Committee should advance ERA

Published 9:52 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

To the editor:

Suffolk citizens should be proud that with unanimous and enthusiastic consent, the Suffolk City Council passed a resolution in January supporting the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and encouraging the Virginia General Assembly to finally ratify it and give the ERA the 38th and final state needed to provide this legal protection.

The city of Suffolk joined 35 other cities and counties across the commonwealth that issued such resolutions before the start of the General Assembly, demonstrating widespread bipartisan support for ensuring that women will finally be fully protected by our Constitution.

Email newsletter signup

While opponents of the ERA on the religious right have sought to stoke fears by making baseless claims that the ERA makes men and women identical, not just equal, and that it is a thinly disguised attempt to remove all restrictions on abortions, a Christopher Newport University poll revealed that 81 percent of Virginians support ratification. The Virginia Senate has already voted in favor of ratification, but Republican opponents in the House have repeatedly blocked attempts to move the issue from committee to the floor for a full vote.

And although Suffolk constituents have voiced their support of ERA ratification through the City Council and individual communication with their state delegates, Delegates Chris Jones and Jay Leftwich, both members the Privileges and Elections Committee, have done nothing to advance and support moving SJ 284 to the House floor where it can be given the opportunity to be handled by representative government as it should.

While their obstructionism thus far is noted, they still have an opportunity to demonstrate that they can be leaders and true representatives of the will of the people they represent by voting to move the bill to a full vote.


Denise M. Murden