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Honoring Men in the League of Women Voters

Gloria Pickar | Published on 5/24/2024

Honoring men in the League of Women Voters

This May marks 50 years since the League of Women Voters welcomed men — yes, men — as full-fledged members. Men marched for women’s suffrage and fought for the Equal Rights Amendment. But they didn’t gain equal membership in the league until 1974. Like most, I was surprised when I learned that men are members of the League of Women Voters. My husband got me involved in the league.

After a long week of traveling for my work in higher education, my retired husband excitedly told me he had become the education chair of the League of Women Voters of Orange County. Shocked, I questioned how he could do that. He reminded me that he had been a state PR director for education and had taught reform school, so he knew a lot about education, too. I begrudgingly concurred, “Yes, I know you do; but the League of Women Voters, how did you do that?!” To my surprise he had joined us up as a household, so I was a member, too. It was then that I learned that 20% of league members are men.

Regardless of gender, everyone has a vital role in empowering voters and defending democracy. The league welcomes all. Today right here in Central Florida men work alongside women to protect and expand voting rights, and advocate for critical issues like renewable energy and reproductive freedom. So, here’s to celebrating 50 years of men in the league, whose contributions are as valuable and essential as their female counterparts.

Gloria Pickar Winter Park

Gloria Pickar is president emerita of the League of Women Voters of Orange County.

Also, view former LWVOC President and Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin's recollection of voting for men's admittance to the League.