The 28th Amendment of the United States Constitution — the Equal Rights Amendment — passed both houses of the Illinois legislature last week as Illinois becomes the 37th of 38 states needed for the amendment’s ratification.

Several area legislators were co-sponsors of the landmark legislation. Although the constitutional amendment was adopted by lopsided votes of 72 to 45 in the Illinois House and 43 to 12 in the Illinois Senate, several legislators and groups representing Chicago’s Northwest suburbs opposed the measure. Local legislators voting against the amendment were Michael McAuliffe (R-20th) and Tom Morrison (R-54th).

During debate on the House floor, Morrison said state laws currently provide “female-friendly provisions that could be wiped away if the ERA were fully enacted.”

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