Virginia lawmakers won’t vote on the ERA until early 2019, but there’s work we can do now. Get ready for the fight of your life — we’ll make equal rights the law of the land.
The people of Virginia have the opportunity to have their voices heard and play a part in the making of herstory to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). As of today, Virginia may be one of the best opportunities for supporters and advocates of the ERA to be the last state needed to ratify the Amendment, whether it be through connecting with their state legislators, participating in demonstrations, or raising awareness through social media.
The last time the Virginia Senate passed the ERA was on January 15, 2019, but it has not been called for a vote in the full Virginia House of Delegates.
The Virginia Senate and House are next in session on January 9, 2019 – let’s get ERA voted on in THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION!
Call your representative now!
For the 2019 session beginning on January 9, four bills were offered. Senator Glen H. Sturtevant (R-Midlothian) introduced SJ284 ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. HJ 579 ratifying the ERA was introduced by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge) and was sponsored by the entire Democratic delegation. SJ284 was sponsored by the entire Senate Democratic delegation and four Republican Senators. SJ284 passed the Virginia Senate by a vote of 26 in favor to 14 opposed, including the votes of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment (R-Willliamsburg), former 2017 gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) and 2017 Lieutenant Governor nominee and State Senator Jill Vogel (R-Upperville). However, SJ284 and HJ 579 along with HJ 577 (introduced by Delegate Sam Rasoul) and HJ 583 were passed by indefinitely by Subcommittee #1 of the House Privileges and Elections Committee by a vote of 4 to 2 against each bill. In the full House Privileges and Elections Committee, on January 25, 2019, HJ 579 was not added to the docket by a vote of 10-12, with Committee Chairman Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) voting against moving the bill to the floor. Delegate David Yancey (R-Newport News) declared his support for the ERA in a speech.
Republican State Legislators who support, sponsored, and/or voted for the ERA in 2019:
Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach)
Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico)
Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon)
Senator Thomas Norment (R-Williamsburg)
Senator Glen Sturtevant (R-Midlothian)
Senator Jill Vogel (R-Upperville)
Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach)
In the 2018 federal election, Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in several elections bringing Virginia from a 7-4 Republican majority to a 7-4 Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives:
In the U.S. Congress, new Democratic members include Elaine Luria (VA-2), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10). Denver Riggleman (VA-5) and Ben Cline (VA-6) are two new Republican representatives. Eileen Davis, an activist who is the mother of newly-elected Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, is a long-time supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia. https://www.dailyprogress.com/orangenews/news/election-dave-brat-and-abigail-spanberger/article_57c32228-dea4-11e8-9ae9-4bba41330633.html
Virginia’s off-year election cycle for state legislators suggests that policymakers in Virginia may be especially motivated to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. On November 5, 2019, every member of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates will be up for re-election. Considering the trends in elections that have favored the Democratic candidates with respect to social issues, Republican Delegates representing districts in Northern Virginia could be more likely to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The Virginia Senate’s approval of the Amendment suggests that Virginia is on the cusp of ratifying the Amendment. At the same time, it is possible legislators in more conservative districts may hold steadfast in their opposition.
Reach across the aisle to Republican leaders such as Senators Vogel, Wagner, Norment, et al. Work with them to convince Speaker Kirk Cox to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to a vote in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The last time the Virginia Senate passed the ERA was on January 26, 2016, but it was not called for a vote in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Opposition to the ERA in Virginia during the 1970s centered around the erosion of traditional cultural mores and roles for women. In 1974, a massive coalition of womens’ rights groups formed the Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council and led marches consisting of thousands of supporters of the amendment throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. According to a Washington Post article from 1981, the ERA movement activism was strongest in urban areas, especially in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Conversely, opposition to the ERA was concentrated in rural areas, with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation opposing the amendment. Rev. Jerry Falwell, a televangelist based in Southwestern Virginia, vehemently opposed the ERA. According to the article, Falwell was successful in rallying opponents to the Equal Rights Amendment. The influence of Rev. Falwell and other leaders and organizations described as “Christian conservatives” or the “religious right” prompted the Republican Party to remove supporting the Equal Rights Amendment from the party platform in 1980. Another politically influential televangelist based in Virginia Beach, Rev. Pat Robertson, ran for U.S. President in 1988 and founded the socially conservative Christian Coalition from the remnants of his political campaign.
