I want to thank and commend Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, for his public statements of support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which is under consideration for ratification by the Illinois General Assembly. Many myths and misconceptions were associated with the ERA in the past decades, leading to its defeat decades ago and giving the Land of Lincoln a failing grade in matters of equality.

Fortunately, society changes and people’s attitudes do as well. For example, according to Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Illinois Catholic Conference, the ICC will not oppose the ERA, as it has in the past, recognizing the ERA, I believe, as a principle of simple justice having economic benefits that strengthen families.

Passage of the ERA requires a bipartisan effort. As the wife of retired Sen. John Maitland, I’ve been around politics many years. I understand that bipartisanship brings greater strength and acceptance to the process of governing and the consent of the governed. Perhaps we in Illinois can show how bipartisanship at the local and state level can be a catalyst for our nation.

Now is the time for Illinois to ratify the ERA. Thank you, Rep. Brady, for paving the way and being the spark for change. Other state legislators outside our county who are members of his and my political party are now signaling support. I encourage McLean County voters to urge Sen. Jason Barickman and Sen. Bill Brady and Rep.Keith Sommer and Rep. Bill Mitchell to vote yes for the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Joanne Maitland, Bloomington

The writer is honorary chair, ERA Illinois Coalition of Bloomington-Normal.

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