CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Republican-led West Virginia Senate moved quickly Friday to rescind the state’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, declaring it lapsed in 1979. .
All 23 Republicans in the Senate are sponsors of the measure, including three women. It passed by a voice vote without debate or discussion and is now moved to the House of Commons.
In a later statement, Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin of Greenbrier County said “it is a sad comment that in the US in 2022, equal rights are still being debated. We should move forward, not backward. Women deserve equal treatment under the law; That is not debatable”.
The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement saying it would oppose the resolution as it moves to the House of Representatives.
“It is infuriating that the Senate backtracks on its commitment that women should have the same rights as men,” the ACLU said.
West Virginia approved the amendment in April 1972, the same year that Congress sent it to the states. The states had seven years to ratify, after which the deadline was extended to 1982. The amendment was not approved by three-quarters of the states needed ahead of time.
In January 2020, Virginia lawmakers approved the amendment, making it the 38th and final state needed. But the Justice Department said in an opinion piece that month that the vote was too late. In March 2021, a federal judge agreed, dismissing a lawsuit filed by three Democratic state attorneys general who sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s vote.
The West Virginia Senate resolution, released Thursday, stated that state approval expired in 1979. In providing a description of the measure, Jefferson County Republican Patricia Rucker, saying it “just made it clear that the resolution passed by the Legislature is no longer available. valuable.”
When Rucker urged this measure and asked if anyone had questions, no one else spoke. Voting was then heard, and some people in the booth did not vote.
“Clearing that WV wants to cancel their ERA ratification when there is a chance the procedure can actually be ratified is probably the most @WVGOP thing I could have dreamed of,” said Kayla Young, a party member Democracy in the GOP-led House of Representatives, said on Twitter.
It took about 75 seconds since the resolution was applied. Baldwin said it was moved to a vote shortly after Rucker described it, leaving no time for discussion.
“The process is for the chairperson to call for discussion after she introduces it,” says Baldwin. “She treated it like a bill asking for answers to questions not a settlement procedure. But the chair then called for a vote.”
Baldwin questions the resolution purpose of the supermajority GOP.
“What needs to be clarified? What is really going on here? ” he say. “I think West Virginians are clear. Women deserve equal and fair treatment under the law”.
In 2020, the Democratic-led US House of Representatives voted to remove the 1982 deadline for approving the amendment. This measure has not improved in the equally divided US Senate.
Debates have swirled around what the amendment, which guarantees equal rights for men and women under the law, would do.
According to advocates, the amendment would provide stronger protections in sexist cases and provide a stronger basis for Congress to pass anti-discrimination legislation and measures. other protection. Opponents say the measure could be used to remove protections such as workplace accommodation during pregnancy.
Anti-abortion activists have warned that abortion rights advocates could use the amendment to remove abortion restrictions on the grounds that they discriminate against women.
The resolution was supported by West Virginians for Life and the National Commission on the Right to Life.
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https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/13/w-va-senate-rescinds-1972-equal-rights-amendment-ratification/ West Virginia Senate opposes ratification of Equal Rights Amendment 1972 – CBS Pittsburgh