Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's civil rights organization for LGBTQ people:
As the General Assembly returns to Springfield this week and as citizen advocates plan to engage legislators on Tuesday for ERA Lobby Day, Equality Illinois proudly supports the federal Equal Rights Amendment and urges state legislators to promptly ratify it.
It's beyond time for Illinois to join the 36 other states that have ratified the amendment and for it to become part of the U.S. Constitution. The Illinois Constitution already prohibits discrimination in this state on the basis of sex, and it is high-time that the governing charter of the nation also includes such protections. Final ratification of the federal ERA would advance justice across the country for female-identified individuals, especially in those states that do not have state-level constitutional or statutory protections against discrimination on the basis of sex. Additionally, the ERA would protect the women from Illinois who travel or work in states that do not have such protections.
Ratifying the ERA upholds and extends the most cherished values of the Land of Lincoln: justice, fairness, equality of opportunity, and the freedom to be yourself without burden.
Equality Illinois applauds the longtime advocacy efforts of Sen. Heather Steans, Rep. Lou Lang, and our partners at ERA Illinois, ACLU of Illinois, Illinois NOW, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, and countless citizen advocates who have stayed the course through decades of advances and set-backs. Through their determination and persistence, they are building a better Illinois for all people, including women and LGBTQ people.
To the Illinois General Assembly, we say: let's do this.