CEO’s, businesses, organizations, entertainers and city governments have expressed great concern over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The law was signed by Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) on Thursday. It allows bigots to refuse service to the LGBT community based on religious principles.
These groups, fearing discrimination against employees, customers and fans are outraged and speaking out. Three days after the medieval anti-LGBT law was signed, Indiana is already on track to lose millions in annual revenue… and momentum is building. This backward law could wind up costing Indiana billions.
The following 13 CEO’s, businesses, organizations, entertainers and city governments are pressuring Indiana to get rid of the offensive RFRA law or suffer the consequences,
Gen Con, the nations largest gaming convention, has announced it will reconsider holding their annual convention in Indiana. A loss of $50 million to the state annually.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
The NCAA has released a statement which says, in part,
“Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”
Basketball stars Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller have condemned Indiana’s anti-gay RFRA law and are urging the NCAA to move the Final Four to another state. Sportscaster Keith Olbermann has suggested the NCAA should pull the Final Four out of Indy as well. A Change.org petition is circulating asking the NCAA to boycott Indiana.
Angie’s List, a $315 million dollar company, is canceling expansion in the state that was to deliver 1,000 new jobs and $40 million in revenue.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out. He’s deeply disappointed in the discriminatory law,
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, delivered an open letter to Indiana and all states that are considering laws that allow discrimination:
“… it is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.”
Eli Lilly and Company
Janice Chavers, spokeswoman for Eli Lilly and Company told CNN that the new law is bad for business. The company employs in excess of 11,700 workers in the state:
“We certainly understand the implications this legislation has on our ability to attract and retain employees,” said Chavers. “Simply put, we believe discriminatory legislation is bad for Indiana and for business.”
Indiana-based Cummins, the world’s largest diesel engine maker, told CNBC it feels the law is bad for business:
“We’re disappointed with the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” said a Cummins spokesman. “Cummins believes it’s bad for business and bad for Indiana and sends the message that the state is unwelcoming.” He added, “We are a global company in a competitive environment and it could hinder our ability to attract and retain top talent.”
Eskenazi Health, a leading healthcare provider in central Indiana, has actively spoken out about the RFRA.
The City of San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee will be restricting municipal employees from traveling to Indiana for work-related business:
“San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the state of Indiana,” said Lee.
The City of Seattle
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has banned travel to Indiana by city employees:
“Seattleites know that discrimination has no place in our City – that’s just equality 101,” said Murray.
Tony award winning Broadway star Audra McDonald condemned the law on Twitter, suggesting they won’t be booking additional events in the state and vowed to give all proceeds from two upcoming gigs in Indiana to the Human Rights Campaign.
Disciples of Christ
Disciples of Christ, a Christian church headquartered in Indiana sent a letter to Pence stating they may move their general conference to another state:
“…The recent passage in the state legislature of the RFRA bill is distressing to us,” the letter read. “It is causing us to reconsider our decision to hold our 2017 gathering in Indianapolis.”
So far, the outrage is falling on deaf ears. Pence spoke with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. When asked if signing the law was a mistake, Pence said,
“Absolutely not,” declared Pence. “We’re not going to change the law.”
Arkansas is the next state set to sign an anti-LGBT discrimination bill. It has passed the state House and Senate and is on it’s way to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. Hutchinson (AR-R) says he’ll sign it. Hopefully, Hutchinson will see the pounding Indiana is taking to its economy and change his mind.