Organizations continue to alter their Indiana plans in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Gen Con says it is halting plans to expand into Lucas Oil Stadium. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has pulled its 2015 Women's Conference out of Indianapolis. Governor Mike Pence continues to defend the act, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that its intent has been “grossly misconstrued.” In a speech Monday afternoon, Ballard blasted the legislation, saying it undermines the hospitality and welcoming culture city leaders have spent decades building.

The AFSCME women's conference was expected to attract hundreds to Indianapolis in October.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

March 31, 2015

Statement From Gen Con LLC

Dear Gen Con Community,

Thank you for your continued communications with Gen Con extending your support for our efforts to fight against discrimination. The passage of Indiana SB 101 into the Religious Freedom Reformation Act (RFRA) law has ignited tremendous passion among attendees as well as across the country. We at Gen Con LLC fully expected that the well-informed and opinionated community that comprises Gen Con would be outspoken, and we are pleased to be able to help in amplifying this signal. This morning Indiana Governor Mike Pence took time to call and discuss Indiana’s recently passed RFRA law.

Governor Pence has stated that he believes the outcry against this law is based upon a

misunderstanding. We respectfully disagree with this position. A significant portion of Gen Con attendees identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and we are reading that some members of our community feel unsafe traveling to Indiana, subsequent to the passage of the RFRA law. We understand this sentiment, and will act to support safety.

Gen Con 2015 will be held, as planned, at the Indiana Convention Center July 30 through August 2.

Gen Con staff are working in partnership with the City of Indianapolis, local businesses, Visit Indy, and other grassroots organizations to ensure fair and safe treatment during this year’s show. We support Indianapolis Mayor Ballard’s plan to sign an executive order requiring business adherence to the Indianapolis human rights ordinance, which identifies sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

Gen Con has asked Governor Pence to support an amendment to RFRA that includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We believe that freedom from discrimination is a fundamental human right. Until Gen Con has received legally sound assurances that Indiana will support these rights, we are halting our plans to expand Gen Con into Lucas Oil Stadium, and plans for further expansion into other hotel convention spaces.

Gen Con’s growth in Indianapolis has been tremendous. Our success is due in part to Hoosier hospitality and the acceptance of the Indy community. If you want to see Gen Con continue to be hosted in Indianapolis, we ask that you please direct your voices toward the General Assembly, and to Governor Pence. Speak up, and tell them to amend or repeal RFRA.

If you are a citizen of Indiana, you can find your legislator by using this tool:

https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

Source: Gen Con LLC

March 30, 2015

News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement about AFSCME's decision to move it's 2015 Women's Conference out of Indiana due to the recent legislation passed that legalizes discrimination.

“This past week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that legalizes discrimination, allowing businesses to refuse service to customers simply because they are gay or lesbian. Further, since Governor Pence claims disingenuously that it is about religious freedom, his law protects any business owner who refuses to hire someone of a different religion from their own.

“This un-American law sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights. It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated. As such, AFSCME will move our 2015 Women’s Conference in October from Indianapolis, Indiana, to another state. We will send additional details about the conference’s new location and any necessary date change as they become available.

“The 1.6 million members of AFSCME cannot in good conscience make such a sizeable financial investment in Indiana knowing that women and men in that state are deliberately being targeted for discrimination.

“Throughout our proud history, our union has stood up whenever injustice has occurred – be it for striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968, or for the victims of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Governor Pence’s law, motivated by ultra-right wing zealots, is an affront to the vast majority of those in our nation who believe that every American deserves equal treatment under the law, no matter whom they love or where they worship.

“AFSCME is pulling our Women’s Conference out of Indiana this fall as a sign of our disgust and disappointment with Governor Pence’s discriminatory law. We stand with the ever-growing number of corporations and associations who are taking similar action this week, and demanding fairness for all in the state of Indiana.”

AFSCME's 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.

Source: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

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