VIRGINIA RATIFIES the ERA!
On January 27th, both the chambers of the Virginia state legislature voted “yes” on House Joint Resolution 1 (by a vote of 59-40) and its sister bill, SJ1 (by a vote of 28-12), formally ratifying the ERA.
And with that, we’ve reached the Constitution’s required three-quarters of the state ratifying the amendment for certification.
The ERA declares simply: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state, on account of sex.”
A collection of statements on the ratification:
Jessica Neuwirth and Carol Jenkins, co-presidents of the national ERA Coalition told CNN Politics: “We are finally within reach of true equality for girls and women in the United States, thanks to the voters of Virginia and supporters across the country.”
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and former president of the National Organization for Women writes “At last! At last!” She says “I have had the privilege of being one of the leaders in the ERA fight for nearly 50 years. I always knew this day would come. It has never been a question of if, but only a question of when the ERA would be ratified. The fight for the ERA has been long because we’ve had a powerful entrenched opposition who has wanted to preserve the old order of women being forced to work twice as hard for half as much and paying more for less. But this time of taking advantage of women and their families is coming to an end.”
From Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for women: “Today’s crossover vote makes Virginia officially the 38th state needed to ratify the ERA—passing the three-fourths of the states threshold the U.S. Constitution requires for final adoption of an amendment. However,
Equal Means Equal film director, Kamala Lopez, wrote: “This moment has been a long time coming, but finally the United States can emerge from the shame and shadow of its historic discrimination against women and girls and join the 21st century by providing all Americans with equal rights and protections under our Constitution regardless of sex.”
Now the focus turns to the lawsuit filed by Equal Means Equal January 8th in U.S. District Court in Boston to prevent a government official from blocking efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, arguing that the Congressionally imposed ERA ratification deadline is unconstitutional.
In addition to this lawsuit, the ERA-NC Alliance will keep the drumbeat going for the ERA. That means we will continue to work for state ratification – and here in North Carolina we’re determined to be the 39th state to ratify the ERA. With each additional state ratification, we will show that it is the will of the American people to see women equally protected under the United States Constitution.
On the federal level, we are working to lift that pesky deadline by Congressional action, and during the week of Feb. 10th the U.S. House will take up the bill (HJ79) to eliminate the time limit on the amendment. The U.S. Senate has a sister bill (SJ6), which is a bi-partisan bill with 41 co-sponsors.
We invite you to join the ERA-NC Alliance and to volunteer your time and yes – your dollars! – to help us make North Carolina the next state to ratify. We will win!!!
Our Lead Organizations
American Association of University Women – NC
Democratic Women of NC
League of Women Voters NC
NC Business and Professional Women
NC National Organization for Women
NC Women in NAACP
NC Women United
Ratify ERA NC
Women’s Forum of NC
YWCA of Asheville