Eagle Forum

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Eagle Forum
Founded1972; 51 years ago (1972)
FounderPhyllis Schlafly
Kris Ullman

Eagle Forum is a conservative interest group in the United States founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1972 and is the parent organization that also includes the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund and the Eagle Forum PAC.[2] The Eagle Forum has been primarily focused on social issues; it describes itself as pro-family and reports membership of 80,000.[1][2] Critics have described it as socially conservative[2] and anti-feminist.[3]


Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly

In 1967, Phyllis Schlafly launched the Eagle Trust Fund for receiving donations related to conservative causes.[4] After the 1972 proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Schlafly reorganized her efforts to defeat its ratification, founding the group "Stop ERA"[5] and starting the Eagle Forum Newsletter. In 1975 Stop ERA was renamed the Eagle Forum.[5]

The Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund was organized in 1981 as a non-profit wing of Eagle Forum.[6] It is a tax deductible charity under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code.[7]

Symbol used for signs and buttons by ERA opponents

The Eagle Forum PAC began receiving donations in 1993[8] and has served as a source for candidate endorsements from the Eagle Forum and has donated money to various candidates that the organization People for the American Way has described as "right-wing".[2]

In the mid-2000s, Eagle Forum, along with the John Birch Society, mobilized conservative opposition to a so-called North American Union and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. As a result of two organizations' activities, 23 state legislatures saw bills introduced condemning an NAU while the Bush and Obama administrations were deterred “from any grand initiatives.”[9]

Eagle Forum members have often worked within the Republican Party. The Texas state Eagle Forum chairperson, Cathie Adams, for instance, was named Republican national committeewoman from Texas at the state convention in 2008 and then in October 2009 was chosen as interim chairperson of the Republican Party of Texas.

After Schlafly's death, a dispute among Eagle Forum leaders resulted in court battles, with the organization eventually splitting into two.[10][11]

Political and social positions[edit]

The Eagle Forum is involved primarily in conservative issues. The organization uses grassroots techniques to promote conservative women's and family issues in public policy.

According to the organization's website, the Eagle Forum's mission is "to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise." On its website, the Eagle Forum states its invitation to "build a better educated, safer, stronger America based on traditional values." It outlines its five missions as an organization: supporting American sovereignty, supporting American identity, supporting the Constitution, exposing radical feminists, and supporting a traditional education.[12]

The organization is composed of strong advocates of border security, and is against international oversight from the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. In 2006, Eagle Forum began preparations to fight the supposed introduction of the Amero Northern American currency.[13]

The Eagle Forum supports English-only education in schools, saying that every child should be taught to read and write in English before first grade. The organization opposes "liberal propaganda" in schools, and supports parents' right to protect their children against such information. It has also opposed access to free daycare, as well as sex education in general.[12]

The Eagle Forum was pegged by Schlafly as "the alternative to women's lib". It is opposed to a number of feminist issues, which founder Phyllis Schlafly claimed were "extremely destructive" and "poisoned the attitudes of many young women." The organization believes only in a family consisting of a father, mother and children. They are supportive of women's right to choose to be "fulltime homemakers",[12] and oppose same-sex marriage. Eagle Forum opposes abortion and has defended the push for government defunding of Planned Parenthood.[14]

Opposition to the ERA[edit]

After gaining publicity for her book, A Choice, Not an Echo, Phyllis Schlafly began her fight against the ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA had passed in the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 354 to 23. Five months later, the amendment passed in the Senate with a vote of 84 to 8, and 7 members abstaining. In order to be adopted into the Constitution, the amendment had to be ratified by three-fourths (38) of the states. Schlafly then reorganized her efforts to defeat its ratification, founding the group "STOP ERA" and starting the Eagle Forum Newsletter. STOP ERA was established in the fall of 1972 an organization dedicated to the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment. The group's name is an acronym for the phrase "Stop Taking Our Privileges".[15]

