EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT REPORTS FROM SENATE COMMITTEE; WILL MAKE ITS WAY TO THE SENATE FLOOR

Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, before a crowded meeting of the Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, a resolution put forward by Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun) and Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment -- SJ1 -- was reported on a narrow 7-6 vote. One Republican voted with all six Democrats in support.

Addressing the committee, Senator Surovell said, “Justice Scalia and the United States Supreme Court have made it clear that sex-based discrimination is not protected under the Fourth Amendment, but it is a core Virginia value. The time has come for Virginia to join other 35 states nationwide that have voted to codify equal rights.”

After the vote, Senator Wexton said, “The Equal Rights Amendment is unfinished business for our nation. Full equality under the Constitution is long overdue and this is a much needed step towards ensuring universal non-discrimination for our women and girls, now and in the future.”

BACKGROUND

The Virginia Senate has repeatedly moved to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment, approving SJ 216 in 2015 and SJ 78 in 2014. Both proposals died in the House.

Note that as recently as 2014, a Senate committee (Rules) voted to support ratification on the ERA on a broad bipartisan basis -- much different from the near-party-line vote seen in Senate P&E today.

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