ERA supporters ready to flood Senate committee hearing
Equality advocates pushing for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment will be on hand for a Senate committee hearing set for Wednesday, the opening day of the 2019 Virginia General Assembly session.
“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.
ERA has the support of 81% of Virginians according to a Dec. 5 Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University poll.
On the eve of the historic session, on Tuesday, supporters will be kicking off the push for ratification with a free screening of “RBG,” sponsored by VAratityERA at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown.
The free, encore screening of the documentary on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be hosted by Sen. Jennifer McClellan with special guests including Illinois Sen. (and Norfolk State graduate) Pat Spearman, who put the ERA back into headlines with the state’s ratification in March of 2017, House ERA Bill Chief Patron Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Del. Hala Ayala and Sen. Scott Surovell.
RBG Encore Screening, FREE, January 8th, 7:30pm at the Byrd Theatre 2908 W. Cary Street Richmond. Doors open at 7pm.
For more events, including the ticketed Party4Parity, go to varatifyera.org/ga2019.
Constitutional scholars and legal professionals across the country assert that Virginia has the power to ratify the amendment, and should do so. Justices Antonia Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg both noted that gender is not protected in the Constitution as does the 400,000 member American Bar Association (ABA) which sent letters to House and Senate leadership on Jan. 2 here, here and here.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring submitted a formal opinion last year underscoring the Commonwealth’s ability to ratify, noting the recent ratifications of Nevada (March 2017) and Illinois (May 2018). Statewide localities and organizations ranging from Blacksburg and Norfolk City Councils to NAACP of Virginia and even the statewide Parent Teachers Association have joined the chorus calling for elected leaders to ratify the amendment.
For more information on the Equal Rights Amendment and Virginia’s campaign, visit www.VAratifyERA.org.