Melanie Nathan reports:
Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana) is being urged to veto SB 101, a piece of legislation that would be one of the most anti-LGBT laws in the nation. The legislation allows individuals to ignore any law they deem to conflict with their religious beliefs. A broad coalition of groups in Indiana is against the proposed law including civil rights and faith leaders, small business owners and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
A campaign has been launched to ask Governor Mike Pence to veto the bill:
“As a seminary graduate, this bill is deeply offensive,” said Heather Cronk, co-director of GetEQUAL. “The fact that religion is being used as a smokescreen for deeply hateful and vile sentiments by right-wing extremists, and then cemented into law, is not just un-Christian – it’s un-American.”
As activist Scott Wooledge puts it: “I’ve engaged in the battles against these bill in Arkansas, Arizona, and Tennessee in 2011. My message to those pushing these regressive, reactionary “religious freedom” laws is we will follow you to whatever state you try this and we will fight you aggressively. And my message to our allies and friends is we will pressure to defend your LGBT friends’ and workers’ right to live their lives free of discrimination.”
Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud of Indianapolis, has also said SB 101 threatens future growth in Indiana. “Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees…” The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, engine maker Cummins, health-care provider Eskenazi Health and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. have also voiced concerns about SB 101’s impact on their businesses.
The Governor doesn’t seem inclined to listen:
Indiana Governor Mike Pence released a statement following the House passage yesterday of SB 101, a sweeping bill that would allow Indiana business owners to refuse service to customers based on religious beliefs.
Said Pence: “The legislation, SB 101, is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.”
Dark days in Indiana – how soon will the first case test this new discriminatory law?