Organizers of Gen Con have threatened
to leave Indiana if Governor Mike Pence signs a bill that opponents
say would allow businesses to refuse to serve the LGBT community
based on religious beliefs.
The Republican-led General Assembly
gave its final
approval of SB 101 Tuesday and sent it to Pence for his
Pence has said he's “looking forward”
to signing the measure.
Gov. Mike Pence “looking forward” to signing bill allowing
businesses to refuse gays.)
According to Polygon.com, Gen Con LLC,
the parent company of Gen Con, a successful gaming convention held
annually in Indianapolis, has threatened to take its convention
elsewhere if the bill becomes law.
Passage of the bill “will factor into
our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana
in future years,” Gen Con LLC CEO and owner Adrian Swartout said in
a letter to Pence.
“Last year, Gen Con hosted more than
56,000 attendees from more than 40 different countries and all 50
states,” Swartout wrote. “Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse
attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs,
sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic
backgrounds. We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes
all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key
element to the success and growth of our convention.”
“Legislation that could allow for
refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have
a direct negative impact on the state's economy,” he added.
According to Polygon.com,
the four-day event “creates in excess of $50 million in revenue for
the city of Indianapolis.”