We ask that business leaders sign the letter below to state their public opposition to Amendment One. You will be signing as an individual, not on behalf of your business.
To the Citizens of North Carolina:
We, the undersigned, are individual leaders of businesses and other organizations that drive North Carolina’s economy. We urge you to vote against Amendment One – a constitutional amendment that will ban legal recognition for all unmarried couples (gay and straight), including domestic partnerships and civil unions.
The proposed amendment states:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
We write to oppose this amendment because of the harm it will cause to our state’s pro-business environment, its major employers, and efforts to spur job creation in North Carolina.
A May 2011 survey ranked North Carolina as the second best state for businesses in the country, based on the views of 550 chief executive officers nationally – largely because of our state’s workforce quality, regulation, and living environment. This constitutional amendment would adversely impact all three of these factors and put North Carolina’s reputation as a “business friendly” state in peril.
First, Amendment One would impair our state’s workforce quality by undermining our organizations’ ability to attract and retain talented employees. We are only as strong as our employees.
Second, the Amendment would create unnecessary big government regulation that would have long-term effects on our current and potential employees. For example, Amendment One would throw current NC domestic violence statutes into doubt – thus opening the door to potential harms to many of our existing employees. It would also ban domestic partner benefits for public employees – effectively limiting recruitment of employees with partners who wish to work in the public sector.
Finally, Amendment One would harm our image across the country – as it would write discrimination into our Constitution. Currently, we stand out as the only state in the South that has not written such a discriminatory clause into its Constitution. We need to stop this Amendment to preserve the positive image North Carolina still enjoys among all prospective workers.
These impacts hurt businesses and would lead entrepreneurs and companies to rethink their plans to expand in or relocate to our state.
Improving our economy and reducing unemployment are the serious challenges for North Carolina today. Amendment One is a distraction from the key issues we face – and we urge you to vote against it.