Gov. Mike Pence signed SB 101 into law Thursday during a private ceremony – a quiet end note amid a months-long debate over where the line between religious freedom and discrimination should be drawn.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, modeled after federal legislation of the same name, was billed by supporters as a safeguard against businesses being forced to provide services they find objectionable on religious grounds.
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
Opponents have painted the law as a license to discriminate.
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Pence and other GOP lawmakers have vehemently denied that characterization.
“This is not about discrimination. If I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it,” Pence said.
Following the Indiana House’s 63-31 vote in favor of the bill on Monday, several high profile organizations came out against the law, including Gen Con – which brings an estimated 50,000 people and $50 million to Indianapolis annually – and the Disciples of Christ, which threatened to move its convention outside the state.
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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted on Wednesday that his company would be “forced to dramatically reduce our investment” in Indiana if SB 101 went into effect. Following the signing Thursday, he appeared to be going through with that threat, tweeting that all travel to Indiana would be canceled.