The Virginia ERA Network is an organization founded to influence passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia. Virginia is one of fifteen states that did not ratify the amendment over twenty years ago. We are working to change that outcome. We have found that people either believe it passed in the 1980’s, do not know what it is or think we do not need it. Our purpose is to educate the public and to rouse it to action.
The Equal Rights Amendment simply states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex”. The ERA was passed by the Congress in 1972 and sent to the states for ratification. Thirty-five states ratified it before it stalled in the 1980’s. The non-ratifying states are Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (See map). We need 3 more states to ratify. Notice that both presidential candidates, in 2008, came from states that did not ratify, and that Nevada has legalized prostitution, but no equal rights. The fifteen non-ratified states actually hold the rest of the United States hostage. We as Virginians need to guarantee equal rights to all citizens of the United States. In a survey, ninety-six percent of the American public believe male and female citizens should have equal rights. Why do legislators stand in the way?
We have provided you with a lot of information on this website, and hope that you will read and spread the word to your friends so they can become informed. We need all Virginians to let their Legislators know we are asking them to ratify this amendment and give all Virginians their rights under the Constitution. We wish to thank and give credit to the Florida ERA campaign and Sandy Oestreich for so much of the content of our site so that we could get up and running. Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri have been working on ratification for years, and we wish to join them in their efforts to assure that three of us ratify the ERA. We also wish to thank the Sewall Belmont House and National Women’s Party in Washington,D.C. for use of their collection of photographic treasures and information.