Virginia Senators Vote to Ratify and Affirm the Equal Rights Amendment

Republican Senators Abstain, Vote Against SJ 78.

RICHMOND, VA – On the floor of the Virginia Senate this afternoon, a majority of senators voted to support the ratification and affirmation of the Equal Rights amendment. SJ78, introduced by Senator Henry Marsh (D-Richmond,) would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution that was proposed by Congress in 1972. Every Democratic senator voted for the measure.

 Eight senators voted against the measure and seven senators refused to vote. All fifteen were Republican men. A complete vote tally is attached.

 Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun) spoke to the measure's passage, stating, “Equality for women ought to be enshrined in our Constitution. Without that protection, discrimination against women still happens every day. I'm surprised that any of my colleagues would choose to vote against this important civil rights measure.”

 Of the resolution, Senator Marsh said, “Ensuring equal rights for women is a long overdue step on the road to justice for all Americans. I was happy to carry this measure, and pleased that my colleagues supported its passage. I hope that the Senators who voted against the measure and those who did not even have the courage to vote despite being in the chamber today consider their actions.”

 BACKGROUND:

 The Equal Rights Amendment is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, first proposed in 1923. The amendment states essentially that the “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” In the time since the constitutional amendment was first introduced, women's rights have advanced substantially around the country and the world.

 But even today, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens, without regard to sex, except for the right to vote. Without constitutional protection, women's rights continue to be abrogated by statute and in courts of law around the country.

 

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