Gen Con, a tabletop gaming convention normally held in Indianapolis, is potentially in jeopardy today as Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.
The bill stops state and local governments from preventing a person’s free exercise of religion without a compelling state interest.
“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” said Gov. Pence in a statement.
“This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it,” he added.
Those against the bill, including the organisers of Gen Con, say its language will allow Indiana residents to discriminate based on ther beliefs. As a prime example, those against the bill say it it will allow business owners the right to refuse service to LGBTQ patrons.
The Seattle-based Gen Con LLC sent a letter to Gov. Pence saying that if the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed into law, the company would reconsider “hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.”
Today, Gen Con’s Twitter account said they’re preparing a response to the bill and the future of the convention in Indianapolis.
Adrian is writing a follow-up letter for #gencon attendees today. We appreciate your passion and support. We're proud of our community.
— Gen Con (@Gen_Con) March 26, 2015
Gen Con isn’t the only organisation considering — or actually removing — business from the state. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also took to Twitter to assert that his company will be avoiding Indiana wherever possible.
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
We’ll keep you informed on Gen Con’s actual decision.
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