RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia has officially become the critical 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
State lawmakers made history earlier this month when each chamber of the General Assembly separately approved ratification resolutions.
On Monday, the House and Senate took the final procedural step of signing off on each other’s measures.
That action took place with women presiding over both chambers.
Virginia’s ratification opens a new chapter in the nearly century-long push to get the amendment added to the Constitution.
Many legal scholars expect courts to settle the issue. One reason why is that a ratification deadline set by Congress expired decades ago.
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn released the following statement after the ratification:
“Finally, women have a place in our nation’s founding document.
We stand today on the shoulders of the thousands of women – and men – who have fought for the last 97 years to secure the Equal Rights Amendment’s ratification.
By the action we have taken today, our daughters and their daughters after them will have equal protection law. While putting gender equality in the United States Constitution does not right the injustices of history in the Commonwealth or our nation, nor does it cure all forms of discrimination, we have sent a signal to America today of a shared commitment to a more just and equal future.
Suzette Denslow, Clerk of the House of Delegates, will transmit certified copies of this joint Equal Rights Amendment resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, and the Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States.
The Equal Rights Amendment will be enshrined in the Constitution of the United States in very short order.
In this nation, equal truly means equal.”