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Sonia Johnson

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Sonia Johnson (born 1936) is a feminist activist, writer and outspoken supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In the late 1970s she was publicly critical of the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church; see also Mormon) against the ERA and was excommunicated from the church for her activities.

Johnson began speaking out in support of the ERA in 1977 and founded an organization, Mormons for ERA. National exposure occurred with her 1978 testimony in front of the U. S. Senate's Constitutional Rights Subcommittee, and she continued speaking and promoting the ERA and denouncing the LDS Church's political activities against the amendment. After a well-publicized church trial in December 1979, Johnson was excommunicated for allegedly preaching false doctrine, undermining authority of church leaders and hurting the church's missionary effort. Afterwards, she continued promoting the ERA as a speaker at numerous functions throughout the country as well as television talk shows. She wrote an autobiographical book about her embrace of feminism, titled From Housewife to Heretic (1981). Other, later, books include:

  • Telling the Truth (1987)
  • Going Out of Our Minds: The Metaphysics of Liberation (1987)
  • Wildfire: Igniting the She/Volution (1989)
  • The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room: Sex and Intimacy Reconsidered (1991)
  • Out of This World: A Fictionalized True-Life Adventure (1994)

Johnson's excommunication coincided with her divorce from Rick Johnson. In 1984, she became the U.S. Citizens Party national candidate for the U.S. Presidency. She later became a lesbian separatist and founded Wildfire, a short-lived commune for women that disbanded in 1993.


References******

  • Majorie Hyer, "Mormon Bishop Excommunicates Woman Who Is Supporting ERA," Washington Post, December 6, 1979, p. A1.
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