Illinois Becomes 37th State To Ratify Equal Rights Amendment | WGLT

Illinois Becomes 37th State To Ratify Equal Rights Amendment

May 30, 2018

The House voted Wednesday to make Illinois the 37th state to ratify the 1972 federal Equal Rights Amendment.

The vote was 72-45 in favor. State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, voted in favor of the ratification Wednesday and spoke during the two-hour-plus floor debate. State Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Morton, voted against the resolution (SJRCA 4).

Brady referenced his own faith before the vote, saying "all individuals are made in the image and likeness of God ... this includes both men and women."

"I am a pro-life representative with a strong pro-life voting record," he said. "After this vote is done, I will continue to be a strong pro-life representative with a strong pro-life voting record."

The Equal Rights Amendment, commonly referred to as the ERA, aims to end the legal distinction between men and women, something supporters say would enhance equality when it comes to issues like equal pay. Congress approved it in 1972, and then it went to the states for ratification. Thirty-eight states had to approve it by 1982, a deadline set by Congress. It fell short by three.

Nevada voted for ratification in 2017. Following earlier passage in the Illinois Senate, the vote puts the ERA one state away from possible enshrinement in the U.S. Constitution amid potential legal questions.

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