Equal Rights

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Only one more state is needed to pass the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment – this state could be Virginia!

The Equal Rights Amendment will provide that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

The ERA has been ratified by 37 of 38 states required for full ratification, most recently by Illinois in June, 2018.  That’s right, now that Nevada and Illinois have ratified, only one more state is needed.

But what about the deadline – and didn’t some states try to undo their ratifications? Although the ERA was accompanied by a deadline for ratification, legal scholars have concluded Congress can extend, remove, or ignore it, and ignore state rescissions as was done for the Fourteenth Amendment.  Virginia’s Attorney General released an opinion confirming this could be the case. Most likely the Supreme Court will decide after we get all the ratifications.

Do we really need it? The U.S. now has equal pay statutes and more protections against discrimination than it used to…  Statutes can be overturned or amended – and often are. The ERA would be more permanent in protecting all of us from unjust government discrimination on account of sex.

What can we do to help?  Sign up for a group such as the Virginia Equal Rights Coalition. Write letters to the editor or to members of the Virginia state legislature. And spread the word about the ERA. Tell everyone you know.  Together, we can make a difference!