As the Virginia General Assembly’s 2019 session kicks off today, one of the major items of business is ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. See below for video of a press conference being held right now, led by State Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax/PW County). My understanding is that the State Senate is moving this issue the first day, first order of business, and is highly likely to pass it, with ALL Democrats and a bunch of politically vulnerable Republicans (e.g., Glen Sturtevant, who is in a Northam/Kaine district yet is hard right all the way, including HORRENDOUSLY BAD ratings from NARAL, etc.) probably voting yes as well – cynically, for political cover, in the case of the Republicans (I assume everyone realizes this?).
Assuming ERA ratification passes the Senate, the question is whether the Republican-controlled House of Delegates kills it yet again (as Senator Janet Howell points out, “ERA resolutions have passed the Senate four times: 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The biggest majority was in 2012 when it was 24-15. The problem has been the House. It has never passed the House. Since I joined the Senate in 1992, it has been introduced about 12 times in the Senate.”).
I am assuming that House Republicans will kill it again, since that’s what hard-right, anti-women’s-equality Republicans like Speaker Kirk Cox are all about (note: these same folks generally get ZERO ratings from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc.). Of course, if Virginia House Republicans DO kill ERA ratification, it’s going to be a huge campaign issue in this year’s elections for the entire General Assembly, with Democrats needing to pick up just two seats in the Senate and two in the House to gain full control of the legislature. So…go for it, Virginia House Republicans, if you really want to go to the polls in November being pounded on this issue. Or, you could actually do the right thing for a change and vote to ratify the ERA – even if it’s just to try and save your own political a**es.