Virginia Votes Down ERA Again


Ghazal Hami, staff writer

ERA also known as the Equal Rights Amendments is an offered amendment to the United States to treat everyone equally regardless of their sex. This means to end all distinction between men and women phase of employment, property, divorce, and other stuff.

The Equal Rights Amendments was passed by Congress 47 years ago. On March 22, 1972, it was sent to states to be ratified. Thirty-eight out of fifty states needed to ratify for it to be added to the constitution. The deadline was March 1972 but was extended to June 1982, but only 35 out of 50 states ratified the amendment.

The 15 states that did not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment before the 1982 deadline were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Five states tried to rescind their ratifications. Those states were Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Tennessee. The request to revoke their vote was not accepted, however, because according to precedent and statutory language, a state revocation ratification of a constitutional amendment is not accepted as valid.

Phyllis Schlafly was an American writer and lawyer who was in opposed to women’s movement and especially to ERA. She gave speeches about how much of a bad idea it was and scared people. She succeeded in making ERA not a constitution.

“Feminism is doomed to failures,” said Schlafly, “because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature”.

Virginia still hasn’t ratified it. Nevada ratified in 2017 and Illinois ratified in 2018. Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify and ERA would become a constitution.

A poll was taken on December showed that 81% of Virginia supported the ERA and only 12% are opposed if it. Proponents had high hopes about Virginia ratifying.

On Jan 15  the VAratifyERA posted a picture of ratification results on twitter. The results were 26-14. Nineteen Democrats and seven Republicans approved of it to ratify on Senate. It was then being sent to the House of Delegates. The Virginia  Senate has approved of the ERA four times, but it has never passed Virginia’s house or even left its Privileges and Elections committee.

On Tuesday (Jan, 22) the results came out that ERA hasn’t come out of the states’ house of Delegates of Virginia. A subcommittee for Republicans voted down the ERA. Delegates Margaret B. Ransone, Riley E.Ingram, Hyland F. (Buddy) Fowler Jr., and John J. McGuire III  voted to pass by the bill indefinitely. Delegates Mark D. Sickles and Schuyler T. VanValkenburg voted against the measure to pass by the bill.

“This resolution has come after this committee year after year, meaning we are very aware of this resolution and it’s a thoroughly understood issue,” Ransone said. “I don’t need words on a piece of paper — God made us all equal.”

On Friday(Jan 25) another version of gender-equality measure got voted down. Proponents had hoped that there was a chance after the defeat on Tuesday.