Let’s get it done, Illinois.

CNOW’s Niki Fritz has written a new piece for RedEye Chicago highlighting the new strides for the ERA. An excerpt:

“On Thursday, Illinois took the first step toward righting a past wrong when the Senate voted to pass the amendment. The ERA is waiting on the House floor, and a vote is expected Wednesday.

Some, including members of the state Senate, believe the ERA and equality for women are “old news.” In the three decades since Melissa Fadeley first fought for the ERA, the U.S. Congress has passed numerous laws to protect women, particularly in regard to salary, reproductive rights and education. But none of these laws changes the fact that the U.S. Constitution does not officially protect all citizens regardless of gender the same way it guards against discrimination based on race and religion.

As a past board member of the Chicago NOW chapter, I’ve marched with Michelle Fadeley and other young feminists for everything from abortion rights to protesting Wal-Mart. I know the ERA is not a panacea for gender inequality. But I also know it is time for the U.S. constitution to reflect the reality of American’s values, values which say all men and women, regardless of race or religion, should be treated equally.

This isn’t a simple process. The ERA must be ratified in at least two more states before it can go back to Congress, which will decide if the 1982 deadline is valid. There are many years of legal and political struggle ahead. But Illinois can be the beginning of reinvigorating this conversation about what it means to be an American.
Read more at http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/redeye-equal-rights-amendment-20140527,0,1784562.column#XhoohefiysRJx71w.99

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