Where are we today?
The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, and sent to the states for ratification. Thirty-five state legislatures ratified within the first 5 years. But by then a strong and well organized opposition took hold, and because the ERA had a deadline, the final tally fell 3 states short of the necessary 38 needed to make an amendment into law.
One year later — May of 2018 — Illinois became the 37th state to ratify.
And in February of 2020 — Virginia became the 38th, thus satisfying the state count needed for an amendment to become law.
However, there are some administrative and legislative hurdles that need to be cleared before we are successful. And there is action on both fronts to get that done.
At the national level, enlightened congresswomen and men have filed legislation to remove the deadline that was set back in the 70’s. There are also a few lawsuits working their way through diﬀerent jurisdictions that will need to be settled. Hundreds of organizations and associations have signed on to amicus briefs to show support for the ERA in each of those suits.
And — right here in South Carolina — resolutions have been filed in both chambers of the state legislature for state ratification of the ERA. While South Carolina is no longer needed to fulfill the necessary state count, the conversation of equality is important to have.
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