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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Virginia legislators made history Wednesday as they made the Old Dominion the crucial 38th state to approve the Equal Rights Amendment.
The ERA’s provisions include a guarantee that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Virginia Republicans, for decades, prevented the amendment from being approved.
It’s only now that Democrats have taken control of Virginia’s legislature for the first time in a generation that it became possible.
The Equal Rights Amendment is now ratified in 38 states!
— Lauren Underwood (@LaurenUnderwood) January 15, 2020
Although Virginia’s passage should be reason for celebration as the crucial state hitting the three-fourths threshold for amendment ratification, there are those–mostly conservatives–who still want to throw up roadblocks in the form of legalese over deadlines for passage which have allegedly expired.
Then there is discrimination in housing, employment and more against lesbian, gay and transgender Americans, which is still legal in about half the states.
The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives approved legislation last year to correct that, and finally give LGBT Americans the same protection against discrimination enjoyed by African Americans.
Except that the leader of the Republican-controlled Senate refuses even to bring the legislation up for debate.
And then there are the 600,000 residents of Washington DC, who pay their federal income tax just like their fellow Americans but are denied any voting representation in Congress.
Yes, there is more than one remedy to this entirely unamerican situation. But the aforementioned Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, refuses to do anything because–and admits this–DC voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, and granting them voting representation in Congress would place three additional Dems there.
Anyway, are you sensing a pattern?
Whether women, LGBT Americans or DC residents, they all are seeking merely the same rights as their fellow citizens.
The right answer, of course, is to do whatever it takes to enable that to happen.
Instead, what we are left with is a political party, the Republicans, who will look for whatever loophole or mechanism to prevent that from ever happening.
It should make your choice of vote exceedingly clear.
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