In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, designed to guarantee protection against sexual discrimination for women under the law, passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the individual states for ratification. Groups on both sides of the issue mobilized to lobby the states for and against passage.
The ERA failed to meet the requisite number of state ratifications (38) by Congress’ deadline of June 30, 1982, so it was not adopted as a Constitutional amendment. In January 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA. However, pending legal challenges, the amendment’s future remains uncertain.