Oregon voters will get to decide whether to grant equal rights to women this fall. If that sounds like a blast from the past, it’s because the proposed amendment to the state constitution is nearly identical to the version that failed nationally in the 1970s.
You have to go all the way back to the 1920s to find the origins of the Equal Rights Amendment. After women got the right to vote, suffragists worked to ban all types of discrimination based on sex. The effort almost succeeded in the ‘70s but fell three states short of amending the U.S. Constitution.
Now, Oregon voters will have the chance to approve a state version of the ERA.
Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo is leading the effort to get it passed this fall. She said, “This is not a new concept. It’s just too bad that we’re still dealing with it in 2014.”
The campaign is unlikely to face organized opposition. But the ACLU of Oregon calls the effort “purely symbolic.” The civil rights group says it supports a federal ERA but that Oregon’s Constitution already provides protection for women at the state level.