News show host challenges key states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver. Lloyd Bishop, HBO.

John Oliver wants to know which state will help push the Equal Rights Amendment across the finish line.

The Last Week Tonight host started his long report on Sunday night's show saying the last few years have been hard for women. He cited new state efforts to restrict abortion and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who he said had "resting beer face."

The good news, Oliver said, is that Equal Rights Amendment, a long-proposed addition to the United States Constitution that would ensure equal rights to all Americans regardless of sex, is "tantalizingly close" to becoming a reality. The ERA has been languishing in Congress since 1923. After decades of debate, it was passed by both the House and Senate in 1972. But as an amendment to the Constitution, a minimum of 38 states have to sign off for it to be enacted.

Now, the ERA needs only one more state.

"We're just one [state] away," Oliver said. "The fact is, though, we have never been closer to the ERA being enshrined in our constitution."

At the end of his roughly 15-minute report, Oliver asked the 13 states that haven't ratified the Equal Rights Amendment if they would now step up and get it across the threshold.

"Could it be you, Oklahoma?" Oliver asked. "You could be known for something other than tornadoes and musicals about how great morning is, which it isn't by the way. It never is. It's just like night but unpleasantly brighter."

Oliver then asked if it could be Alabama or Virginia.

"Alabama! It definitely won't be you," Oliver said.

Oliver concluded by saying that any of these 13 states could be the one that helps bring the ERA to the United States.

"It's not everyday you get a chance like this," he said. "All I can say is, somebody please do it before Florida because I don't not want to give them credit for this."

By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business. The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

The Gayly – June 11, 2019 @ 11 a.m. CDT.