Duke Energy's Jim Rogers slams Amendment One

Thanks go out to usernamehere today for pointing to this blog post by Taylor Batten at the Charlotte Observer.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was the keynote speaker at a business breakfast this morning. He opened it up for questions and I asked him for his take on the marriage amendment on the May 8 ballot.

Rogers hesitated, but then couldn't stop himself from telling the crowd of 200 or so how he felt.

If North Carolinians put the gay marriage ban into the state constitution, Rogers said, "You're sending a message to the world that we're not inclusive."

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 passes, we're going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years, and think of it like 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."

I want to thank Mr. Rogers for finally speaking up on this issue. Better late than never, I suppose. But the proof of his convictions will be in his follow-through. Rogers says he's not speaking for Duke Energy, but he should be. He's CEO for heaven's sake. Who else is speaking for the company.

I also want to thank Taylor Batten for asking the question. We at BlueNC have been asking where Rogers stand for months, and couldn't even get the courtesy of a "no comment."

All of which brings us to the ultimate question. Are Jim Rogers and Duke Energy still backing Pat McCrory for governor? And if so, what the hell are they thinking?

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More coverage on Jim Rogers story

from the Charlotte Business Journal.

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2012/04/duke-energy...

Noteworthy:

...he noted the company does provide benefits for partners regardless of sexual orientation or the nature of the relationship.

Amendment One would strip away existing benefits from local government employees.

Mighty harsh.