FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2022
Carol Jenkins: “Their vote should be taken for what it actually is: a failed attempt to perpetuate the second-class status of women in America.”
Washington, DC –– Following the news that the West Virginia State Senate voted to sunset the state’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, ERA Coalition / Fund for Women’s Equality President Carol Jenkins issued the following statement:
“Despite the West Virginia State Senate’s clear intent to turn their backs on the nearly 2 million people in their state, their vote does not rescind the legislature’s 1972 ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. History tells us that once a state ratifies a constitutional amendment, it can’t take it back. When the 14th Amendment became part of the Constitution, two states that had attempted to rescind prior ratifications were included in the list of final states. Their vote should be taken for what it actually is: a failed attempt to perpetuate the second-class status of women in America.”
The Equal Rights Amendment has already met all the requirements set by Article V in the Constitution: passage by Congress and ratification by 38 states. On January 27, 2022, the ERA went into effect, two years after Virginia became the 38th and final state to ratify the amendment.
The Attorneys General in the last three states to ratify the ERA, Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia, are suing U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero to force publication of the ERA to the U.S. Constitution, arguing that he has a duty to publish it to provide official notice to all 50 States that the ERA is now the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
The ERA Coalition was founded in 2014 to bring concerted, organized action to the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA Coalition has a sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, which promotes public education and outreach on the need for constitutional equality. Comprised of nearly 200 organizations across the country, the Coalition provides education and advocacy on Constitutional Equality.
While the effort to amend the constitution to include sex equality began nearly a century ago, our renewed efforts are centered on Black, Indigenous and Women of Color, gender-nonconforming and transgender women and girls, and nonbinary people– those who are most impacted by systemic inequities.