Oregon became the 23rd state to guarantee gender equality in its constitution when the Equal Rights Amendment passed last week with two-thirds of the state’s voters in support.
Though the measure was not formally opposed during the campaign season, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon would not endorse the measure because equal rights are already protected by the state Constitution.
“We are wary about generating amendments to the constitution that don’t mean anything,” ACLU of Oregon’s legislative director Becky Strauss said. “The current provisions of the Oregon Constitution provide for the equal treatment under the law of everyone. Hard stop.”
Forty-seven-year-old mother Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, however, argued that Oregon needed this measure to solidify the rights of everyone in the state. She said “changing Oregon’s law would help toward her ultimate goal of getting the U.S. Constitution changed.”
“You’re establishing a legal pathway for people to be protected against discrimination,” DiLorenzo said. She and her husband lobbyist John DiLorenzo spent over $250,000 on a a campaign for the measure.
After Measure 89 passed, DiLorenzo had a few words of relief.
“Thank God!” she wrote.