RICHMOND, Va.-- Delegate Hala Ayala (D-51) of Woodbridge today issued the following statement in response to the blockage of the rules change she brought to the floor for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The rules change called for a vote to let the Equal Rights Amendment get to the floor for a vote. As a result of the stoppage, the Equal Rights Amendment that was passed 3 out of the last 5 years by the Senate will die rather than be considered on the House Floor.

Following the blockage of the rules change, Del. Ayala stated, “The rules of the Legislature exist for moments exactly like this one, and I am horrified that a bill that has the support of eighty-one percent of Virginians and passed out of the Republican-controlled Senate will not even be considered in the House. How long must we wait for women and girls to be included in the Constitution?” She added,“As elected officials we have a moral obligation to listen to our constituents and let their voices be heard. I am sorry that did not happen today. However, I remain hopeful and have never been one to shy away from a challenge.”

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a provision that would guarantee women protection under the law. Congress initially passed the ERA in 1972 but the deadline for state ratification has since expired. Virginia is now the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

You can view part of Del. Ayala’s floor speech here.