Moving toward inclusive language in Illinois

Partner update curated by AJ Conroy, blog post written by Aryana Goodarzi

Per Section 3 of the Equal Rights Amendment, women are equal under constitutional law as of January 27th, 2022 and State Senator Melinda Bush of Illinois is leading the way to have her state get in line with the ERA. Bush and other leaders in Illinois have asked the General Assembly’s research office for an audit of state statutes, identifying any sexed wording in the law.

Senator Bush was heartened to see that as statutes were modernized over time, the General Assembly adopted inclusive language. For example, using neutral language like “applicant” or “doctor” instead of defaulting to male pronouns. Further, where there are distinctions based on sex, the statute seeks to address equity concerns in research and procurement, or to comply with a federal program. The full report was 1,872 pages.

“All states need to correct the shameful failure of our Constitution to ensure women are explicitly protected against discrimination,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “Women deserve the same legal protections as men.”

You can learn more about the effort toward ERA compliance in the Illinois Democrats press release here.

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