The Illinois House voted on Wednesday to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, following approval last month in the state Senate. The state is now the 37th to do so, following Nevada in 2017. What this means is that we’re now one state away from maybe enshrining women’s equal rights in the United States Constitution, a mere….. 231 years after the document was first ratified. Hey alright, ladies!
The ERA—which declares, rather simply, that the “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”—was originally proposed in 1921, approved by the House of Representatives in 1971, and then by the Senate in 1972. Congress then sent it to the states for ratification, and set a deadline for a vote: June 30, 1982, which was 36 years ago. This means that, should another state ratify it, Congress would need to remove the deadline in order for it to become the 28th amendment. Given that Congress is full of misogynists, I can see that being a real fight!