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Group Gathers Signatures For Oregon Equal Rights Amendment

Photo from Alice Paul Institute -Alice's house in NJ.

Supporters are gathering signatures to put an Equal Rights Amendment against gender discrimination on the Oregon Ballot in November 2014.

The federal government has failed to pass an Equal Rights Amendment, but 22 states have the ERA in their constitutions. Leann Litrell DiLorenzo heads the ERA-Oregon campaign. She says women's equality isn't protected in the state's constitution. It's been up to the courts to preserve it.

DiLorenzo: "Why should women, being actually a majority of the Oregon population be vulnerable to case law? Why wouldn’t women want to have express equality in the Oregon constitution? The only way to do it is to amend it, to put the words in there."

The Oregon American Civil Liberties Union has opposed earlier versions of a state Equal Rights Amendment on the grounds that a state Supreme Court decision already contains strong equal rights provisions. The Oregon ERA campaign must gather nearly 117 thousand signatures by July 2014 in order to qualify for the November ballot.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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