Press Releases

Following Virginia’s Ratification Of The ERA, House Passes Bill To Pave The Way For National Adoption

Washington, February 13, 2020

The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) to facilitate ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The measure advanced in the wake of Virginia’s ratification of the ERA, which brought the Amendment across the 38-state threshold for national adoption.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), an original cosponsor of Speier’s legislation, spoke on the Floor during debate on the bill before voting “yes.” As he gave remarks, the House Gallery was packed with Virginians who came from across the Commonwealth to observe the vote, including Beyer’s State of the Union guest, Virginia Ratify ERA leader Lisa Sales.

Beyer’s remarks as delivered [video]:

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

It has been 97 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in the 68th Congress, and 48 years since the ERA passed the House and Senate.

In those 48 years I’ve had three daughters and one granddaughter. Those four young women are brilliant, precocious, accomplished, with strong character, great morality, and true nobility. These women are every bit the equal of every man I’ve ever met, yet our Constitution does not recognize their equality nor prohibit discrimination against them.

I am very proud that the Commonwealth of Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the ERA, but we must permanently remove the deadline for state ratification and provide an essential legal remedy against gender discrimination.

Does this sound like a political stunt? “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” No.

These words belong in the United States Constitution.

There is nothing partisan about recognizing that men and women have equal rights under the law.

I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this resolution.