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Activists Speak Out on Albemarle Equal Rights Amendment Vote - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Activists Speak Out on Albemarle Equal Rights Amendment Vote

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Women's rights activists in the Charlottesville area say they are shocked after the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted against supporting an amendment to the United States Constitution that would guarantee equal rights for women. 

This is not the first time the question of support for a gender equality amendment has come before the board of supervisors, but last week's vote was the first time the resolution was struck down by the board.  Now, activists are speaking out.

Activist Kobby Hoffman took to the airwaves on WINA's The Schilling Show Wednesday morning.  She says she is frustrated after Albemarle supervisors voted to not support a women's rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Hoffman stated, "…shocked, just shocked. I mean basically, they passed it last year, they've passed it a couple of years before."    

The content of the amendment hasn't changed in years. In 2009 and 2011, the board voted in support, but the state legislature failed to ratify the amendment both times.

Scottsville District Supervisor Christopher Dumler said, "This year, for the first time, it was pulled out by one member of the board and it was defeated." 

"We just sort of routinely passed it, because who's not for equal rights?" said Rivanna District Supervisor Ken Boyd. "I felt this year that I should take a look at it."    

It was the first time he had actually dug into the amendment, and Boyd says he did not like what he saw. He says he saw other issues in the legislation, like same-sex marriage, that go "way beyond equal rights for women." 

Boyd stated, "I don't think it was our place as a board of supervisors to get into that debate."    

Moreover, Boyd says he thinks the concerns are unfounded.  "I know of no instances here in our local government, or even in our businesses around here, where women are discriminated against. And I think that's what the whole idea was, and I don't think it's happening anymore."

Activists disagree: "We still need this. I wish it were a perfect world and that women never had any issues and that life was all, what do they call it, a bowl of cherries, right? But that's not true,"  Hoffman stated. 

Despite criticism, Boyd says he and the two others who voted against the resolution are in no way opposed to women's rights.    

He defends his vote, though, saying big decisions like this should be left at the state and federal level.

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