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Two key Texas amendments passed


On this day in 1972, Texas voters passed the Texas Equal Rights and the Constitutional Revision amendments. The Texas Equal Rights Amendment, granting women and men equal legal rights, resulted from a fifteen-year campaign spearheaded by Hermine D. Tobolowsky and the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women. A few months after its passage, women legislators employed the new amendment in preparing several laws to halt discriminatory practices. Successful bills included one prohibiting sex-based discrimination in processing loan and credit applications and another disallowing husbands from abandoning and selling homesteads without their wives' consent. The Constitutional Revision Amendment recognized the need for a new state constitution. As a result of the amendment, the Sixty-third Legislature convened as a constitutional convention on January 8, 1974. The convention carried out the first thorough attempt to draft a new constitution for Texas since the Constitutional Convention of 1875. After seven months, however, it ended, on July 30, 1974, having failed by three votes to produce a document to submit to the voters. In 1975 the legislature did approve a new constitution in the form of eight amendments approved by the normal amendment process. The Bill of Rights remained unchanged, but the eight amendments went before the voters on November 4, 1975, in a special election. They were all defeated.

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