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ERA Clears First Hurdle In General Assembly

ERA Supporters hug
Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment celebrate after a bill aimed at ratifying it passes a senate committee. (Sara McCloskey / VPM)

A packed committee room in the Pocahontas Building erupted in cheers Thursday afternoon. 

A bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly, passing the Senate committee 10 to 5. 

The bill still has a long way to go, but Virginia lawmakers are expected to move quickly with a vote this session to become the 38th state to ratify the amendment. If it passed, the ERA would ban discrimination on the basis of sex, setting in stone gender equality in the U.S. Constitution.

Conservative groups that are opposed to the amendment are calling on ERA proponents to start the ratification process over and avoid the potential legal hurdles.

VPM Legal Reporter Whittney Evans contributed to this reporting. 

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