An extremely wide range of critics are slamming Indiana for its controversial new “religious freedom” legislation.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) touched off a national firestorm last week when he signed the new bill, which aims to protect religious Hoosiers from being forced to act against their beliefs.
But everyone from celebrities to local sports officials to business titans have very vocally disagreed.
Singer Miley Cyrus called Pence an “arsehole.” Actor Ashton Kutcher noted his “#OUTRAGE.” And the rock group Wilco wrote on Twitter that it canceled an upcoming concert in Indianapolis because the legislation “feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.”
“Hope to get back to the Hoosier State someday soon, when this odious measure is repealed,” Wilco added.
They were far from alone. NCAA, the Indiana-based college sports organisation, said it was “especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay declared his support for inclusiveness on Twitter. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton also tweeted a harsh criticism.
Even Twitter itself weighed in.
“We’re disappointed to see state bills that enshrine discrimination. These bills are unjust and bad for business. We support #EqualityForAll,” the company’s public policy team tweeted.
A number of government entities declared they would boycott Indiana as long as it maintains the law. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) issued an executive order banning state-funded trips to the state, as did Portland, Oregon, Mayor Charlie Hales (D).
Perhaps the fiercest condemnation, however, came from the business community. Apple CEO Tim Cook penned an op-ed on Monday attacking the law as part of a “dangerous” new homophobic movement. Salesforce.com canceled its programs in the state. A Paypal founder urged his company to reconsider its work in Indiana. The CEO of Yelp also threatened to punish the state’s finances.
“[I]t is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large,” Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in an open letter. “I encourage states that are considering passing laws like the one rejected by Arizona or adopted by Indiana to reconsider and abandon these discriminatory actions. (We’re looking at you, Arkansas.)”
Indiana lawmakers reportedly said Monday that they would look to amend the controversial bill to make it clear it does not legalise discrimination against gays and lesbians.
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