John M. Becker

Disciples of Christ Will Cancel IN Convention Over Law

Filed By John M. Becker | March 26, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christian Church, Christianists, convention, Disciples of Christ, discrimination, Indiana, license to discriminate, Mike Pence, religious freedom, religious liberty, SB 101, special rights

christian-church-disciples-of-christ-logo.jpgThe fallout over Indiana's brand-new "religious freedom" law -- which essentially allows religion to become a valid excuse for violating state laws and sanctions widespread discrimination against LGBT people and other minority groups -- continues, according to the Indianapolis Star:

In Indianapolis, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) sent a letter to [GOP Gov. Mike] Pence on Wednesday threatening to cancel its 2017 convention in Indy if he signs the measure into law.

"Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry," Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star.

Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is "hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees."

The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected about 8,000 to attend in 2017. VisitIndy estimated the economic impact at $5.9 million.

The church is one of three conventions to threaten to leave Indy.

More, after the break.

Visit Indy, the Indianapolis tourism bureau, opposes the measure, as do many of the state's top employers. Gov. Pence signed it into law this morning in a private ceremony.

UPDATE: The CEO of Salesforce, a $4 billion S&P 500 software corporation, announced that his company will be "dramatically reduc[ing] their investment in Indiana in response to the bigoted new law, and that they are "canceling all programs that require our employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination."

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is headquartered in Indianapolis, released a statement from this afternoon from Mark Emmert, the group's president, condemning the law:

"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. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week's Men's Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."

Let the backlash continue.

UPDATE II: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) released an updated statement today in response to Pence signing SB 101 into law:

"Thank you for the overwhelming response supporting our opposition to SB101. Unfortunately, Governor Pence has signed the bill. We will keep you posted (and please be patient) as we sort through the contracts, costs, and decisions around the 2017 General Assembly. We also have attorneys reviewing similar legislation in the states that are finalists for 2019 and in states where we would consider moving the 2017 General Assembly. Not all of these bills are the same and there is a lot of misinformation about each of the state laws.

We are ONE people serving the ONE who welcomes us all. ?#?ccdoc?"

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