ADVOCATES PLAN VIGIL AT VIRGINIA CAPITOL TO HIGHLIGHT GENDER INEQUALITY IN AMERICA
FEBRUARY 20, 2019
When lawmakers gavel out Wednesday, equality advocates will begin a standing vigil to bring attention to gender inequality in America, the tenacity of women who have fought for equality, and the failure of the democratic process in Virginia this year.
A key equality advocate in Delegate Gilbert’s district, Holly Huddle, pointed out, “Democracy dies in darkness and we’re here to shine a light on the continued obstruction of justice. Moderate Republicans are being blocked from representing their constituents on important legislation like the ERA by their own party leaders. While Speaker Kirk Cox lies comfortably in his bed, there are millions of Virginians working second and third shifts to make-up for the gender pay gap. While Gilbert enjoys the comforts of his hotel, there are women in his district seeking safety at domestic violence shelters. We demand constitutional protection over patchwork laws like the Violence Against Women Act which lapsed just two months ago.”
Throughout the night, sentinels will read statements from supporters, highlight issues of gender inequality, and recite poetry and prose from notable American women. Anyone interested in showing solidarity can either contact their delegate to voice support (find yours here) or show-up at the Capitol’s Bank Street Entrance at 1000 Bank Street.
“Whether the ERA passes tomorrow or not, we will never surrender the fight to bring full constitutional equality to all American women. As Susan B. Anthony said during her crusade for women’s suffrage: Failure is impossible. We will ratify the ERA; only one question remains: Will Virginia be on the right side of making that history?” said Kate Kelly, Attorney at Equality Now and National ERA Advocate.
Kati Hornung, Campaign Coordinator for VAratifyERA stated: “Across time, social justice advances haven’t been given, they have been won on the back of people willing to fight for them. The tenacity of the women fighting for equality in Virginia was shaped by shared experiences of inequality. Our friends have endured rape, harassment, domestic violence, and economic bias long enough. The ERA is an important step to shape a healthier culture for America and will ensure sex discrimination cases are treated the same as discrimination for race, religion, and country of origin. This Thursday, Virginia’s delegates will finally, after almost five decades, have the opportunity to take action and make it happen. We hope leadership by moderate Republicans will emerge and vote to let ERA go to the floor so every delegate can represent their constituents in this historic moment, rather than blindly follow party leadership.”