Indianapolis Mayor Puts RFRA on Ignore, Conventions Reassess Indiana

We have seen individuals, we have seen companies and we have seen cities, and now entire states, denounce Indiana’s embrace of religious tyranny.

And not only did Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard denounce the bill, but Monday, he called upon the Indiana General Assembly to either repeal it or add the necessary protections to it.

As a trump, he signed an executive order – a Declaration of Non-Discrimination – which IGNORES the RFRA:

1. The City hereby affirms its policy that no vendor, contractor, grant recipient, or anyone receiving public funds or benefits of any kind shall discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, or United States military service veteran status, and any breach of this policy shall continue to be considered a mutual breach of the relationship with the city.

2. The City hereby requests the Indiana General Assembly and the Governor to expressly add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in state law.

3. The City hereby requests the Indiana General Assembly and the Governor to expressly exempt the City’s ordinances, resolutions, executive or administrative orders, regulations, customs, and usages from RFRA’s application.

So you may put your “No gays” sign up, but if you do, you give up doing business with the City of Indianapolis and its Republican mayor.

All these groups, individuals and cities are now joined by unions.

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which has 1.6 million members, is pulling its 2015 Women’s Conference out of Indianapolis in response to Indiana’s codifying of religious tyranny into law. In October, 900 women planned to meet in Indianapolis. They will meet somewhere else now, and take their money with them.

In a release published on their blog yesterday, AFSCME states:

This past week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that legalizes discrimination, allowing businesses to refuse service to customers simply because they are gay or lesbian. Further, since Governor Pence claims disingenuously that it is about religious freedom, his law protects any business owner who refuses to hire someone of a different religion from their own.

This un-American law sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights. It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated. As such, AFSCME will move our 2015 Women’s Conference in October from Indianapolis to another state. Additional details about the conference’s new location and any necessary date change will be announced as they become available.

The punches keep coming, low and hard, as Indiana Governor Mike Pence staggers from the repeated blows. The so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act looks more and more like a mistake. Pence admits it may need some “clarification” while it’s architects smile with glee as the law does precisely what it was intended to do: permit “No Gays” signs all over Indiana.

It cannot be tolerated. And AFSCME, if Governor Pence does not, gets this:

Throughout our proud history, our union has stood up whenever injustice has occurred – be it for striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968, or for the victims of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Governor Pence’s law, motivated by ultra-right-wing zealots, is an affront to the vast majority of those in our nation who believe that every American deserves equal treatment under the law, no matter whom they love or where they worship.

AFSCME is pulling our Women’s Conference out of Indiana this fall as a sign of our disgust and disappointment with Governor Pence’s discriminatory law. We stand with the ever-growing number of corporations and associations who are taking similar action this week, and demanding fairness for all in the state of Indiana.

Levi Strauss and The Gap yesterday joined the list of corporations denouncing the RFRA, saying in a statement,

As Indiana, Arkansas, and states around the country enact and consider legislation that perpetuates discrimination, we’re urging State Legislatures to stand up for equality by repealing and voting against these discriminatory laws.

These new laws and legislation, that allow people and businesses to deny service to people based on their sexual orientation, turn back the clock on equality and foster a culture of intolerance.

Discriminatory laws are unquestionably bad for business, but more importantly, they are fundamentally wrong. They must be stopped.

At Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co., we are proud to say we are open to business for everyone.

It is difficult to imagine that the RFRA being revised or watered down. Its supporters don’t even want it “clarified” after all. But until Indiana does something to reverse the course they have taken, the hits will keep coming.

After all, no more are Levi Strauss and The Gap the only companies denouncing RFRA, AFSCME is not the only organization re-evaluating Indiana as a convention site.

There are literally dozens of others.

The question now is, have Indiana bigots done more to rock their own cause back on its heels than any liberal or progressive group could have ever imagined?

20 Replies to “Indianapolis Mayor Puts RFRA on Ignore, Conventions Reassess Indiana”

  1. The NCAA should issue an ultimatum, if tis law is not repealed in 30 days then we will move the women’s basketball championship that is scheduled to be played in 2016. They should let Indiana know they will move their headquarters.

    The NFL should do the same with the combine. Like in 1947 sports when Jackie Robinson integrated baseball sports must lead the way

  2. Its almost comical how the gotp’s accusations of “Obama tyranny” when in fact, the teatoads and rubes are the real tyrants destroying this country with their brand of backwoods Christianity, hate-filled rants toward women, minorities, lgbt, disabled persons.

  3. The Rolling Stones, just this morning, announced their 2015 U.S. tour and it includes Indianapolis on July 4 (yes, Independence Day). I would like them to sort of back off from that unless the law is changed.

  4. FACT. Indiana will suffer job loses due to this law. No major company wants to do business with hate filled people. Diversity and inclusion is the bedrock of all major companies today.
    Indiana is now known as the state of intolerance!!!!

  5. Hesch, save your money. The last tour the Rolling Uglies did was nothing but a string of horrible performances and bad sound mixing. It is time for them to throw in the towel.

  6. Fix it, he knew better than to sign it. Two days ago there was nothing wrong with it, in his opinion. I feel bad for the decent people of Indiana, but there needs to be a lasting reminder, to Pence and his thumping followers. Just because he adjusts the wording to make it more palatable, doesn’t mean the damage hasn’t already been done. HE needs to own it, this is his baby. This needs to follow his ass FOREVER!

  7. Pence and company won’t do anything meaningful until someone starts adding up the dollars lost as companies and organizations move out of state. Money = pressure.

    Even if they “fix” this stupidity, the damage has been done. What business is going to trust these clowns? What will they come up with next?

    Until the voters of Indiana sweep Pence and the goper legislators out of office, Indiana will suffer.

  8. You know Bush and Cruz would be singing a different song it they became the targets.

    Mike Pence is probably still confused on why so many people are against this.

  9. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry will have to own their support for Mike Pence when election time rolls around. They might not suffer during the primaries, but lets see if they can etch-a-sketch their way out of it in the general election. I think not.

  10. did pence actually blame obamacare for this law? did I miss something? how long will we allow America to be humiliated by these rightwing jerks?

  11. Disciples of Christ to move 2017 convention from Indiana due to new freedom to discriminate law

    Another organization has come out against Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Disciples of Christ, (AKA “Christian Church”) is a large mainline Protestant denomination with over 650,000 members. Their organizers have stated that they’re now moving the site of their 2017 convention, which was to take place in Indianapolis, due to the new “freedom to discriminate” law:

  12. Francie, I am one of those lifelong “decent” citizens of Indiana, and I’m so embarrassed and disgusted with my state that I’m in danger of exploding!

    All I can say is: while I hate it that Indiana is going to lose millions of investment dollars from this, I have to thank all the boycotters and heartily encourage them to continue until this bagger-inspired law is repealed!

    Thank you BOYCOTTERS .. . . keep the pressure ON!

  13. The ObamaCare straw wasn’t the first straw Pence was grasping at, and it won’t be the last straw either.

    The guy is desperate, yet he just keeps digging the hole!

    As a decent Hoosier, I’m enjoying watching his desperation.

    Please, everyone .. . .. Keep up The pressure!

  14. Sarah, I live right across the bridge, in Kentucky. I have many friends that live in So. Indiana who feel the same as you. We have a great governor right now, in Ky. but he is term limited, and a primary coming in May. My state could possibly go the way of Indiana. The frontrunner on the gotp side can’t run an add without mentioning faith or god,(too many times to count) in a minute long commercial. This could be the guy, if elected screws Ky. further into the ground. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the both of us.

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