More than 70,000 fans crowded into Indianapolis this past weekend for the NCAA basketball tournament’s final four. But that wasn’t the only thing going on in the Hoosier state.
As you probably know, the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, signed a religious freedom law early last week, giving business owners the “freedom” to deny service to gay customers.
Here’s what we think: Governor Pence, if you wanted to piss off the gays, why didn’t you just outlaw brunch? Instead, you riled up a chorus of opponents from Apple, to Eli Lilly, to the NCAA.
Governors and mayors across the country have started voicing their criticism. New York and Connecticut banned state employees from “non-essential” travel to Indiana. Even Wal-Mart got involved. Yes, that’s the Wal-Mart whose CEO publicly asked Arkansas’ governor to veto a similar law.
So many people got involved that eventually, Pence and Republican state lawmakers caved, and the law was rewritten to include discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as things the religious freedom law does not authorize. The backlash was so effective that the new law actually ensures some sexual orientation protections for the first time.
So what are we going to learn from this? Well, that LGBT people and their allies should still support the small business in Indiana that don’t, actually, discriminate. And there are a lot of them! Just check out this commercial for gay-friendly Indiana tourism that we made for you to prove it.