Fate of Job-Killing Anti-LGBT S.B. 101 in Governor Pence’s Hands as Countless Hoosiers Urge Veto

HRC has called legislation a “can of worms” that threatens to deeply damage state’s economic climate

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) today echoed its earlier calls on Indiana Governor Mike Pence to veto S.B. 101, deeply harmful legislation that empowers individuals to sue the government and ignore any law or policy that they claim infringes on their personal religious belief. The legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk and Pence has pledged his signature—despite the outpouring of Hoosiers speaking out in opposition.  

Local employers including Eli Lilly & Co. and Cummins as well as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce have spoken out against S.B. 101, arguing that the bill is bad for business. “Statehouse Republicans embarrass Indiana. Again.,” read a headline in the online edition of yesterday’s Indianapolis Star. A 56,000-attendee gaming convention, Gen Con, threatened to move its annual event, which generates an annual economic impact of more than $50 million according to organizers, if S.B. 101 becomes law. And across the state, HRC members generated thousands of messages to Governor Pence and state legislators opposing the bill.

“Governor Pence risks killing jobs and cementing Indiana on the wrong side of history unless he vetoes this broad and deeply harmful legislation,” HRC President Chad Griffin said, as S.B. 101 inched closer to final passage.

“Religious freedom is critically important, that’s why it’s enshrined in our constitution and state and federal law,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in a previous statement. “But bills like S.B. 101 open a can of worms—they empower any individual to pick and choose which laws they want to follow and which laws they don’t, and they expose countless Hoosiers to new and pernicious forms of everyday discrimination.”

If signed into law, S.B. 101 could empower police officers to refuse to patrol the areas around synagogues or mosques, allow doctors to withhold medically-necessary information from their patients, or expose the LGBT community to a wave of new forms of discrimination.

HRC is a member of the Freedom Indiana coalition—a campaign of state and national organizations that have worked for months to stop this bill before it can inflict damage on Indiana.

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