Consequences of Protest

Mormon supporters of the ERA faced a variety of consequences as a result of their activism. Some faced consequences from the institutional church and lost their temple recommends or callings, and some were excommunicated. Others faced less public social consequences in the form of ostracism from ward members and family. The following poem was written by a woman who supported the ERA and describes her feelings of no longer belonging in the LDS Church due to her beliefs on the ERA:


Talking, whispering behind my back.

I sit down to play the organ.

As I play I am totally aware of every move I make.

The words I sing come out

Stiffly, I feel like I’m going to choke.

I’m not at all at home.


I walk out of the stake center

Slowly thinking.

I feel a sinking feeling.

I know that ERA is right.

I wish Bishop Willis would see the light. 


I glance at the dreaded letter.

I felt that it would happen all along.

Father, Mother, I am still your child.

Is my family still sealed together

For all eternity?

Father, mother, give me strength[1] 

[1] Melissa Ann Sillito, “Whispers,” December 1979. MERA 225, Box 19, Folder 16, USUSCA.