Backlash against Indiana's religious freedom law grows

Carolyn Tyler Image
ByCarolyn Tyler KGO logo
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Backlash against Indiana's religious freedom law grows
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco icons Levi's and Gap are joining the chorus of outrage over Indiana's new Religious Freedom Act.

SAN FRANCISCO -- There's more backlash against Indiana's controversial religious freedom law. It comes as the state's governor is calling for a fix. But it may not be enough to ease critics, who say the law discriminates against the gay community.

Last week, San Francisco Mayor banned all non-essential travel to Indiana.

Now, Supervisor Scott Wiener says he wants to ban city business that's non-essential. That's estimated at perhaps $2 million to $3 million a year.

"It is a fundamentally immoral and bigoted law that classifies LGBT people as second class citizens," Wiener said.

The supervisor wants the board to go on record condemning Indiana's new law that critics say would allow individuals and businesses to deny service to lesbians and gays.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence denies that. On Tuesday, he called for a fix to the law.

"Clearly there's been misunderstanding and confusion," he said.

But only a repeal of the law will satisfy critics.

Until then, Wiener is calling on city departments to avoid new business contracts and discontinue current ones if possible with companies headquartered Indiana. City Administrator Naomi Kelly has already started reviewing the roster.

"It looks like it's primarily medical supplies and a few transportation supplies," she said.

Private businesses are also denouncing Indiana. In a rare joint statement, San Francisco icons Levi's and Gap called for a repeal of the state's measure and any others that they say would: "Turn back the clock on equality and foster a culture of intolerance."

Other CEO's, including Apple's Tim Cook and Marc Benioff of Salesforce, say their companies will boycott the Hoosier state.

One Salesforce employee said, "I think it's a good idea. I mean, I think it takes a stand."

Another added, "We support our company and we support gay rights."

In the meantime, Wiener is also discouraging all San Franciscans from travelling to Indiana.