October 16, 2017
Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
Hilary Denk, Vice President, Issues
Heather Cunningham, Co-chair, Issues Committee
Sharon Alter, ERA Issue Specialist
Please contact your Illinois State Representative to support SJRCA004, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment on the Equal Rights Amendment.
Please call your Illinois state representative before October 24th.
When this proposed ERA went to the states for ratification to the U.S. Constitution, 35 out of the required 38 states ratified theERA. Illinois has not ratified it.
In March 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the ERA. If Illinois ratifies the ERA, that will be the 37th state with the need for just one more ratifying state to reach the required 38 states.
In order for the Illinois General Assembly to ratify the ERA, there is a required 3/5 majority of the Illinois House plus a 3/5 majority of the Illinois Senate.
The Illinois General Assembly's veto session starts on October 24 when the ERA may come to the House floor for a vote.
WHY IT MATTERS:
The Illinois Constitution has an equal rights clause: "The equal protection of the laws shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex by the State or its units of local government and school districts." (Article I, Section 18)
That clause does not apply to the U.S. government or to other states as the ERA would if it were part of the U.S. Constitution.
LWVUS has known that the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause may not be interpreted to apply regardless of sex. Therefore, LWVUS has consistently supported ratification since 1972 by its position: "The LWVUS supports equal rights for all regardless of sex."