By Brandon Jarvis
The Senate is likely to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and send it over to the House where it died immediately last year. Three Republican Senators, Sen. Richard Stuart, of Stafford, Sen. Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach, and the bill’s sponsor Glen Sturtevant of Richmond support the ERA, essentially ensuring the amendment will pass the Senate once again.
Even with the House experiencing an enormous 15 seat ratio-shift in 2017 giving Republicans a 1-vote-majorityin the 2018 session, the bill still failed to present the ERA for a House vote.
Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify the amendment, the number needed for it to pass United States Congress.
“Virginia added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, and we want the same honor for the Equal Rights Amendment as the 38th state. This week will be pivotal in the march towards gender equality, and we invite supporters to join us at the Capitol Wednesday, and throughout session,” said Kati Hornung, VAratifyERA Campaign Coordinator.
According to a poll from the CNU Wason Center, 81% of voters support its ratification, while 12% oppose it. The CNU poll concluded that support for ratification is extremely high across the board. “The legal standing of ratification may be murky, but Virginia voters are very clear that they want the 2019 General Assembly to pass the ERA,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy.
Republicans in the House currently have a 51-48 majority, due to Jennifer Boysco (D) being sworn into the Senate. Boysco won the special election this week in order to fill Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton’s former seat. Republicans on the House side haven’t said much in regards to the ERA, but many people around the General Assembly believe that quite a few would cross-over if it would make it the floor for a full chamber vote.
Now we wait and see. Expect to hear from the opposition to the ERA later this week.