In one issue of the Eagle Forum Newsletter, titled "Whats Wrong With Equal Rights for Women", Schlafly argued against the ratification of the ERA on the basis that it would take rights and protections away from women. According to Schlafly, the passage of the ERA could "mean Government-funded abortions, homosexual schoolteachers, women forced into military combat and men refusing to support their wives." The newsletter began to circulate, and many conservative women wrote to their legislators, relaying the concerns voiced by Schlafly in the Eagle Forum Newsletter.[16] Support for The Eagle Forum grew with the support of many conservative women and various church groups, as did the opposition to the ERA. Many of the same women who had helped Schlafly distribute her book were involved with STOP ERA. Less than a year after its creation, STOP ERA had grown to several thousand members.[15]

State legislators were able to vote on the ERA beginning in March 1972 and were given a deadline in 1979. Within a year, thirty states had ratified the ERA, and the amendment needed only eight more states to pass. In 1977, STOP ERA protested the Equal Rights Amendment at the 1977 National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas. STOP ERA claimed that the national plan of action that was proposed at the conference was “anti-family". At the conference, Phyllis Schlafly teamed up with Indiana State Senator Joan Gubbins to form a "pro-life, pro-family" coalition to voice the conservative opposition to the ERA.[17] Schlafly also testified against the potentially harmful effects of the ERA before Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, and Arkansas legislatures. STOP ERA's tactics were successful; by the 1979 deadline the amendment still needed three states to pass. The ERA was then given a three-year extension, during which no states ratified or rescinded the amendment. By the time of the ERA's defeat, the Eagle Forum had reached 50,000 members.[15]

Since its initial defeat, the Equal Rights Amendment has been revisited by legislators, such as Carolyn Maloney.[18] In March 2021, a United States Federal court ruled that the window of time to ratify the ERA had expired and recent efforts by Nevada, Illinois and Virginia to support ratification are "too late to count".[19]

Programs and activities[edit]

Two youth-oriented programs are also operated by the Forum: the "Teen Eagles" program for children ages 13–19,[20] and the "Eagle Forum Collegians" for conservative-minded college students.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Join Eagle Forum so you will have a voice at the U.S. Capitol and at State Capitols". Retrieved 2006-01-22.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Eagle Forum". People for the American Way. September 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
  3. ^ Global Policy Forum – NGOs at the UN: Discrimination
  4. ^ Ford, Lynne E. (12 May 2010). Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics - Lynne E. Ford - Google Boeken. ISBN 9781438110325. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  5. ^ a b Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States Sara Diamond. Guilford Press, 1995.
  6. ^ "Microsoft Word - English brief final.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  7. ^ "Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits". Irs.gov. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  8. ^ "F.E.C. IMAGE 93038344312 (Page 1 of 7)". Herndon1.sdrdc.com. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  9. ^ Pastor, Robert (2011). The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future. New York: Oxford University Press, USA. p. 11, 76. ISBN 978-0-19-978241-3. OCLC 741646639.
  10. ^ Bernthal, Jeff (April 26, 2016). "Eagle Forum split lands in court". FOX 2. Archived from the original on July 21, 2022. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  11. ^ "Far-right conspiracies abound at Phyllis Schlafly Eagle Council in St. Louis". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  12. ^ a b c "Join Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly -- Join Eagle Forum so you will have a voice at the U.S. Capitol and at State Capitols". www.eagleforum.org. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  13. ^ "Eagle Forum Blog: Moving Toward a North American Union". blog.eagleforum.org. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  14. ^ "Planned Parenthood's Odious Activities - Eagle Forum". Eagle Forum. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  15. ^ a b c Critchlow, Donald T. (2005-01-01). Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691070024. stop%2520era.
  16. ^ "Phyllis Schlafly". MAKERS. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  17. ^ MAULDIN, COTTRELL, DEBBIE. "NATIONAL WOMEN'S CONFERENCE, 1977". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2015-12-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Equal Rights Amendment". Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  19. ^ Stracqualursi, Veronica; CNN (2021-03-07). "Federal judge says deadline to ratify ERA 'expired long ago' in setback to advocates' efforts". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2021-09-07. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  20. ^ "About Us | Teen Eagles". www.teeneagles.org. Retrieved 2015-12-02.

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