“The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce opposes Amendment One for the following reasons:
1. The process by which Amendment One was presented to the voters and questions raised by text of the proposal appear to put at risk domestic partner benefit plans that are common among the Chamber’s members. It is likely to create uncertainty around ongoing employment practices of the Chamber’s members, and create the prospect of unnecessary legal, administrative, and financial burdens for the Chamber and its members. Since there is no compelling or clearly articulated need for such a fundamental change in the law, the adoption of the amendment would be imprudent.
2. One of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce’s primary roles is economic development. In that role, the Chamber meets regularly with businesses interested in relocating or expanding in Durham, and with entrepreneurs interested in forming their business in Durham. Through those meetings the Chamber receives the consistent message that a stable and diverse workforce is critical to those businesses in making the decision to locate here. North Carolina currently has the advantage of being the only state in the region without a Constitutional provision of the type proposed by Amendment One, and therefore it is better able to compete for business with states that do not have such Constitutional prohibitions. The Chamber believes that the absence of such a Constitutional provision gives North Carolina, and Durham in particular, a competitive advantage when recruiting new businesses, encouraging existing businesses to expand, and persuading the highly skilled workers those businesses value to live here. Therefore, the Chamber believes that the adoption of Amendment One could discourage economic development and job creation in Durham.
3. Finally, Amendment One is inconsistent with the spirit of Durham. The Chamber embraces diversity as a defining element of the Durham community. Surveys of Durham’s citizens and feedback from companies considering locating here consistently show that Durham’s diversity and tolerance are fundamental elements of its identity and its appeal. Further, studies of successful communities consistently rank diversity as a key component of innovative and economically vibrant regions. The Chamber cannot support any initiative that threatens such a vital component of the community’s economic success.
Accordingly, for the business reasons stated above, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce encourages the people of Durham, and all of its members and their employees to vote “no” on Amendment One.”