The controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act‘ was recently returned back to the State Legislature by Governor Mike Pence of Indiana to be amended in a way that it will not discriminate against gays. lesbians and other sexual minorities. The original version of the law allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT individuals and it caused an uproar from the community but it was the Fortune 500 companies that have offices in the State and also sports giants such as NBA, The Pacers and the NCAA that opposed the law, which then forced the Governor to change it.
The Indiana Governor had previously vowed not to bulge to pressure from LGBT activists to change the law but finally caved in due to strong statements of opposition from some of the most influential multi-national companies that have operations in the State such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Eily Lily and others. Apple CEO Tim Cooks who is an openly gay man issued the following statement against such laws that discriminate against sexual minority.
“Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.” Says Tim Cook.
Another Silicon Valley company YELP voiced similar opposition and the following message from the company CEO reads as follow:
“[I]t is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.”
The NBA also released the following statement reaffirming its support of inclusiveness in the sports of basketball in America
The NBA released a statement, saying, “The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere.”
The NCAA President Mark Emmert released the following statement on his support as well.
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.”