The dream of Virginia becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment this year died Friday, when the Virginia House Privileges and Elections Committee refused to hear the resolution, which states that Americans can’t be denied civil and legal rights on the basis of sex.
On Tuesday, all four Republican members of Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Privileges and Elections Committee voted against the legislation while the two Democrats voted to advance the ERA bills. The Virginia Senate approved it on January 15 by a bipartisan vote of 26-14 with 7 Republicans joining all 19 Senate Democrats.
Supporters in the state and across the country vowed to try again next year, hopefully with a majority of Democrats in the House of Delegates. Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Woodbridge, said “We will be back!” at a press conference earlier this week. Opponents of the ERA, including religious organizations such as the Family Foundation, say its passage would make limiting abortions more difficult.
__ Karen Kirk