North Carolina: Pressure Mounts as Voting Day Draws Near

By Josh Hinkle

Originally published on Advocate.com April 16 2012 9:00 PM ET

Prominent allies in the fight against North Carolina's Amendment One have started speaking out more loudly in the days before the state votes May 8.

Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, used a business breakfast at the Carmel Country Club in Charlotte on Friday to offer his condemnation of the ballot issue. "You're sending a message to the world about what kind of community this is; that we're not inclusive," Taylor Batten, the editorial page editor for the Charlotte Observer, reports Rogers said on his Charlotte Observer blog. As North Carolina strives for business growth, Rogers sees Amendment One as the wrong message to send to potential investors.

"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," Rogers reportedly said.

Another ally doing his best to help prevent the passage of Amendment One is philanthropist Todd Stiefel. PamsHouseBlend.com reports that Stiefel's North Carolina-based foundation, Stiefel Freethought Foundation, announced launch of a new campaign to help defeat Amendment One. Stiefel will match up to $100,000 in donations made to the campaign.

For its part, in its latest claims, the National Organization for Marriage says that the defeat of Amendment One could be disastrous for its side not only in North Carolina but also nationally. NOM points out that marriage equality could soon go before the U.S. Supreme Court and that "the Supreme Court isn't blind to what is happening in the states."