It looks like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is so far the only major force to take concrete action against the state of Indiana after the governor signed a controversial bill into law on Thursday.
Gen Con, a huge gamers convention hosted in Indianapolis for more than a decade, said it would consider moving to another city if the bill became law. But citing hundreds of messages from the business community, it backtracked after the law was signed and said it would stay put through 2020, the length of its contract with the city.
The law shields business owners from legal consequences if, because of their religious beliefs, they refuse to serve members of the LGBT community.
Critics of the law fear that it will encourage discrimination. Proponents say it won’t protect discrimination but will protect business owners from being forced to do things like cater a gay wedding.
Salesforce, a major employer in Indianapolis, was among a long list of companies trying to pressure the state not to pass the law.
After the bill was signed, CEO Marc Benioff declared that Salesforce was “forced to dramatically reduce our investment in IN [Indiana]” and he immediately cancelled all programs that required employees and customers to travel to Indiana.
There have been vague rumblings from other events organisers, including the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) which is based in Indianapolis, but nothing as forceful as Salesforce’s stand.
Gogobot, a Valley tech company that makes an app that for travellers, took some action to the extent it could. It added a warning to travellers on all of its Indiana-related pages about the law.
But given the high level of outrage before the bill was signed, the initial actions from businesses objecting to the law has so far been fairly tame.