When Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed a law that allows discrimination against the gay community based on “religious liberty,” he may have signed his state’s economic death warrant.
Less than a week into the new law’s debut, seven huge contracts for conventions and sporting events may be pulled due to intolerance and bigotry, and some of its major employers may be reconsidering just how attractive doing business in Indiana actually is.
Yelp, the popular review site, released a statement that said:
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.
Salesforce.com sent a letter to the state saying:
Technology professionals are by their nature very progressive, and backward-looking legislation such as the RFRA will make the state of Indiana a less appealing place to live and work.
The City of San Francisco barred its employees from traveling to Indiana for work-related trips, saying:
San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the state of Indiana.
The NCAA, which hosts an immense amount of sporting events, including the Final Four for men’s basketball, said it is “especially concerned” and may pull upcoming tournaments from the state.
Eli Lilly and Company, the pharmaceutical company that employs 11,000 in Indiana, said the legislation was “disappointing.” Spokeswoman Janice Chavers told CNN:
We certainly understand the implications this legislation has on our ability to attract and retain employees. Simply put, we believe discriminatory legislation is bad for Indiana and for business.
The entire Christian denomination, The Disciples of Christ, said in a letter:
“The recent passage in the state legislature of the RFRA bill is distressing to us. It is causing us to reconsider our decision to hold our 2017 gathering in Indianapolis.”
GenCon, the massive gamers convention, threatened to move its event out of Indiana. CEO Adrian Swartout wrote:
Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.
Nicely played, Indiana. By legalizing discrimination you’ve alienated yourself from not only the gay community, but from everyone who supports equal rights.