(Indianapolis, IN — March 30, 2015) – Thanks to the passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a full-scale boycott – accompanied by the Twitter hashtag #BoycottIndiana – appears to be underway.
For others, this is simply one more reason to avoid Indiana.
In spite of Indiana state legislators talking about additional legislation to “clarify” how a religious freedom law translates into homophobia, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) shows no signs of backing down in the face of possible economic catastrophe.
During the debate over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, many businesses – such as Alcoa, Apple, Cummins, Eli Lilly & Co., Salesforce.com, and Wal-Mart – spoke out against the legislation, concerned about the economic impact of being exclusionary in the name of religion.
Now, the economic catastrophe may very well be underway.
Connecticut today became the first state to boycott Indiana when Governor Dan Malloy (D-CT) signed an executive order banning state-funded travel.
Also today, the band Wilco announced the cancellation of its May 7 show in Indianapolis.
“The city just lost income from a potential audience of 250,” said an Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Salesforce.com has cancelled all initiatives that involve travel to Indiana, prompting sighs of relief from employees who would normally prefer travelling to Ebola-riddled Liberia over Indiana.
The annual Gen Con gamer convention’s 56,000 visitors pumped $50 million into Indianapolis’ economy in 2014. They may no longer be coming to Indiana.
“We’ll take the opportunity for religious persecution over $50 million any day!” exclaimed a Tea Partyist spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Disciples of Christ church has threatened to pull its 2017 convention from Indianapolis.
“We first have to find out if they’re a Christian denomination we’re willing to piss off,” said a Religious Freedom Restoration Act supporter, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Indianapolis-based Kiwanis International was expecting 10,000 people in June to help celebrate its 100th anniversary.
“We’re already receiving cancellations,” said a Kiwanis spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We may not break 100 attendees. When you’re a service organization and you can’t get anyone to show up to provide service, you’re in a bad, bad way.”
“Many of us are concerned about this new legislation,” said a spokesman for the NCAA tournament, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But the bottom line isn’t whether or not our students will face any kind of divisiveness. The bottom line is money. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!
“The NCAA Tournament is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. We’ll have to see if this law hurts us financially. As long as we don’t take too big a hit, we’ll keep coming back to Indiana. After all, we firmly believe in the separation of Church and Sports.”
When all is said and done, this all boils down to giving Indiana a black eye – for no good reason – from which it may never fully recover.
“Indiana has traditionally been known as the ‘Hoosier State’,” said an Indiana Chamber of Congress spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Until this nonsensical law is repealed, Indiana will be known as the ‘Hoover State’ because, let’s face it, we suck.”