Indiana’s New Anti-Gay Law Made This Company Cancel $40M/1000 Job Expansion

Ever since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a “religious freedom” bill allowing businesses to turn away LGBT customers, many companies have taken this as a cue to take their business out of Indiana.

One business in particular, Angie’s List, a $315 million company based out of Indianapolis, Indiana is canceling expansion, and may even be thinking about moving out of the state altogether.

The company, which allows users to review businesses online so that people know what they’re getting when they hire someone into their home for repair work, care-giving, and other in home services, is in disagreement with the passage of the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

CEO Bill Oesterle is canceling a $40 million deal that was going to expand their headquarters and add 1,000 jobs over five years.

Oesterle said:

“We’re going to be very vocal on this issue and I don’t feel we can do that if we are taking state money… We don’t want to be bound by commitments in that deal given the current atmosphere in the state (government).”

Under the current proposal Angie’s List would receive millions in tax incentives:

“We are putting the ‘Ford Building Project’ on hold until we fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on our employees, both current and future.

The expansion could happen in Indiana, it’s just not going to happen with state aid. There are a number of approaches (the expansion could take). We will be building a new master plan to meet the needs of the business.

It’s very difficult … to point to this as a harmless piece of legislation. It has caused national embarrassment (for Indiana). It has been so badly handled.

The demographic of our company is younger and to the extent… people become fed up with this (the passage of RFRA) and look for other opportunities and places that don’t have this tone, that is an issue for us. The connection is not being made at the Statehouse that these acts hinder our ability.

Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.”

Oesterle also explained that one of their top executives is gay and is now second-guessing the move to Indiana.

Also keep in mind Oesterle is a Republican who managed Mitch Daniels first campaign for governor in 2004. He knows first hand that Gov. Mike Pence is being influenced by outside sources like the American Family Association. Oesterle himself, would like to see the anti-gay law repealed.

Gov. Pence needs to realize that the freedom of religion isn’t the freedom to discriminate and he needs to help work to repeal this unconstitutional law immediately. He’s going to devastate his state financially trying to pretend he’s upholding “religious freedom.”

 

Featured image via glassdoor.com