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#BoycottIndiana Continues to Grow In Wake of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law

PenceThe backlash against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision yesterday to sign into law a bill allowing businesses to discriminate against individuals based upon religious beliefs is growing (and growing, and growing).

Yesterday we told you about the CEO of Salesforce, a global cloud computing company that made over $5 billion in total annual revenue last year, announcing that he would be canceling all programs that require travel to Indiana. Similarly, the NCAA released a statement saying it would be re-evaluating its relationship with Indiana in the wake of the new "license to discriminate" law and a change.org petition is already underway asking the NCAA to move the Big Ten Football Championship out of Indianapolis. 

Outsports founder Cyd Zeigler, meanwhile, has pledged to ask every person he does business with in Indianapolis next weekend during the Men's Final Four match-up whether or not they have a problem serving LGBT people.

And these are just the tip of the backlash iceberg Pence has brought to his state. Politicians, businesses, advocacy groups, actors and more are speaking out.

Check out some of the big names joining #BoycottIndiana, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "#BoycottIndiana Continues to Grow In Wake of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law" »


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Cancels Company Ties with Indiana in Wake of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Law

Marc Benioff, the CEO of global cloud computing company Salesforce, announced that he is canceling all programs that require travel to Indiana in light of the signing of SB 101 by Governor Mark Pence. The new law allows businesses to discriminate against individuals based upon religious beliefs.

BenioffSaid Benioff in a tweet:

"Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination."

Benioff also told re/code:

We’ve made significant investments in Indiana. We run major marketing events and conferences there. We’re a major source of income and revenue to the state of Indiana, but we simply cannot support this kind of legislation...Gov. Pence says he wants to bring the tech industry to Indiana and to increase the number of tech-related jobs in his state, but he doesn’t seem to understand that a significant portion of the tech industry is gay. This is one of the most important industries in the country and he has been advocating for us to expand and invest in Indiana, but you can’t say that and then say you’re going to legalize discrimination like this. The tech industry is not going to support this kind of legislation and is going to react against it.”

Benioff also told the news outlet that Indiana would face a “slow rolling of economic sanctions” if the law was not rejected.


NCAA to Re-evaluate Relationship With Indiana in Wake of 'License to Discriminate' Law

NcaaNCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement today following Indiana Governor Mike Pence's signing of SB101, which allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT people based on religious beliefs.

Said Emmert:

"The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events.  We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.  We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."


George Takei Eviscerates Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for Signing Anti-gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Takei

George Takei, who earlier this week threatened to boycott Indiana if the state's anti-gay "religious freedom" bill became law, tore into Gov. Mike Pence on Facebook today after Pence added his signature to the bill.

PenceWrote Takei:

I am outraged that Gov. Pence would sign such a divisive measure into law. He has made it clear that LGBT couples, like Brad and me, are now unwelcome in his state. The notion that this bill was not driven by animus against our community is belied by the record and frankly insulting. I will join many in demanding that socially responsible companies withdraw their business, conferences and support from his state and that LGBTs and our friends and supporters refuse to visit or do business with Indiana. It is a sad day for the Hoosier state, and indeed for the many good people of Indiana, for whom this law now stands as a terrible blight upon that state's reputation.

Gen Con, which sent a sent a letter to Pence threatening to pull its $50 million gaming convention out of Indianapolis should he sign the bill, is currently drafting a follow-up response to today's news.


Indiana Governor Mike Pence Signs Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill in Private Ceremony

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed the anti-gay "religious freedom" bill in a private ceremony. The bill allows businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers based on religious beliefs.

PenceSaid Pence in a written statement:

Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.

“One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.

“Fortunately, in the 1990s Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—limiting government action that would infringe upon religion to only those that did not substantially burden free exercise of religion absent a compelling state interest and in the least restrictive means.

“Last year the Supreme Court of the United States upheld religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but that act does not apply to individual states or local government action. At present, nineteen states—including our neighbors in Illinois and Kentucky—have adopted Religious Freedom Restoration statutes. And in eleven additional states, the courts have interpreted their constitutions to provide a heightened standard for reviewing government action.

“In order to ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year our General Assembly joined those 30 states and the federal government to enshrine these principles in Indiana law, and I fully support that action.

“This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

“Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.”

The Indy Star reports:

Spokeswoman Kara Brooks said the event was closed to the press and the public. However, supportive lawmakers and other supporters of the measure were allowed to attend. One source said a packed house gathered for the signing just before 10 a.m.

The governor's office declined to immediately say who specifically was in attendance. A large round of applause came from the governor's office around 9:55 a.m.


Indiana Governor Mike Pence Plans to Sign Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill Tomorrow at Private Ceremony

Pence

Indiana Governor Mike Pence plans to sign the anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill tomorrow at a private ceremony, Freedom Indiana reports via Twitter.

Earlier today, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard blasted the legislation, saying it sends the "wrong signal." On Tuesday, Gen Con, the massive gaming convention held annually in Indianapolis, said they would pull out and move elsewhere if Pence signs the bill.


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