Business leaders urge Senate against amendment

Recruitment, business development at threat, biz owners say

RALEIGH, N.C. — Six business leaders from across the state joined Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford) at a press conference this morning at the North Carolina Legislative Building. They outlined their business-minded argument against a proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

State Rep. Marcus Brandon leads a press conference of Tar Heel business owners and leaders. Photo via @wccubbison, Twitter.

“This discrimination amendment is unnecessary and bad for business,” Brandon said. “There’s a lot of people who know business like the people standing here today.”

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The amendment, which gained House approval yesterday, could be taken up by the Senate today. If passed, it would appear on the May 2012 ballot.

Mitchel Gold, co-founder of Taylorsville, N.C., furniture company Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams, said the amendment will hurt recruitment efforts.

“This amendment is a black eye,” he said.

Gold also said a months-long anti-LGBT campaign would harm young gay people, asking reporters to consider the harm a gay teenager will face when confronted with anti-gay billboards and ads.

“Make no mistake about it, this is not about gay marriage being taught in schools; this is really about hurting young gay kids. This is bullying,” Gold said.

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Young entrepreneur Eric Boggs, whose Durham-based Argyle Social was founded just 18 months ago, said the amendment would make starting new companies more complex and place hardships on young professionals.

“I can attest from vivid, recent experience that starting a company is incredibly difficult and recruiting is the most important piece of the process,” Boggs said. “This amendment complicates something that is already incredibly difficult and makes recruiting that much harder.”

A rally organized by Equality North Carolina started soon after the business leaders’ press conference. Opponents of the amendment hope they can persuade some senators to vote against the measure when it comes before their body today or tomorrow.

more: Keep up with the latest news from Raleigh at our Legislative Watch at goqnotes.com/in/ncga/.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.