Bank Of America Defends Executive’s Pro-Equality YouTube Vid

Bessantx390Bank of America is defending a YouTube video posted by Catherine P. Bessant, a "global technology and operations executive" with BoA, for speaking out against North Carolina's anti-marriage "Amendment One." (BoA is headquarted in Charlotte, NC.) 

From the Daily Herald:

Nicole Nastacie, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said in an email that the video is legitimate [though] the company isn’t taking a position on Amendment One. “Employees are allowed and encouraged to be involved in their personal capacity in dialogue and debate on important public issues,” she said.

In the video, Bessant apparently said:

We’re in a war with other states across the country who would love to have the jobs that we have today … Amendment One has the potential to have a disastrous effect on our ability to attract talent and keep talent in the state of North Carolina.

I can't confirm that the quote is accurate, however, because Bessant's YouTube vid has now been set to "private."

Still, NC Republicans claim they sympathize with Bessant's critique, and address it in the very language of the bill. Amendment One, they say, while restricting marriage to one-man- and one-woman-unions, sets no restrictions on what benefits private companies may offer their employees. From the Daily Herald:

“We added that language specifically to allay unfounded assertions that this was going to hurt businesses,” [said Paul Stam, the Republican majority leader of the state’s House of Representatives.] “They can give any kind of benefit they want. Where’s the beef?”


  1. Pete n SFO says

    “We added that language specifically to allay unfounded assertions that this was going to hurt businesses,…”

    Whatever, dude. In the ‘real world’ people don’t look to the subtlety of your discrimination. I promise you, people will relegate NC as a State that sanctions it, and choose to live elsewhere.

    I should think a simple mind, would understand that completely.

  2. David Hearne says

    For a group of people who claim to be “pro-business” or “pro-economy”, the Republicans (and sympathizers in the Democratic Party) do not seem to get the value of timing here, or the upside potential to bringing full gay equality to a southern coastal state.

    I have written repeatedly to members of the Florida legislature to point out that their perception that we are a “tiny minority” doesn’t take into account that we have a history of being good for real estate values. I point out that we would be the first state with a warm climate and ample waterfront communities to have legal gay marriage, and that this could quite possible create an exodus of people, money, and business from California to Florida.

    For those of you who are unaware, the Pacific Ocean at its warmest in California is rarely as warm as the Gulf of Mexico at its coldest.

  3. LiamB says

    “Where’s the beef?”

    The beef is that talented GLBT’s aren’t going to want to move to states that don’t allow them to be married. Moron.

  4. gaylib says

    Stam is a liar. Here is the language as it appears on the ballot: “constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in the state”. It doesn’t say anything about allowing businesses to offer benefits, in fact it specifically makes domestic partnerships illegal. Of course he lies because his ilk know that the only way to pass it is if people don’t understand just how dangerous it really is to all North Carolinians, most especially children. It is truly shameless.

  5. Armando says

    Even if it is true that companies can give benefits, who would want to live in a state where you are only equal at work? There would still be discrimination in housing, being able to visit an ill partner in a hospital, inherit property and all the other benefits that marriage entails. Thanks but no thanks.