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'Indianapolis Star' Front Page Demand to State Leaders: 'Fix This Now'


The front page of today's Indianapolis Star newspaper is a dire plea to the state legislature and governor: fix this now.

In an accompanying editorial decrying the effects of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the paper's editorial board writes:

We are at a critical moment in Indiana's history. And much is at stake.

Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers.

All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.

The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created.

Half steps will not be enough. Half steps will not undo the damage.

Read the rest here.

GOP Indianapolis Mayor to Issue Executive Order Shoring Up City's LGBT Protections: VIDEO


Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has called on the Indiana General Assembly to add sexual orientation as a protected class and says he will issue an executive order stating that anyone who receives money from the city must abide by its human rights ordinance.

Indianapolis currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, according to the HRC

The Indianapolis Star reports:

"Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity. And RFRA threatens what thousands have spent decades building," Ballard said.

"Discrimination is wrong. And I hope that message is being heard loud and clear at our Statehouse."

Ballard said that everyone will be welcome at the NCAA men's basketball Final Four this weekend.

"Indianapolis will not be defined by this. Indianapolis welcomes everybody," he said. [...]

Later Monday, the City-County Council will introduce Proposition 120, a special resolution denouncing the law and urging the General Assembly to add protections for sexual orientation to state civil rights law. Failing that, the resolution says, the state should exempt local human rights ordinances from the statute.

"The city of Indianapolis is a welcoming place that values all its citizens — SB 101 does not reflect the diversity of our great city," Council President Maggie Lewis said in a statement.

GOP leaders in the General Assembly have pledged to "clarify" the intent of the state's new "religious freedom" law. State Democrats aren't buying it

Watch Ballard's press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Indianapolis Mayor to Issue Executive Order Shoring Up City's LGBT Protections: VIDEO" »

Angie's List Pulls $40 Million Indiana Campus Expansion Proposal Over Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law

Angie's list

Indianapolis-based Angie's List has announced it is canceling a $40 million headquarters expansion due to the state's new law allowing discrimination based on religious grounds, the Indianapolis Star reports:

OesterleThe decision is a direct result of passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, co-founder and chief executive officer Bill Oesterle said Saturday.

The proposed expansion of the online consumer ratings service was touted to add 1,000 good-paying jobs over five years and help revitalize a struggling Eastside neighborhood.

"Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none," Oesterle said, "and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents."

The paper notes that Oesterle is a Republican who supported Pence in the race for governor, but that Oesterle has made it clear this new law "hurts the company's ability to recruit and retain top-flight talent."

Previously, "Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Attempts Damage Control, Won't Say If 'Religious Freedom' Bill Will Lead To Discrimination" [tlrd]

LGBT Groups Call BS on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's Push to 'Clarify Intent' of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law


As thousands marched outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday to protest the state's new law allowing individuals to discriminate on religious grounds, Gov. Mike Pence announced he will support the introduction of legislation to "clarify" the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

To what extend this "clarification" will alleviate growing fears among LGBT Hoosiers remains unclear however and LGBT groups so far aren't buying it.

Tweeted HRC President Chad Griffin:

Freedom Indiana is also calling bull, with campaign manager Katie Blair issuing the following statement:

“You can’t ‘clarify’ discrimination. Indiana now has billions of dollars and thousands of jobs on the line, all because the Governor wouldn’t stop this dangerous bill. He has a second chance to save our reputation for Hoosier hospitality, but he has to stand up and protect LGBT Hoosiers. 
“Discrimination is not a core Hoosier value, and we can’t afford to let our state continue to suffer. Please, Governor, listen to the voices of common sense and reason trying to get through to you. Fix the bill to protect all Hoosiers, and make it clear our state is open for business again.”
Lamba Legal too:
When asked yesterday whether his "clarification" will include making sexual orientation a protected legal class in Indiana, Pence replied, "That's not on my agenda."

Indiana Restaurant Owner Calls in to Radio Station Proudly Saying He'll Refuse to Serve Gay Customers: LISTEN

Kyle and rache

Warning: this might just ruin your Saturday morning.

Indianapolis morning radio show Kyle & Rachel was busy fielding caller comments on the state's discriminatory "religious freedom" bill yesterday when a local bigot decided to call in and voice his support for the state's new law.

Listen to Ryan, who says he owns a local restaurant and has discriminated against gay customers in the past, casually explain why he's looking forward to his new "license to discriminate" AFTER THE JUMP... (warning: autoplay)

In related news, former NBA star Charles Barkley has called on the NCAA to move its March Madness Final Four tournament out of Indiana over the new law. 


Continue reading "Indiana Restaurant Owner Calls in to Radio Station Proudly Saying He'll Refuse to Serve Gay Customers: LISTEN" »

White House Voices Concerns Over Indiana’s Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law

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The White House voiced concerns today over the passage of Indiana’s religious freedom law that could potentially allow discrimination against LGBT people reports Metro Weekly. White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law yesterday by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence raises legitimate concerns for companies considering doing business in the state and is a step backward for all Americans.

Said Earnest:

"I have seen that there are a number of private businesses and nonprofit organizations that have said that the signing of this law prompts them to reconsider doing business in the state of Indiana. All those business and some of those who are considering having conventions in Indiana have raised concerns about whether all of their employees can count on being treated fairly in Indiana. 

"I think that is a testament to the kind of reaction I think a lot of people all across the country had, which is that the signing of the bill doesn’t seem like it’s a step in the direction of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans. Again, that’s not just the view of the administration, I know that’s the view of the Republican mayor of Indianapolis and a whole host of nonprofit and private sector companies who have legitimate concerns about the impact of this legislation."

Earnest added that he hasn’t spoken to President Obama directly regarding Indiana’s new law, or the "Kill the gays," ballot initiative that California Attorney General Kamala Harris is currently fighting.



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