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The Equal Rights Amendment would make discrimination based on sex unconstitutional.
On Wednesday, Virginia became the 38th state to approve the Equal Rights Amendment.
Amendment - States - Order - Amendment - Deadline
A constitutional amendment needs 38 states in order to be ratified. However, the amendment had a previously set deadline of 1982.
Here is a map of all the states for, and against, the amendment.
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On Wednesday, Virginia voted to amend the US Constitution, securing its spot as the 38th state needed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.
Order - Document - US - Law - Amendment
In order to change the most important document in US law, an amendment must be approved by three-fourths of state legislatures, or 38 states.
So did Virginia just change the constitution? Not exactly.
Rights - Amendment
What is the Equal Rights Amendment?
The Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, was first proposed in 1923 by Alice Paul, a leader of the women's suffrage movement. In 1943, it was rewritten to include its current language:
Equality - Rights - Law - United - States
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
What's this talk about a deadline?
Congress - ERA - Congressional - Research - Service
In 1972, Congress approved the ERA, which includes what the Congressional Research Service calls a "customary, but not constitutionally mandatory" seven-year deadline for ratification by 38 states, as USA TODAY reports. By 1977, 35 states had signed on. Congress then extended the ERA's deadline to 1982.
By the time that year rolled around, however, no additional states had voted in favor of the ERA.
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