Letter to the Editor: It’s time to ratify the ERA


The Federal Equal Rights Amendment is alive and well, and on the cusp of final ratification. In Virginia, our state constitution provides equal rights:  if a woman works as well as a man, she is entitled to comparable legal rights. Yet we do not have a federal Equal Rights Amendment.

Recent events have brought focus on women. We marched as hundreds of thousands, we voted in a massive wave, and we elected more women than ever to our General Assembly.  These events are beacons for positive changes that uplift all Virginians.

Women are more than 50 percent of our population. Women serve in many roles: as community members, in all branches of the military, as caring teachers, as law enforcement officers, empathetic health care providers, in manufacturing and agriculture, as loving parents, as coaches, business owners, and as the glue of family life.

An astounding 96 percent of the American public wants the ERA.  Only two more states are needed to ratify the ERA, and Virginia has an opportunity to be one of those states. While the bill was originally written and passed under President Nixon in 1972, Constitutional scholars have concluded that Congress can change the deadline it originally set for its ratification. In fact, Nevada ratified it last year.  Ratification by Virginia would demonstrate that Americans are all in this together – we are a team.

Virginia’s General Assembly members have filed four resolutions that would ratify the ERA this session, including one by Republican Del. Roxann Robinson, HJ 129, which has already drawn Republican Senate and House co-sponsors.

This non-partisan action will strengthen our economy and our faith in our lawmakers.  The ERA would let people appeal cases of unreasonable discrimination to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Let’s urge Del. Todd Gilbert and Sen.or Mark Obenshain to join us in support of the long-overdue Equal Rights Amendment. The time is now.

Linda Allen, Toms Brook