RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- A push for Virginia to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

A state Senate committee voted in favor of legislation Wednesday to approve the gender-equality amendment.

The legislation still has to be voted on by the full Senate and the House. It’s unclear if there are enough votes in the GOP-controlled General Assembly for the measure to pass.

Its passage would mean the ERA has reached the threshold for ratification, but not by the 1982 deadline set by Congress.

There is debate over whether the ERA can be revived and experts say a legal battle will likely ensue if Virginia were to ratify the amendment.

Northampton County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution supporting the ERA at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.