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USA: Indiana law initially allows discrimination on "religious" grounds - Arkansas considers similar law, many companies oppose both

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Article
28 March 2015

Here’s What Georgia Businesses Think About The State’s ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

Georgia’s businesses have been oddly silent on the bill, despite mounting pressure from an organized Stop SB 129 social media campaign and a fomenting backlash against Indiana’s similar law... [statements from Home Depot, Atlanta Hawks, AmericasMart Atlanta, Mailchimp (part of Rocket Science)]

ThinkProgress also reached out on Friday to Coca-Cola, Delta, Turner Broadcasting [part of Time Warner], the Atlanta Braves [part of Liberty Media], and the Atlanta Falcons, but received no response. This is a bit strange, because both Delta and Coca-Cola opposed an identical bill last year that was advancing alongside Arizona’s, which received much more attention.

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Article
30 March 2015

USA: Companies object to new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, alleging it discriminates against LGBT customers

Author: Jack Clark, Tim Jones & Tom Schoenberg, Bloomberg (USA)

“Angie’s List Joins Tim Cook In Scolding Indiana Over Law,” 27 Mar 2015

Angie’s List, the consumer-review website, withdrew a proposal to expand its Indianapolis headquarters after [the] Indiana Governor…signed legislation that critics say discriminates against gays. The company’s announcement…that it was pulling its planned $40 million investment from…consideration, days before it planned to break ground, follows statements of concern about the Indiana law earlier this week by technology-industry leaders including [from] Apple…[and] Salesforce.com…[The Governor] signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday. The statute gives businesses the right not to serve gays and lesbians on religious grounds…[The Governor’s] press secretary said the law doesn’t legalize discrimination…[Also refers to PayPal, Yelp]

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Article
31 March 2015

Corporations to State Lawmakers: Stop the Harmful Attacks on LGBT People

Author: Stephen Peters, Human Rights Campaign

Today, major corporations signed on to launch a statement by businesses...speaking out against an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation being considered in states around the country.  The statement, launched today by the Human Rights Campaign..., calls on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact these harmful pieces of legislation... [The statement says:] "Equality in the workplace is a business priority to foster talent and innovation, and these state laws undermine this core value." [signatories: Apple, American Airlines, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Orbitz, Replacements, Ltd, Starwood Hotels, Symantec, Wells Fargo]

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Article
31 March 2015

Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen: Indiana Law ‘We Will Not Stand For It’

Author: Barbara Frankel, DiversityInc (USA)

Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorensen doesn’t pull any punches when discussing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  “This is just plain wrong and … and we will not stand for it … the notion that you can tell businesses that somehow they are free to discriminate is madness...,” he says.

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Article
31 March 2015

Walmart Takes Firm Stand Against Arkansas Religious Freedom Bill

Author: Susanna Kim, ABC News (USA)

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is asking Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto a bill that "threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion." On Tuesday, Arkansas' House approved a religious freedom measure that is similar to the one signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence just last week. On Monday, Gov. Hutchinson said he would sign the measure into law.  But Arkansas native and head of Walmart, Doug McMillon, said he hopes Hutchinson vetoes the bill that prohibits state and local government from infringing on someone's religious beliefs without a "compelling" interest.

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Article
31 March 2015

Your guide to all the people and businesses protesting Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law

Author: Hunter Schwartz, Washington Post (USA)

Here's a list of those opposed to the legislation, signed last week by [Indiana] Gov. Mike Pence....

Companies and organizations

Accenture...; Angie's List - withdrew proposal to expand Indianapolis campus...; Eli LillyGen Con...; Levi Strauss & Co.NascarNBA, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever (WNBA); NCAASalesforce - canceling programs that require customers or employees to travel to Indiana; SquareTwitterYelp

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Article
2 April 2015

Indiana governor signs amended 'religious freedom' law

Author: Tony Cook and Tom LoBianco, The Indianapolis Star, and Doug Stanglin, USA Today

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law revisions in the state's divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act...[to counter] fears that it would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians... The business community and civic leaders throughout the state had overwhelmingly opposed the law... But several embraced the fix that legislative leaders unveiled Thursday morning [including Indiana Pacers, Salesforce]... 

However, Angie's List rejected the compromise... "Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient," said Bill Oesterle, CEO of Angie's List. "There was no repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana."...  

Earlier in the day Wednesday, the California Endowment, one of the largest health foundations in the nation, sent letters to three Indiana companies — Eli Lilly, Anthem and Berry Plastics Group — warning of possible sales of their stock if the new Indiana religious freedom law stays on the books unaltered. 

[also refers to Indianapolis Motor Speedway (part of Hulman & Co.)]

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Article
2 April 2015

Arkansas, Indiana governors sign amended religious freedom laws

Author: Michael Muskal & Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times (USA)

The governors of Arkansas and Indiana on Thursday quickly signed revised versions of their respective religious freedom laws, hoping to quell a national uproar that united business leaders and gay rights activists who fought the measures...[saying] that the laws would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians who could be deprived of goods and services in the name of religious belief... [Indiana's] amendment offers some protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity...[but] stops short of being a separate anti-discrimination law, which some...had sought... The Human Rights Campaign, a national advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, said more battles would come. [Refers to opposition to provisions allowing discrimination & support for amended laws by Apple, Walmart, Eli Lilly, Salesforce, NCAA]

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