Illinois Democrat wants to revive Equal Rights Amendment debate just in time for fall elections
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Americans of a certain age must think they’re living through the 1970s all over again, with a chronically weak economy, rising energy prices, an impotent foreign policy, and amateurish leadership from the White House.
One individual stuck the in the time warp is Illinois state Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat who is attempting to revive the ‘70s-era debate over the Equal Rights Amendment.
The amendment – which states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex” – passed Congress in 1972 but failed to win approval in the 38 states required for altering the Constitution. (The amendment passed in 35 states.)
But that’s not stopping Steans.
SunTimes.com reports the legislator “has sponsored a resolution that would require approval from both the state Senate and House to make Illinois the 36th state to ratify the amendment.”
Steans’ resolution will receive a hearing by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.
There’s a theory among feminist groups that even though Congress’ ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment has been expired for 32 years, “passage (of the amendment) in Illinois could persuade Congress to remove its ratification deadlines and give the overall movement a shot in the arm,” SunTimes.com reports.
“Supporters of the amendment are now pushing a ‘three state solution,’ arguing the 1982 deadline should not apply. If three more states pass it, the supporters will try to make the case that there is no need for the U.S. Congress to start the amendment process over.”
Getting Illinois to pass the amendment would revive debate about the ERA, which would open up another front in the fictitious “war on women” that’s being sold to Americans by Obama and the Democrats.
“My hope in passing the ERA is to rectify an historical wrong and serve as a symbol of the ongoing fight for women’s rights and equality,” Steans told SunTimes.com. “While Illinois has taken a strong place in the fight for marriage equality, history still regards Illinois as the place where ratification of the ERA was stopped. We clearly need to guarantee critical rights like equal pay and reproductive freedom, however.”
The Equal Rights Amendment (or ERA as it is widely known) died in the states because Americans had questioned the wisdom of creating a gender-neutral society.
Conservative writer Phyllis Schlafly, whose Stop ERA campaign was central to defeating the amendment, wrote in a 2007 op-ed that the “righteous” sounding amendment would have caused domestic upheaval that would have ultimately hurt women:
“The amendment would require women to be drafted into military combat any time men were conscripted, abolish the presumption that the husband should support his wife and take away Social Security benefits for wives and widows. It would also give federal courts and the federal government enormous new powers to reinterpret every law that makes a distinction based on gender, such as those related to marriage, divorce and alimony.”
Steans admits to SunTimes.com that passing the ERA in Illinois is “no guarantee” the ratification process from the 1970s and early ‘80s “can be revived.” But she’ll settle for bringing the issue up for a vote so as to make equal rights for women an issue in the fall election.
It’s all an obvious attempt to distract voters from the Left’s disastrous economic record – which is especially noticeable in the Land of Lincoln. But given that we have a corrupt mainstream media and an ignorant electorate, Steans’ plan just might work.