Measures to ratify the ERA have gained traction in the Virginia Senate five times between 2011 and 2016. On January 11, 2017, Senator Scott A. Surovell’s bill SJ221 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, assigned to a subcommittee of Constitutional Amendments, and re-referred from the Committee on Privileges and Elections to the Rules Committee. It “passed by indefinitely” in the Rules Committee, in effect killing the bill.
On November 20, 2017, Senator Surovell’s bill SJ4 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Rules and reprinted. On February 9, 2018 SJ4 failed to report/was defeated by voice vote in the Committee on Rules.
On November 26, 2017, Delegate Kaye Kory’s bill HJ2 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. On February 13, 2018, the bill was left in the Committee on Privileges and Elections.
On November 28, 2017, Delegate Alfonso H. Lopez’s bill HJ4 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. On February 13, 2018, the bill was left in the Committee on Privileges and Elections.
On January 12, 2018, Delegate Roxann L. Robinson’s bill HJ129 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. On February 13, 2018, the bill was left in the Committee on Privileges and Elections.
The Senators who served as patrons (sponsors/co-sponsors) for SJ4 included:
Senator Scott A. Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) (chief patron) Senator Jennifer T. Wexton (D-Leesburg) (chief co-patron) Senator George L. Barker (D-Alexandria)
Senator Rosalyn R. Dance (D-Petersburg)
Senator R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria)
Senator John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke)
Senator Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington)
Senator Janet D. Howell (D-Reston)
Senator Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. (D-Accomac) Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton)
Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth)
Senator David W. Marsden (D-Burke)
Senator T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason (D-Williamsburg) Senator Jennifer L. McClellan (D-Richmond)
Senator Jeremy S. McPike (D-Dale City)
Senator J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax)
Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Springfield)
Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D-Chesapeake)
Senator Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr. (R-Midlothian)
The Delegates who served as patrons of SJ4 included: Delegate Dawn M. Adams (D-Richmond)
Delegate Lashrecse D. Aird (D-Petersburg)
Delegate Hala S. Ayala (D-Woodbridge)</>
Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond) Delegate John J. Bell (D-Chantilly)
Delegate Jeffrey M. Bourne (D-Richmond) Delegate Jennifer B. Boysko (D-Herndon) Delegate David L. Bulova (D-Fairfax) Delegate Betsy B. Carr (D-Richmond) Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge) Delegate Lee J. Carter (D-Manassas)</>
Delegate Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) Delegate Karrie K. Delaney (D-Centreville)
Delegate Wendy W. Gooditis (D-Clarke)
Delegate Elizabeth R. Guzman (D-Dale City) Delegate C.E. Cliff Hayes, Jr. (D-Chesapeake) Delegate Steve E. Heretick (D-Portsmouth)
Delegate Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria) Delegate Chris L. Hurst (D-Blacksburg) Delegate Matthew James (D-Portsmouth) Delegate Jerrauld C. “Jay” Jones (D-Norfolk) Delegate Mark L. Keam (D-Vienna)
Delegate Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) Delegate Paul E. Krizek (D-Alexandria) Delegate Mark H. Levine (D-Alexandria) Delegate Alfonso H. Lopez (D-Arlington) Delegate Delores L. McQuinn (D-Richmond) Delegate Michael P. Mullin (D-Newport News) Delegate Kenneth R. Plum (D-Reston) Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke)
Delegate David A. Reid (D-Loudoun)
Delegate Roxann L. Robinson (D-Chesterfield) Delegate Debra H. Rodman (R-Henrico) Delegate Danica A. Roem (D-Manassas Park) Delegate Mark D. Sickles (D-Alexandria) Delegate Marcus B. Simon (D-Falls Church) Delegate Luke E. Torian (D-Woodbridge) Delegate David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) Delegate Kathy K.L. Tran (D-Springfield) Delegate Cheryl B. Turpin (D-Virginia Beach) Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler (D-Jarratt)
Delegate Schuyler T. VanValkenburg (D-Henrico) Delegate Jeion A. Ward (D-Hampton)
Delegate Vivian E. Watts (D-Annandale)
The Delegates who served as patrons for HJ2 included:
Delegate Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) (chief patron)
Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge) (chief co-patron) Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax Station) (chief co-patron) Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) (chief co-patron)
