A cross-country trip brings a California woman to Springfield. The cause: the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s time, says Helene Swanson. “The Supreme Court justices ruled that a class action on sex discrimination could not take place, and now, when men file lawsuits for sexual discrimination, that’s being cited as primary authority to dismiss them,” she said.
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Swanson’s crusade is in honor of her late mother-in-law, one of the “Philadelphia Eleven” – the first women ordained as Episcopal priests. Rev. Martin Wolf, of the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Springfield, says it’s not a women’s issue – it’s a human issue. “There are many people of faith that support and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people,” Wolf says. “That's why I'm here today.” An Illinois proposal for the ERA has not been called in committee.