Here’s Althoff’s answer:
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Equal Rights Amendment or ERA as it is commonly referenced. I always appreciate hearing comments and concerns from my constituents.
ERA proposals have been circulating in the state of Illinois since, well, since I was in college back in 1972. Since that time misinformation, misconceptions and untruths have become the accepted “norm”. According to some of the finest legal minds in the nation ERA alone would not legalize same sex marriage, require women to register for the Selective Service or cause many of the other untruths that have come to be associated with it. Additionally, the ERA will not cause a wife or widow to lose their social security benefits. Existing federal law prohibits this possibility.
While I understand your concerns I respectfully request you continue to research the ERA proposal and its implications.
If you have any other questions, or need further guidance as to where to turn to obtain more information, please do not hesitate to call my office at 815/455-6330 or email at email@example.com.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
Senator Pamela J. Althoff
Back in the 1970’s I read the equal rights language in the Illinois State Constitution and compared it with the words in the federal Equal Rights Amendment. I could not see a substantive difference.
I sent a survey to every registered household in my five-county legislative district about ERA. A majority supported it, leading to my “Yes” vote.
Subsequently, I figured out that there was an implementation clause. It says that Federal judges will interpret the constitutional amendment.
With my distrust of the federal government, including the judicial system, I have no idea how I could have missed this “little” thing.
I would respectfully suggest that neither Senator Althoff nor I really have any idea what rulings federal judges will rule should the Equal Rights Amendment be ratified and become part of the United States Constitution.
We surely know some state judges have handed down some really flaky rulings, e.g., forcing homosexual and lesbian “marriage” in Massachusetts.