VIRGINIA RATIFIES THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT 38 YEARS AFTER THE DEADLINE + 2020 WOMEN’S MARCH

Indira Cesarine – “PROTEST” Oil on Canvas 2017

After being elected to Virginia’s state government for the first time in a generation, the Democrats are continuing to make history with the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, January 15th . This makes Virginia the 38th state to advocate that the “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” 38 out of 50 states need to approve any amendment before it can take effect, and while the Democrats tipped the scale in their favor – a minor technicality may be exploited by opposition to keep it from becoming a part of the Constitution.

Originally, when Congress passed the amendment, it had set 1982 as the deadline for states to approve the amendment. Last week The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the executive branch, said in an opinion “the ERA’s deadline has long since expired.”  Considering that Virginia ratified the ERA this week, opposers (read: Trump) may use it as an argument to challenge its legitimacy. Additionally, five of the 38 states have voted to rescind their ratifications (Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota and Tennessee). Nevertheless, it is a symbolic win for the Blue States, and we’re hoping the deadline is repealed at court. 

International Womens Day March, New York City – The Untitled Magazine

Adopting this amendment would indicate considerable changes to the way cases of workplace equality, sexual abuse and gender-based discrimination are processed, implying increased state intervention and protection for all genders. It could also possibly overturn “heartbeat laws” (if a heartbeat is present, the doctor is prohibited from performing an abortion) passed in Georgia and other anti-abortion bills introduced in states like Alabama. Simultaneously, many states are also trying to overturn the Roe v. Wade pro-choice amendment to restrict abortion access. 

If you’d like to show your support for genuine gender equality, find a Women’s March near you! Here are a few marches to look forward to this week:

NYC
When: Jan 18, 2020 at 10:30 am
Where: 72nd and Central Park West
Read more here.

SAN FRANCISCO
When: Jan 18, 2020 at 11:30 am
Where: 1170 Market, Suite 700
Read more here.

WASHINGTON DC
When: Jan 18, 2020 at 9:00 am
Where: Freedom Plaza,1455 Pennsylvania Ave

OAKLAND
When: Jan 18, 2020 at 10 am
Where: Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza
Read more here.

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