Indiana Gov., Mike Pence (Rep.), recently signed a bill that allows business owners the right to deny LGBT couples service on religious grounds, which has sparked a large internet campaign to boycott travel and commerce to the state’s businesses, and has attracted attention from some well known figures and celebrities, like Star Trek actor and LGBT activist, George Takei, pop singer Miley Cyrus, the Indiana-based NCAA, and the Mayor of San Francisco, to name a few. Those in favor of the boycott have adopted the hashtag #BoycottIndiana, which is now trending.
The bill was signed into law in a private ceremony on Thursday and the resulting backlash has continued today. As of July 1, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA will give Indiana businesses the legal right to deny or turn way services to gay and lesbian couples under the claim of “religious freedom”. Though dozens of states across the U.S. are pushing for similar laws; Indiana is the first state in this legislative session to sign such a bill into law, although 20 other states have similar RFRA bills.
The mayor of San Francisco, Mayor Edwin M. Lee said he is banning all city-funded trips to Indiana in light of the new discriminatory bill. Lee also ordered all city departments to bar city employees from taking trips to Indiana on tax-payer dollars except when absolutely necessary for public health and safety.
Others, besides the Mayor of San Francisco and Takei, have voiced concerns. Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player tweeted that he wonders if he will be discriminated when he attends the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis next week.
The President of the NCAA, President Mark Emmert, said that he was concerned how the legislation affects athletes and employees.
The gamer convention, Gen Con, also will be joining in the boycott, stating that it would pull its event from Indianapolis when the contract with the city ended.
Salesforce, a $4 billion CRM and cloud computing corporation, said, through CEO Scott McCorkle, that they would stop expansion in Indiana based on the new legislation.
Pence and his supporters deny claims of discrimination, saying the bill protects business owners from the government hindering on them from practicing their own religious views.
The boycott movement, however, is concerned about businesses, who are not in favor of the new legislation, being affected. The boycott movement has mentioned a website where pro-equality businesses may be located in any state.