Indiana recently passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows businesses to discriminate against gay people
Levi's and Gap are not very happy with Indiana – and neither is Apple CEO Tim Cook and Wilco, which just cancelled a concert in the state. Why? Because of the Religious Freedom Discrimination Act (RFDA), a new law which allows businesses and service providers to openly discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds that serving them might contradict their own religious beliefs.
It's obviously a horrendous piece of legislation, startingly similar to one that a political party in Northern Ireland is trying to push through. Now, people and companies are speaking out against Indiana's anti-LGBT law, with high street stores Gap and Levi's condemning the RFDA and reassuring customers that they're "open to business for everyone".
Levi's and Gap CEOs Art Peck and Chip Bergh have written a joint letter calling on all other companies to speak out against discrimination. Read it below:
"Today Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. are calling on retail and apparel companies, and other businesses, to join us in speaking out against legalized discrimination.
Both of our companies have a long history of standing up for equal rights and equal opportunity for all. We have consistently spoken out against discrimination and unequal treatment based on race, sex or sexual orientation.
As Indiana, Arkansas, and states around the country enact and consider legislation that perpetuates discrimination, we’re urging State Legislatures to stand up for equality by repealing and voting against these discriminatory laws.
These new laws and legislation, that allow people and businesses to deny service to people based on their sexual orientation, turn back the clock on equality and foster a culture of intolerance.
Discriminatory laws are unquestionably bad for business, but more importantly, they are fundamentally wrong. They must be stopped.
At Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co., we are proud to say we are open to business for everyone."
One good thing to come out of the hideous law is that it's accidentally created a loophole for cannabis churches in the state. If a group can successfully argue that getting blazed is important to their relgious beliefs, cops will have a tough time shutting it down with RFDA in place. It's embarrassing for Indiana's lawmakers but really they should be consumed by self-hate over the fact that they actually spent time devising a law to stop gay people going shopping or something.
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