The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to ratify Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee in the U.S. Constitution that rights can’t be denied because of a person’s sex, an effort supporters say has renewed importance amid of the #MeToo movement that has put a spotlight on women’s issues.
The measure passed on a vote of 43-12, with no debate.
The vote on Wednesday comes about 36 years after the amendment appeared to die after just 35 states passed it by the 1982 deadline. That was three states short of what was needed. Advocates have since pushed for the so-called “three state solution,” contending Congress can extend the deadline and the amendment should go into effect if three additional states vote in favor.
Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the ERA in 2017. In Illinois, the House and Senate have both voted in favor of the measure in the past, but it has yet to clear both chambers in the same year.
Supporters say they believe this is the year Illinois will approve the amendment, saying controversies over sexual harassment in the workplace are driving the latest push for women’s rights, as evidenced by rallies and marches across the nation.