Legalising discrimination in the States
Recent legislation was passed in the state of Indiana which allows providers of goods and services to discriminate against customers on the grounds of religious belief without fear of legal retribution.
It’s called the ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ and has already evoked a mass reaction from thousands of people. The understandable uproar centres around the fact that homosexuals can now legally be discriminated against and be refused service.
Big businesses react
At Benojo, we’re inspired to see how a bill, which could be interpreted as hateful and discriminatory towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people, has led to many companies taking a very active stand.
So far companies like Angie’s List, Apple, Microsoft, Yelp, NCAA, Salesforce and Cloudera have had very public reactions to the news.
Angie’s List, who were actively expanding their business into the area, paused the process in protest. Chief Executive Bill Oesterle said in a statement:
“Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents”.
Another very vocal CEO is Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com, who announced he would cancel all company events in Indiana:
“Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination” Mr. Benioff tweeted.
An open letter from the Yelp founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman made a very clear and firm warning to other states considering the same action:
Apple’s CEO, Timothy D. Cook who is gay and an advocate for gay rights also took a definite stance:
“Apple is open for everyone,” Mr. Cook tweeted. “We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas gov. to veto the similar #HB1228.”
Here at Benojo we’re inspired to see businesses stand against discrimination and use their power to make a statement and affect change. We are striving to create a world in which individuals, workplaces and causes can collaborate together for greater good.
While laws like the one passed in Indiana are a devastating blow for equality, we are proud to live in a world where businesses would rather sacrifice a dollar than sacrifice their beliefs.
Hats off to you Salesforce and co!
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