Woman Power! We did it!

Incredible day today in the Virginia General Assembly where the House voted 58-40 and the Senate voted 27-12, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment! 

The ERA Coalition issued a statement congratulating the Chamber on the Historic vote!

For immediate release

(Jan 27, 2020) Richmond, VA -- Today Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA has now fulfilled the requirements of Article V of the Constitution to become an amendment. It is a momentous day for America, more than two hundred years after women were intentionally left out of the Constitution and exactly one hundred years after women achieved the right to vote through the 19 th Amendment. The ERA Coalition welcomes this historic breakthrough for women.

We are also pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives has announced a vote to remove any time limit on ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to take place during the week of February 10, 2020. The time limit is not part of the amendment itself and therefore does not impact ratification. Nevertheless, Congress voted to extend the time limit in 1979 so it can vote on the time limit again, this time to remove it, which would remove any question about the validity of the amendment.

The ERA Coalition was established six years ago when the last state to ratify had been in 1979, over forty years ago. The states have now spoken. According to an ERA Coalition poll, 94% of Americans support constitutional equality. Now all Americans will be protected by the Constitution from discrimination based on sex.

For more information about the Equal Rights Amendment and ERA Coalition, please visit our website.

ABOUT THE ERA COALITION:

The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. Comprised of nearly one hundred organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality. The ERA Coalition’s groundbreaking research indicates that more than 94% of all Americans want an Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Press Contact: Marianne Stack 804-405-1678  mstack@eracoalition.org

From L. to R.
Jessica Neuwirth, Carol Jenkins, Bettina Hager

From L. to R.
Carol Jenkins, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Jessica Neuwirth

Members of the ERA Coalition with Del. Hala Ayala, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Sen. Louise Lucas, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn


Immediate support came from the House of Representatives where a full floor vote will take place the week of February 10th.

The proceedings were under the direction of the Speaker of the House, the first woman speaker in the Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn:

"At last, women have a place in the Constitution of the United States. The Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified!"

Read Del. Eileen Filler-Corn's full statement here.

Chief Patron of the ERA in the House, Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy stated:

"After both chambers of the General Assembly voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and a few other procedural votes, Virginia is the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA. I’ve been honored and humbled to sponsor the ERA for the last two legislative sessions..."

Sen. Jennifer McClellan tweeted "Virginia is now the #38thState to ratify the #ERA#ItsOurTime"

And Bipartisan support from Congress:

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) released the following joint statement in response to Virginia’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):

“Virginia’s historic vote to be the critical 38th state needed to ratify the ERA echoes the resounding call for an America free from sex discrimination. Recently, DOJ released a nonbinding legal opinion claiming that states can no longer ratify the ERA – apparently forgetting that Article V of the Constitution unequivocally leaves the power to amend the Constitution with Congress and the States. DOJ also conveniently overlooks the fact that Congress has set and changed deadlines for constitutional amendments,” the Representatives said. “Virginia’s vote and the outpouring of support from Americans – men and women – across the country have shown that it is finally time to affirm women’s equality in our Constitution and that there is no timeline or expiration date when it comes to achieving it. For survivors of sexual violence, pregnancy discrimination, unequal pay, and more, the fight for equal justice under the law can’t wait any longer. We call upon the Archivist to act swiftly to certify the ERA and for Congress to pass H.J.Res.79 to eliminate any legal ambiguities by striking the deadline for ratification.”

You can read the full statement here.

As well, the ERA Coalition was quoted in two stories about the vote today, in the Washington Post, and AP News. And an Op-Ed on the ERA in the Washington Post.

We'll have a fuller report tomorrow, but just wanted you to have the great news!

In solidarity and Onward!

Carol Jenkins
Co-President and CEO
ERA Coalition


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