Illinois on Wednesday became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, putting the country only one state away from a landmark change to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women.
The historic passage was nearly half a century in the making, and came 38 years after supporters staged hunger strikes and floor sit-ins in a futile attempt to persuade the Illinois Legislature to OK the proposal by what was a congressionally set deadline.
The Illinois House approved the amendment 72-45 Wednesday. The Senate approved it 43-12 in April.
Rep. Lou Lang, the Skokie Democrat who sponsored the proposal, called the vote a historic moment for lawmakers...