It is highly likely the Virginia Legislature will finally become the 38th state (and final one needed) to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The November election of 2019 gave the state of Virginia a Democrat Majority in the house, the senate, and in the governor’s mansion. That hat trick gives Virginia an opportunity to finally become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, guaranteeing constitutional equality to women of the United States. Note to red voters, maybe it’s time to go blue!
Well, on January 8th, the all blue new government convenes. Guess what the number 1 Senate Bill of the year is? THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT! For almost 100 years women have fought propaganda, scaremongering, and misogyny to guarantee constitutional equality for women. And, we are on the cusp of it. THANK YOU VIRGINIA!
It should be a happy time for all! Except, it won’t be.
The chains that bind are strong, and we have a couple of links that have not yet broken.
Here’s the problems:
The Original Deadline
There was an original deadline set for getting 38 states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment that expired in 1982. Many amendments never required a deadline, and there is precedent for overriding a deadline, but deadline there is. In order to extend the deadline, the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and the President of the United States would all need to approve it. The house has already done so. I don’t see Donald Trump as being an advocate for women’s equality, and I don’t see the US Senate, currently run by Republicans approving it. It’s just not going to happen. We will have to vote blue in our November Elections and take back all 3 branches of government to make it happen.
A Fresh Lawsuit – Thanks Alabama, Louisiana, & South Dakota! (not)
Meanwhile, the people that are against equality, (and surprisingly it’s not all men) see what’s getting ready to happen in Virginia and wanted to make sure women were not considered equal. Three states, Alabama, Louisiana, and South Dakota, filed a lawsuit in federal court in middle December to ensure the archivist does not ratify the amendment. Alabama and Louisiana never ratified the amendment to begin with. South Dakota did, then took it back later. Can you do that? We’ll have to see.
Here’s a picture of the states who have not yet approved the Equal Rights Amendment.
Are you surprised where they are located? Virginia is trying to shed their image as being part of the South who has consistently been at the tailend of progress. Can you say Civil War?
Louisiana and Alabama just continue to embarass themselves.
South Dakota? Well after what happened with the Dakota Water Access Pipeline at Standing Rock it’s pretty clear that their state government got cold and bitter up there, and now they want to keep women down along with Indigenous Peoples.
Lots of rigamarole to simply get our constitution to say that women and men are considered equal in the United States.
Pretty frigging sad huh?
So, our fight for equality continues. Progress comes in baby steps. Our fight is not over, but let that not damper our joy when Virginia becomes the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment this January. Let us let it fuel our fire to finally get the job done.
Curious about what all the fuss is about? Here are the words to the Equal Rights Amendment
“Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
“Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
“Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Why wouldn’t our nation want to codify that into our constitution? Chew on that for a while, then get involved to make it happen.
Need to learn more? Go here.
Want to track the progress and read about the bill? Here’s the page for the Virginia State Legislature.
Want to call your senator to get them to extend the deadline? 202 224 3121 will connect you to any senator from any state.
Want to reach out to Donald Trump? I wouldn’t waste my time. So, how about instead you tell people and encourage them to #voteblue. Seems like a smarter option.
For up to the minute updates, follow @VAratifyERA on twitter.