On December 5, the Wason Center for Public Policy’s new Virginia poll found that a whopping 81% (!) of Virginia voters support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), while only 12% (!) oppose it. That includes a 69%-13% margin among Republicans, so it’s even a strong majority there. By any standard, that’s an enormous, bipartisan margin in support of the ERA – and for good reasons.
Given this overwhelming, bipartisan support, you’d think that Virginia Republicans would get a clue and throw their support behind ERA ratification. That’s even more the case given the Virginia GOP’s demolition the past two years at the hands, in large part, of female voters. That’s probably why we are seeing some chatter on the right about going back to the “drawing board” and working to broaden their appeal, for instance by backing the ERA.
Yet…just two days after the Wason Center poll, and just weeks after the latest statewide wipeout for Virginia Republicans, State Senator Amanda Chase (far-right Republican, SD-11), invited none other than former Del. “Sideshow Bob” (as I call him) Marshall (raving anti-LGBT bigot, rabidly anti-abortion, far-right Republican, defeated by Danica Roem in 2017 – LOL) on her radio show to talk about the supposed horrors of the ERA. Suffice to say, it’s really, really stupid. For more on Marshall (and Chase’s) anti-ERA “argument,” such as it is, see here – basically, in “Sideshow Bob”‘s bizarre worldview, the ERA would end up “embedding abortion into the Constitution…embedding gay rights/same-sex marriage into the Constitution…any religion which has male-only clergy will lose its tax status…male and female high school athletes will compete against each other” – in short, THE HORROR! THE HORROR!
And, of course, Sen. Amanda Chase – who, by the way, represents a district where Tim Kaine got 50% of the vote last month, making her politically vulnerable to a strong Democratic opponent – didn’t disagree with a word that “Sideshow Bob” said. of course, this is the same Amanda Chase who ranted in July that “the ERA Amendment is nothing more than a ploy by the left to eliminate gender altogether.” And this is the same Amanda Chase who argued that any Republican who supported Medicaid expansion should be primaried. And this is the same Amanda Chase who recently let her inner theocrat out, ranting about how “God created the first family. His plan was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” and defending the discredited monstrosity known as LGBT conversion therapy (aka, abuse). We could go on and on, but the bottom line is that Chase needs to be…uh, “chase’d” out of the Virginia General Assembly next November. Who’s up for giving it a try?