ERA advocates plan 24-hour vigil at Capitol as historic vote looms

virginia general assemblyWhen the gavel drops on the Virginia General Assembly Wednesday afternoon, ERA advocates will be in place to begin a 24-hour vigil on the Capitol grounds.

Advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment will give personal testimonies about experiences of inequality, read experiences shared by others, read excerpts from the book Equal Means Equal, and share words of support from around the country.

According to advocates for the measure, if Republican delegates who claim to support the ERA remain steadfast, the week will close with a measure ratifying the ERA passing by a comfortable margin Thursday or Friday.

While the Republican caucus has widely worked in unison, dissent has been brewing regarding efforts by caucus leader Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) to prevent a vote.

Eighty-one percent of Virginian voters support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment according to a Wason Center for Public Policy, (Christopher Newport University) poll dated Dec. 5, 2018.

On Jan. 21st, Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) called for the Speaker to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to the floor.

Equality advocates in districts represented by supportive Republicans have noted they look forward to knowing whether their delegate truly supports constitutional gender equality or is attempting to feign support during an election year.

Shanise Williams, an advocate in the district of Del. Chris Jones (R-Chesapeake), said, “My delegate won his seat because he ran unopposed. That will not happen again. I am watching his actions, and so far he does not represent our district, which passed ERA resolutions in both Chesapeake and Suffolk. I will run against him if nobody else will do it.”

For more information on the Equal Rights Amendment and Virginia’s campaign, visit

To follow the campaign, visit VAratifyERA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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