The Virginia State Senate has passed the Equal Rights Amendment, passing the measure to the state's House of Delegates to consider, which could pose a serious Constitutional question of legality for the long-desired law.
The measure passed the state Senate with bipartisan support. Every Democratic lawmaker in the Republican-led chamber voted for the measure, and seven members of the GOP joined them in its 26-to-14 passage, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
The measure moves onto the House of Delegates where it faces tough chances of passage. Republicans have a narrow majority in that chamber presently. Beyond passage in Virginia, however, the status of the ERA lingers in doubt.
Originally passed by Congress in 1972, the ERA originally read the following.
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
Congress stipulated in its original resolution passing the ERA that it had to be passed within seven years. It passed an extension after only 35 states had passed it by 1979, but even after the extension was passed, conservative groups blocked its passage in additional states. By 1982, no other state had passed the ERA, leaving it three states shy of the necessary number required to ratify it into the Constitution, per a report from the New York Times.