SPRINGFIELD - For over 40 years, Illinois has been at the center of an effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling 20 years ago that the effort was dead, State Rep Lou Lang (D-Chicago) has consistently re-introduced the amendment session after session. Once again, Lang has introduced HJRCA 7, this year with the help of State Reps Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) and Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign).
As in the 1970s, the women's conservative organization Eagle Forum is leading an effort once again to stop the constitutional amendment from passing in Illinois. The group's legislative liason, Sharee Langenstein of Jackson County, is speaking with members of the House Judiciary Committee before Lang's HJRCA-7 is scheduled for hearing Wednesday, March 6th at 8:00 AM.
"When I was a kid in the 70's, some women thought we needed a Constitutional Amendment to guarantee equal rights for women," Langenstein said. "However, my hero Phyllis Schlafly proved to the world that the ERA would decrease women's rights, not increase them."
Against all odds, Schlafly and other women fought the ERA, Langenstein said. One of their ways of getting the attention of Illinois legislators was to bring them loaves of home-baked bread.
This week, Eagle Forum had several volunteers revived the tradition and made 118 loaves of home-baked bread to House members with a message "Preserve the Heart and Hearth of the Home. Vote NO on ERA" attached.
Wauconda resident Danielle Rowe headed the baking project with assistance from her 13 year old niece Kayla and Kayla's mother Dana Rowe (Kayla is pictured). Volunteers distributed the loaves at the Capitol.