By a 10-1 secret ballot vote with three abstentions, the Board of Directors of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce approved a formal resolution today “Affirming the Link Between Non-Discriminatory Public Policy and Economic Development” at its monthly meeting.
According to the wording of the resolution, the Chamber board “voices its strong opposition to recent action by the Attorney General of Virginia Kenneth Cuccinelli to advise Virginia’s colleges and universities to remove protections against discrimination from lesbian and gay persons…Removing such protections will have adverse economic consequences for Virginians by undermining efforts at mitigating the impact of the current recession through energetic efforts at new economic development and the recruitment of major corporations to the state.
The resolution adds, “We believe that many new and relocating businesses will choose to avoid Virginia because this posture on discrimination will have a profoundly chilling effect on prospective employees, contractors, vendors and customers.”
With its action today, the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce becomes the only Chamber in Virginia to take a stand against Cuccinelli’s action on economic development grounds. The Falls Church Chamber was also the only Chamber in the commonwealth to take a similar stand, also on economic development grounds, against the Marshall-Newman Amendment barring same sex marriage in 2006. In both cases, today’s and the one in 2006, the Falls Church Chamber board’s action was initiated and advocated for by F.C. Chamber board member and past president Nicholas F. Benton, owner and editor of the Falls Church News-Press.