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Discriminatory Legislation is Bad For Business

Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act is sparking a backlash among business interests that could have severe consequences for the state's economy.

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idea_bulbLast week, Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed Indiana’s so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, into law. The legislation, which is significantly broader in scope and impact than the federal RFRA or similar laws passed in other states, would potentially grant a license to discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers throughout the state. While discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, individuals was legal in most of Indiana before, this new law effectively nullifies existing municipal LGBT nondiscrimination protections in places such as Indianapolis.

In response, several major businesses—ranging from Salesforce, of which the Center for American Progress is a client, to Angie’s List—have announced that they will protest the new law by either eliminating or dramatically reducing spending in the state of Indiana. Angie’s List’s announcement alone cost the state $40 million and 1,000 jobs. Other companies and associations, such as the NCAA and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, have suggested that they may need to re-evaluate future economic activity and events in the state due to the discriminatory bill.

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