7 Entities That May Boycott Indiana Over New LGBT Discrimination Law

Mike Pence2

By KAY STEIGER, Think Progress

In the wake of Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) signing a law that essentially allows discrimination against gay and lesbian people in the state, companies are starting to consider pulling their business from the state.

Though Pence has tried to insist that the law is about “religious liberty” and not discrimination against LGBT discrimination in the state, that doesn’t seem to wash with many in the state — including the Chamber of Commerce, which has said the law will bring unwanted attention to the state. Many high-profile companies and entities that host major events in the state are starting to reconsider their business.




Following the signing of the law, the crowd-sourcing review site released a statement saying, “it 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 also threatened to boycott Arizona when it was considering passing similar legislation last year, and mentioned that it would have a similar position on Arkansas if it passes legislation that it is debating that would enable discrimination.


“Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, pointing to a CNN story in which it said that it would halt all efforts to expand to the state.

The Salesforce decision comes after a group of tech-based businesses sent a letter threatening to halt business in the state if the bill became law. “Technology professionals are by their nature very progressive, and backward-looking legislation such as the RFRA will make the state of Indiana a less appealing place to live and work,” the letter said.

The City of San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced that municipal employees are barred from traveling to the state for work-related trips. “San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the state of Indiana,” Lee said.


The college athletic association said it was “especially concerned” about the new law, and may pull upcoming college tournaments scheduled in the state.

Eli Lilly and Company

The global drug giant, which employs more than 11,000 workers in the state, called the legislation “disappointing.”

“We certainly understand the implications this legislation has on our ability to attract and retain employees,” said Lilly spokeswoman Janice Chavers told CNN. “Simply put, we believe discriminatory legislation is bad for Indiana and for business.”

Disciples of Christ

The entire Christian denomination sent a letter saying that “…The recent passage in the state legislature of the RFRA bill is distressing to us. It is causing us to reconsider our decision to hold our 2017 gathering in Indianapolis.”

Gen Con

The comics and gaming convention threatened to move its annual event out of Indiana over the law. “Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years,” wrote Gen Con’s Chief Executive Adrian Swartout.

High profile politicians and celebrities have also spoken out against the law. Pop star Miley Cyrus called Pence an “asshole” in an Instagram post over the law.

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress 


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