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League Celebrates Equal Rights Amendment Ratified by Virginia

Congress must remove deadline so the ERA can become a permanent part of the U.S. Constitution 

WASHINGTON & RICHMOND – Today, the Virginia State legislature ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, becoming the 38th state to do so and achieving support from the three-fourths of states required for the ERA to become a constitutional amendment.

“We are proud Virginia delivered this long overdue promise to women in the Commonwealth and throughout the United States,” said Deb Wake, president of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. “Advocates have pushed hard for decades so that women are included in the Constitution and guaranteed protection from discrimination under our laws.” 

When the ERA passed Congress in 1972, lawmakers attached a 1977 ratification deadline to it, which they later extended to 1982. Earlier this month, the League of Women Voters of the United States sent a letter to the United States Congress urging them to remove the ratification deadline on the ERA.  

“Women have waited decades to see the ERA pass, and this is the perfect way to kick of 2020, a year that celebrates 100 years of women’s voting rights,” said Chris Carson, president of the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “It's time for Congress to remove the ERA deadline and make this dream a reality.”  

After the 1972 passage of the ERA in Congress, the League took on a nationwide pressure campaign to ratify the amendment in the states that continued through the 1970s. Local and state Leagues continued to push for ratification in their states even after the deadline passed. Now that the ERA has been ratified, the League of Women Voters is urging Congress to remove the deadline and finally incorporate the amendment into our Constitution. 

“American women need the ERA, now more than ever,” said Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “The League will not stop fighting for equality under the law and pushing to see the ERA become the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”  

Over the last few years, the League of Women Voters of Virginia and local Leagues around the state have worked to advance the ERA by testifying at hearings, rallying voters, lobbying legislatures, and building support for the amendment through coalition work with partner organizations including VAratifyERA. 

Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]