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  1. The ERA is not about equal rights for women. If it were, it would duplicate the 14th Amendment.
    Section II of the ERA states that “The Congress shall have the power to enforce by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article.” This would give enormous new powers to the Federal Government that now belong to the states in areas of law which include traditional differences of treatment “on account of sex”: marriage, property laws, divorce and alimony, child custody, adoptions, abortion, sex crimes, private and public schools, prison regulations, and insurance, just to name a few.
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is her report titled Sex Bias in the U.S. Code, claims the ERA will affect at least 800 federal laws. Thus, there is virtually no limit to the number and kind of lawsuits that ERA will spawn.
    Previous Illinois lawmakers understood the true intention of the ERA and voted it down 13 times from 1972 to 1982. Every time it has been presented in Illinois General Assembly committees since 1982, it was stopped. Five states rescinded their passage of ERA: Nebraska – 1973, Tennessee – 1974, Idaho – 1977, Kentucky – 1978, South Dakota – 1979.
    Congress granted an extension to 1982 which was ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court in 1981 and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 4, 1982, the Court dismissed it as moot, stating, “The amendment has failed of adoption no matter what the resolution of the legal issues presented here.” Additionally, no states passed ERA during the time extension.
    Women already have equal rights under the law. The ERA is not only not necessary, but will spawn unintended, draconian outcomes that even its proponents would abhor. It should not pass.

  2. ERA Would Have Harmful Consequences!

    Mandatory coed prisons. Boys playing on girls’ sports teams. Lawsuits against churches. Taxpayer-funded abortion. The end of laws protecting pregnant women in the workplace. These are just a few of the harmful consequences if Illinois passed ERA and became part of the U.S. Constitution.

    In the Letter to the Editor by Michele H. Thorne (Apr. 27), she praised the Pregnancy Discrimination Act without mentioning that ERA would invalidate it, because it protects women and not men. She then omits any mention of how ERA would require allowing boys to play on girls’ softball and field hockey teams, and thereby ruin girls’ sports in school. Young men would be badly hurt by ERA, too, as football scholarships would become unconstitutional under ERA.

    Coed prisons, at enormous taxpayer expense and endless problems, would become mandatory under ERA. This does not benefit women, or men. Churches, such as the Catholic Church, which have some different roles for men and women, would be bankrupted by litigation under ERA. And, contrary to what Ms. Thorne says, taxpayer-funded abortion would become mandatory, because ERA is broader than the state version we have had in Illinois. Other states have required this based on their ERA-like laws.

    ERA would transfer most power over family law from Illinois to the federal government. Do we want Congress passing laws about alimony, child custody, and visitation rights? No, we don’t. Illinois should reject ERA for the many harmful consequences that it would cause.

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