Bay Area businesses strike out against Indiana law

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A fast-spreading political firestorm is uniting protesters in Indianapolis with folks living in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. Some Bay Area residents say Indiana's new law will legalize discrimination against gays.

Indiana is facing more backlash from Bay Area business leaders against the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Opponents say the legislation, signed last week by Indiana's governor, promotes discrimination against gays and lesbians. Supporters insist that's not the case, saying the act will only limit laws that substantially burden a person's free exercise of religion. Both sides agree the courts will have the final word.

"I think that's horrid, it's not okay," said one San Francisco resident.

Another added, "I think it's crazy, it's stupid."

And yet another chimed in with, "It's 2015 and we should know better."

A fast-spreading political firestorm is uniting protesters in Indianapolis with folks living in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. Some Bay Area residents say Indiana's new law will legalize discrimination against gays.

"I think we should use our economic power and boycott the state," said one resident.

Numerous business leaders agree.

The CEO of Angie's List halted a groundbreaking for a major Indiana expansion project. Salesforce cancelled all corporate travel to Indiana. Apple's CEO Tim Cook tweeted his disappointment. And Yelp posted a blog saying it won't create business in any state that encourages discrimination.


On Saturday, the NCAA headquartered in Indianapolis and host to the Final Four next week said it's concerned. And both the NBA and WNBA emphasized their policies of inclusion.

"I think when someone comes out as a bigot, people will recognize them as a bigot and they will behave accordingly, so they're kinda defeating their own purpose," said San Francisco resident Tery Frank.

Amid this backlash, Governor Mike Pence on Saturday spoke to the Indianapolis Star saying he will support new legislation to clarify the law. He added the blowback against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a "misunderstanding driven by misinformation."

It remains to be seen if a clarification to the law will reduce the escalating economic effects for Indiana.

"No, I wouldn't spend money in Indiana," said one San Francisco resident.

Another added, "I was going to go to a meeting there next month and I'm not going to go."

In defense of the legislation, Pence noted 19 other states and the federal government have adopted RFRA laws similar to Indiana's.

Related Topics:
businesssalesforcemarc benioffappletim cookyelplgbtgaygay marriagegay rightssame sex marriagemarriagediscriminationreligionlegislationlawsu.s. & worldpoliticsSan FranciscoIndiana
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