Indiana lawmakers passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed by Governor Mike Pence in a semi-private ceremony that was closed off to the press and media this morning. Surrounded by nuns, monks, and various other religious representatives, Pence disregarded the plea’s of major corporations, businesses, LGBT activists, and even the mayor of Indianapolis to not sign the bill which will allow any business to be exempt from any government-mandated action that violated their sincerely held religious beliefs.
— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 26, 2015
Salesforce, an S&P 500 software company that employs approximately 12,000 people with an annual revenue of over $4 billion, has made good on their promise and CEO Marc Benioff has already cancelled all trips and events in Indiana:
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
Benioff went on to tweet a warning to other CEO’s and businesses about how RFRA’s will impact their employees and customers.
GenCon CEO Adrian Swartout also submitted an official letter to the Indiana Governor imploring him to reconsider the consequences of such a bill and how it would impact the visitors of the state. Citing over 56,000 attendees from 40 different countries, all 50 states, and over $50 million in revenue to the city of Indianapolis, Swartout threatened to pull GenCon from Indianapolis, where it has been located since 2003.
Other vocal opponents of the bill include Fortune 500 engine maker Cummins, Indiana healthcare company Eskenazi Health, Indiana pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co., the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s tourism board, among many others. Actor and LGBT activist George Takei took to Twitter to call for a boycott of Indiana, former NFL player and LGBT activist Chris Kluwe has insinuated just as much, citing the similar situation between the NFL and Arizona lawmakers, Ohio-based sci-fi author John Scalzi chimed in with his take after lamenting similar laws in his home state, among hundreds of others.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 26, 2015
The @NFL made its position on diversity clear when it threatened to take away the Super Bowl from AZ. It needs to do the same in Indiana.
— Chris Warcraft (@ChrisWarcraft) March 26, 2015
Think I’ll ship Mike Pence and John Kasich in a story, where they fall in love, can’t get married in Ohio, and can’t get a cake in Indiana.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) March 26, 2015
No other companies have officially announced any immediate action as of this writing, but due to the nature of the situation that could change abruptly. Most notably will be word from GenCon on whether or not they will be pulling one of the largest conventions in North America from the state, which is currently scheduled to run from July 30 to August 2.
UPDATE: We’ve adjusted the article title to more accurately reflect the situation as at this time Salesforce has only cancelled all company events and programs that require anyone to travel to Indiana and not pulled out all their business in that state.Source: GenCon
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