While Donald Trump and his GOP enablers have unleashed toxic political forces ranging from emboldened white nationalists to hyper-misogynist “incels” hell-bent on legalizing rape, there has also been a fruitful backlash on behalf of equality and social justice.
Illinois has narrowly ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, becoming the 37th state to do so. Section 1 of the amendment reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Congress passed the amendment 46 years ago with bipartisan support. Decades of culture wars, however, have sank the hopes of women across the country to attain federally recognized equality. That is, until now.
Nevada passed the amendment last year, paving the way for Illinois to bring the nation within striking distance of the amendment’s inclusion in the U.S. constitution. The last state to ratify the amendment was Indiana in 1977.
There is debate about whether or not a key deadline written into the original amendment could prevent its federal ratification even with 38 states on board, but historical precedent appears to be on the side of the amendment’s supporters.