Interviewee: Keith Sanborn
IWY TX 443
Interviewer: Sister Marie Heyda
Date: November 18-21, 1977
Keith Sanborn lived in Wichita, Kansas at the time of the IWY conference and attended because his wife was a delegate from Kansas. Sanborn participated in organizing the Kansas state conference and helped as a parliamentary advisor to one of the state delegations. Interview includes discussion of: Phyllis Schlafly’s “Pro-Family Rally”; Sanborn’s support of the Equal Rights Amendment; and Sanborn’s experience with the conservative women at the Kansas women who object to the ERA.
Marie Heyda: Okay, there’s our mic right there, so…
Keith Sanborn: My name’s Keith Sanborn, I live in Wichita, Kansas. I am here because I think this is a very important occasion. My wife is a delegate from Kansas and she worked in putting together the mechanics of the Kansas meeting, and I became quite interested in it.
MH: Did you assist her somewhat?
KS: I tried where I could. I was a parliamentary advisor to one of the delegations in Kansas. Our daughter, Wendy, from KU is here. We thought it was important enough for her to take a Friday and a Monday off because it’s an important thing – the realization that we really shouldn’t need this amendment but we do. Just like we needed the Fourteenth amendment to flesh out what was already guaranteed in our basic Constitution.
MH: And then the blacks knew the Fifteenth Amendment on top of the Fourteenth.
KS: And of course the truth is that none of it should have been necessary, but we just simply didn’t rise to the ideals of our Constitution and so we had to be reminded that we had.
MH: That’s very well put, I think.
KS: So, I just feel that, I tell people I want to get this passed so men will have equal rights, but I really mean all people.
MH: That’s right. I think it’s going to help men and children too. Did you realize that over at the Astroarena there’s a group of about 10,000 women and their supporters meeting, separate from this?
KS: I didn’t know there were that many.
MH: They say 10,000.
KS: I have some experience with that group of women, since the chairman of the Kansas delegation is one of their leaders.
MH: Who is that? Not Schlafly?
KS: No, Betty – oh, the lady from Kansas City, you know. Who is the Stop ERA lady?
MH: I can check it later.
KS: Twenty delegates are from Kansas. Strangely enough, although in the balloting all of the resolutions passed, still thirteen of the twenty delegates were elected for the purpose of being against the ERA. I’m happy to say Wendy is not one of them. But at any rate, the lady who is the chairperson or chairwoman or whoever you would prefer to call it of the Kansas delegation is one of the leaders of the Stop ERA forces. I heard about the Astrodome, they did the same thing in Kansas –
MH: Oh, they did?
KS: After the main meeting, they rented the convention hall in which the meeting had been held, and had quite a sizeable meeting there. I’m not surprised but I’m –
MH: That usually is quite a successful disruptive means, I think, if I know my political history, you know, to take us, to walk out of a meeting –
KS: Well, they didn’t walk out, they simply, as a matter of fact –
End of Interview