On Wednesday, the Equal Rights Amendment cleared the floor of the Virginia Senate for the fifth time in six years. Sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), the bill passed 21-19 on a near-party line vote with most Senate Republicans opposed.
Speaking to the bill on the Senate floor, Sen. Surovell said, “Virginia is one of 22 states that currently has gender equality in our Constitution. Section 11, Article 1 of the Constitution of Virginia currently says that, ‘all people have the right to be free from government discrimination on the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin.’ So equal rights have been codified in our Constitution since 1971. This is something that isn’t new to Virginia. It is a Virginia value.”