Indiana Residents Are Policing Anti-LGBTQ Businesses
Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows state businesses to refuse service to anyone based on religious grounds, has led to serious financial fallout. Review site Angie’s List has halted its $40 million, 1,000-job expansion; Seattle and San Francisco have banned city-funded travel to the state; and major companies, including Apple, Yelp, the NBA and Salesforce, have all spoken out against the new law.
But there’s also local grassroots action brewing, with Indiana residents starting Facebook pages to identify businesses using the act to discriminate against LGBTQ customers. One such resident, David Noggle, created the Indiana Anti-Discrimination page, and says the bill is not about protecting religious freedom, but legitimizing anti-LGBTQ views.
“I’m straight, but it eats at me from an ideological standpoint,” he tells Vocativ. “I’m a Marine Corps veteran. I didn’t join for college money; I joined because I believe that our personal liberties are worth protecting… I have friends who’ve spent their entire lives in the military, and they are homosexual. Some schmuck running a bakery has not earned the right to discriminate against them. Just as they have not earned the right to discriminate against that baker.”
So far, Big Apple Bagel in Brownsburg, Indiana, has taken the biggest hit on social media, after a photo of its sign supporting Governor Pence’s bill began circulating online. The franchise’s parent company has since distanced itself and promised to take action following sustained Twitter outrage.
On the flip side, the Facebook groups also encourage members to post information about businesses that make a point of welcoming all shoppers. Several local companies have also started affixing stickers to the front of their stores to let it be known that they do not discriminate.
What Makes Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Different? (The Atlantic)
Here Are The 32 States Where You Can Be Fired For Being LGBT (Vocativ)
Connecticut To Become First State To Boycott Indiana Over LGBT Discrimination Law (Huffington Post)