April 2, 2015

Tracking the Fallout From 'Religious Freedom' law

Associated Press file photo

Associated Press file photo

Businesses and organizations are canceling events and barring travel to Indiana over a religious objections law that critics say would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. Lawmakers are working to clarify the bill's intent, but many weren't waiting to see the results.

Event Cancellations

The Indianapolis-based Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced Tuesday that it would move its 2017 conference out of Indianapolis because of the new law. Its leaders said that the denomination supports religious freedom but values inclusivity.

Wilco won't play a May 7 concert in Indianapolis. Comedian Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation" and wife, comic Megan Mullally, said they would donate proceeds from Wednesday's appearance at Indiana University to the Human Rights Campaign and have canceled a May 16 show in Indianapolis.

AFSCME, a union for public employees, has canceled a women's conference planned for October in Indianapolis. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced Wednesday it would seek a new location for its 2017 General Assembly, which had been scheduled in Indianapolis.

The Mid-American Conference says it won't schedule any meetings or athletic championships in Indiana until the issue is resolved.

Economic Impact

A number of companies — including Salesforce, EMC and Cloudera — have withdrawn their sponsorships for Indy Big Data, a tech conference scheduled in May. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says he has also canceled all company travel to Indiana and pledged to "dramatically reduce" investment in the state. Salesforce bought Indianapolis-based ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion.

Amazon said it had canceled plans for its business development manager to speak at the Big Data event.

Consumer reporting agency Angie's List canceled a planned $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters, which was expected to bring 1,000 jobs to the city by 2019. CEO Bill Oesterle worked as a campaign aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican.

The National Forensic Association announced Tuesday it is pulling next year's five-day national competition from Ball State University in Muncie. The tournament brings 1,200 to 1,500 students and coaches from about 100 institutions and was expected to generate more than $1 million for the local economy.

Travel Bans

The list of cities and states banning government-funded travel continues to grow. Governors in Connecticut, New York, Washington state and Vermont have barred travel over the law, along with mayors in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Washington, D.C.

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