Landmark court rulings, laws and constitutional amendments have given women the right to vote, to make decisions about their reproductive health and, to some degree, to receive equal pay for equal work. But women are not guaranteed equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. That’s why, for decades, women’s rights advocates across the country have supported an Equal Rights Amendment.
Nearly 50 years ago, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, barring sex discrimination. But 38 states had to ratify it before it could take effect. Earlier this year, Illinois became state No. 37, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is campaigning to make Virginia the final, historic vote.
For the past 10 days, those lawmakers have traveled the state on a bus tour, trying to grow enthusiasm for the amendment. And they will need a lot of it. Last session, a group of primarily Democratic lawmakers tried to ratify the amendment, but it didn’t even make it to the floor for a vote. Today, there seems to be Republican support and more energy around the ratification than before.
“When we talk about things such as equal pay for equal work, ending sex discrimination, what we are talking about is giving those things teeth,” says Virginia Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, a Democrat.
Foy says laws can change and court rulings can be reversed, so she’s sponsoring a bill to make Virginia the 38th, and final, state…
…Foy’s co-sponsor is state Sen. Glen Sturtevant, a Republican.
“We are the birthplace of the Bill of Rights, but we need to continue to make sure that we include this fundamental American value, which is equality of everyone before the law in the U.S. Constitution,” He said Sunday as he wrapped up the ERA campaign’s 10-day statewide bus tour. (Continued)