ERA Yes!

ERA Yes!

Virginia officially became the 38th State to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates voted to ratify the amendment on January 15th 2020. In order for an amendment to become a law, it must garner ratification by at least three fourths of state legislature according to the U.S constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment created to ensure equal legal rights for all citizens irregardless of sex. The amendment would make no legal divisions between sexes regarding property rights, employment, and further matters such as divorce. 

The original amendment was constructed by Alice Paul and fellow members of the National Womens Party in 1923. The Party was formed to push for women’s suffrage and continued to raise awareness for equal rights after the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. The ERA failed to get much support for the following decades until Michigan Congresswoman Martha Griffiths pushed for the Acts enforcement by the Equal Opportunity Commission in the 1950s. 

Griffiths proposed the ERA on the house floor every year since then but she was met without success until 1970. Using a discharge petition, she forced the amendment out of committee and it was passed by the House of Representatives in 1971 and by the Senate in 1972. Congress set a deadline of 1982 for three fourths of state legislature to ratify the ERA.

That deadline is past due so it unclear whether or not ERA will be added to the constitution. In the future Congress could vote to terminate the deadline. Now that ERA has three fourths of legislative support and public interest has been renewed, the amendment being ratified on national level is a possibility.