Delegate Dawn M. Adams (D-Richmond)
Delegate Lashrecse D. Aird (D-Petersburg)
Delegate Hala S. Ayala (D-Woodbridge)
Delegate Jennifer B. Boysko (D-Herndon)
Delegate Lee J. Carter (D-Manassas)
Delegate Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach)
Delegate Karrie K. Delaney (D-Centreville)
Delegate Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria)
Delegate Chris L. Hurst (D-Blacksburg)
Delegate Kenneth R. Plum (D-Reston)
Delegate Debra H. Rodman (R-Henrico)
Delegate Danica A. Roem (D-Manassas Park)
Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. (D-Arlington)
Delegate Schuyler T. VanValkenburg (D-Henrico)
Delegate Jeion A. Ward (D-Hampton)
The Senators who served as patrons of HJ2 included:
Senator R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria)
Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Springfield) Senator Scott A. Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)
The Delegates who served as patrons of HJ4 included:
Delegate Alfonso H. Lopez (D-Arlington) (chief patron) Delegate Chris L. Hurst (D-Blacksburg)
Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. (D-Arlington) Delegate Jeion A. Ward (D-Hampton)
The Delegates who served as patrons of HJ129 included:
Delegate Roxann L. Robinson (D-Chesterfield) (chief patron) Delegate Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) (chief co-patron) Delegate Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington)
Delegate Mark L. Keam (D-Vienna)
Delegate John J. McGuire, III (R-Glen Allen) Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) Delegate Marcia S. “Cia” Price (D-Newport News) Delegate Debra H. Rodman (R-Henrico)
Delegate Robert M. “Bob” Thomas, Jr. (R-Stafford)
The Senators who served as patrons of HJ129 included: Senator Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr. (R-Midlothian)
Please call your State Senators and Delegates and encourage them to support the ratification of the ERA in Virginia.
Be sure to stay informed on news and events regarding the progress of the ERA through the Equal Means Equal website atwww.equalmeansequal.org.
HJ 2 HJ 4 HJ 129
RICHMOND, Va. – The fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia has gained momentum with the national discourse about sexual harassment and gender equity and social media campaigns such as #MeToo and #YesAllWomen.
Many people are unaware that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women, said Katie Hornung of Women Matter, a group dedicated to ratifying the ERA. If added to the U.S. Constitution, the ERA would guarantee that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
The deadline for the ERA ratification expired decades ago, but many state legislators and groups such as Women Matter are still pushing for Virginia lawmakers’ approval.
72% of Americans won’t join the fight for equal rights because they think the Constitution already guarantees them. We need your help to actually achieve that goal by adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, starting with ratifying the ERA in Virginia. Join our movement.
Let’s help these Virginia lawmakers come to the conclusion that 96% of Americans have: All people are equal and should be treated equally under the law. Tell them why you’re ready for equal rights — use this sample script or tell your own story.
Speaker of the House, 28th District, County of Stafford (part); City of Fredericksburg (part)
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Senate President Pro Tempore, 23rd District, Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Bedford and Campbell County including parts of Lynchburg City and all of the town of Bedford
PO Box 396 Room No: 621
Richmond, VA 23218
House of Delegates Privileges and Elections Chair, 88th District, Counties of Fauquier (part), Spotsylvania (part), and Stafford (part); City of Fredericksburg (part)
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Equal Means Equal will keep you informed of the status of ratification in Virginia and what actions you can take locally to pass the ERA.
Let’s do this.
Want to do more? Let us know how else you can help.
Democracy is a team sport. Let your ladies know our time is now.
Join the dozens of women’s organizations and thousands of women using the EQUAL MEANS EQUAL documentary film to reinvigorate the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment!
Host a screening in your neighborhood and help get the conversation going about the importance of the ERA. Click the button below to organize a screening in your community.
ERA Ratification in the United States: Only ONE more state is needed to ratify the ERA
37 wins! Thanks to these states for protecting the rights of Americans and fighting to usher in a new ERA.