Virginia on Wednesday became the 38th state to approve the Equal Rights Amendment, a symbolic victory for those who for generations have been pushing for a constitutional guarantee of legal rights regardless of sex.
Virginia’s decision does not seal the amendment’s addition to the United States Constitution. A deadline for three-quarters, or 38, of the 50 states to approve the E.R.A. expired in 1982, so the future of the measure is uncertain, and experts said the issue would likely be tied up in the courts and in the political sphere for years.
But the symbolism of the action in Virginia was significant after a struggle that had been raised, hard fought and, at times, forgotten over nearly 100 years.