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 300 or so how he felt, reports Charlotte Observer opinion writer Taylor Batten. 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."
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." Read more here.