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This Week at the 2019 Virginia General Assembly-Week 1

January 11, 2019 by Jeff Caruso

This Week at the 2019 Virginia General Assembly-Week 1

The 2019 session of the Virginia General Assembly began on Wednesday. And what a fast start it has been!
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):  On the very first day of session, we faced a threat to the unborn with a Senate Privileges and Elections Committee voting 8-6 to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (SJ 270, Saslaw & SJ 284, Sturtevant). The ERA is moot, harmful to women and children (born & unborn) and a costly measure. Thank you to all those that came to Richmond to oppose the ERA. There is still more to do! The House Privileges and Elections Committee will hear the ERA soon and the full Senate will vote on the floor early next week.  Click here to tell your legislator to oppose the ERA and be on the lookout for how to become involved!   
Marriage: Also on the first day, the same committee heard resolutions (SJ 251, Ebbin & SJ 279, Edwards) that sought to take the one-man/one-woman marriage provision out of Virginia’s constitution. Fortunately, the effort failed 7-7. Though the provision is not currently in effect due to federal law (the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision), preserving our state constitution’s marriage provision is vitally important because, as the Virginia Catholic Conference noted in its testimony, federal laws can change.

Staff news: This year the Conference welcomes to its advocacy efforts associate director Tom Intorcio, who joined the team in November. Read more about our staff here.
Attend Vespers: As the session continues, please plan to join us for Virginia Vespers: Evening Prayer for the Commonwealth. Please join Virginia’s bishops, legislators, fellow Catholics and people of all faiths as we pray for our civic leaders and the needs of the Commonwealth at our fourth annual Virginia Vespers, on Tuesday, February 12th at 5pm at Richmond’s historic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. A wine and appetizers reception follows.  Sign up here.

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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.
The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.