Hopes for ERA dim after panel vote

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A proposal to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia has encountered a setback in the state's House of Delegates.

A subcommittee for the Republican-controlled Privileges and Elections Committee voted down the gender-equality measure Tuesday.

But proponents say there still may be a chance the measure can be voted out of the full committee Friday. If that happens, ERA supporters say there are enough votes in the House to pass to the resolution.

The Senate approved its ERA resolution last week.
ERA proponents are holding out hope that Virginia will become the 38th state to approve the amendment. It would then meet the threshold for ratification in the U.S. Constitution.

But even if it's ratified, court battles would likely ensue over a long-passed 1982 deadline set by Congress.

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