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Hate Group Lobbies Against ERA With B-N Robocalls

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks neo-Nazi, racist, and Christian identity groups on a nationwide hate map documenting known headquarters of various groups.

The revival of a decades dormant campaign to pass the Equal Rights Amendment is drawing an opposition campaign from what some call a hate group.
The Illinois Family Institute has been placing robocalls to Bloomington-Normal area residents asking them to write state lawmakers Dan Brady and Jason Barickman.

"Don't be fooled: The Equal Rights Amendment is not about equal pay for equal work. This radical anti-woman amendment will require taxpayers to fund more abortions. It will require young women to register for the military draft. It will increase car insurance premiums for women. The ERA will force women to use coed restrooms and locker rooms. It will impact child support as well as Social Security benefits for widows. The Equal Rights Amendment is all war on women," said one recording.

Those claims are false.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Illinois Family Institute as a hate group usually focusing on anti-LGBTQ issues. The SPLC says the IFI has identified headquarters in Peoria and Carol Stream.

Supporters of the ERA revival campaign are also urging their members to call lawmakers to counter the IFI robocall.

Two more states need to ratify the amendment before it could take effect.

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version to correct the name of the author. An incorrect name was listed initially due to a technical error.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.