Anti-gay Amendment 1 in North Carolina earns more opposition, this time from a Fortune 500 company CEO
April 13, 2012
Today is the last day to register to vote in order to participate in the North Carolina primary on May 8. Amendment 1 will also be on the ballot in that primary, and voting no will keep an anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-family amendment out of North Carolina’s state constitution.
While the business community has not said much about the amendment and its potential negative effects on business in the state, there has been some push back. A top executive at Bank of America, which has an enormous presence in the state, has commented that the amendment would drive away talent and damage business prospects in North Carolina.
And now, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company is speaking out on the issue. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers told a crowd at a business forum that the state needs to be inclusive and this amendment will prevent that:
If North Carolinians put the gay marriage ban into the state constitution, Rogers said, “You’re sending a message to the world about what kind of community this is; that we’re not inclusive.”
Though he was speaking for himself and not his company, it’s a powerful and strong statement from the CEO of a top business in the state. Rogers appears to feel strongly about the amendment and continued with a deeply personal statement:
Rogers emphasized that he was sharing his personal view and was not speaking on behalf of Duke Energy. He said “I believe we’re all children of God,” and that it’s wrong to pass measures that discriminate against individuals.
“If this amendment passes, we’re going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years from now, and we’re going to think about that amendment the same way we think about the Jim Crow laws” that discriminated against African-Americans. North Carolina is competing with the world for business, he said, and “we have to be inclusive and open.”
The GOP House Speaker in North Carolina has already admitted that if the amendment passes it will probably be repealed within 20 years, so Rogers is likely correct that the people of North Carolina would look back at the amendment and think it’s a big discriminatory, hate-based mistake. There’s still time to make sure it doesn’t pass on May 8.
What you can do to help:
1. Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.
2. Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in NC.
4. Download social media tools and yard signs to show your opposition to Amendment 1.