Boycotting Indiana? Come to Cincinnati

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LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (Joe Webb) — Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach has an answer for businesses boycotting Indiana because of its new religious freedom law: Bring your business here.We have a letter drafted and were sending it today, Seelbach told Local 12. Its an open letter to any business that wants to reconsider doing business with the state of Indiana and says we value diversity and inclusion and if you do, Cincininati is a great place to be.Several companies have threatened to pull their business from Indiana after Governor Mike Pence signed The Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Opponents of the act say it opens the door for business owners to exclude same-sex couples from their businesses. Sales Force, the global cloud computing company is no longer sending employees to the state. The NCAA, based in Indianapolis, has expressed concerns the new law doesnt reflect its values. Celebrity and gay rights activist George Takei is calling for a national boycott. GenCon is reconsidering its convention plans for Indianapolis. Local activists are also taking a close look at the new law.We are just in disbelief of it right now, said Dearborn Pride Alliance president Shaphan Tackett. We are going to contact local businesses and see which ones actually support this bill and what about the bill they support the most.Senate Bill 101 takes effect on July 1, 2015. It specifically says the government may not substantially burden a persons exercise of religion. Opponents interpret this as an opportunity for businesses to turn away gay clientele. Proponents say its just the states way of complying with a 22-year-old Federal law that protects the same rights.All these incidents of discrimination simply have not happened, said Indiana State Senator Chip Perfect who voted for the bill. We havent had anyone come forward to illustrate and example under the federal law where this has been used to discriminate against people.Perfect, who runs several Lawrenceburg businesses, says the law provides limited protection to a narrow class of businesses. He blames the controversy on media spin and extreme rhetoric.The threat of problems is being trumped up by someone. Read the bill. Know the facts and make a decision. I think theyll find, like I did, that were really just trying to protect the rights of everybody. Follow Joe Webb on Twitter @joewebbwkrc, and LIKE him on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!

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