Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

The coaches of University of Connecticut's basketball team will not attend the Final Four games in Indianapolis this week due to Indiana's controversial religious freedom law that may allow discrimination against gay people.

Although University of Connecticut did not make the Final Four, head coach Kevin Ollie and his assistant coaches were set to attend the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention in Indianapolis. Since the university receives state funding, the school's president had to abide by Gov. Dan Malloy's (D) ban on state funded travel to Indiana, according to the Hartford Courant.

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The Flight Attendant Union on Monday called on the state of Indiana to fix its controversial religious freedom law that may allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

"We call on the Indiana State legislature to undo this abhorrent law. And just as we have done throughout our history, such as the battle we waged against Big Tobacco, we will relentlessly battle the hate spewing from the Governor's office in Indiana or wherever it may exist until our communities are free of hate," AFA International President Sara Nelson (pictured above) said in a statement.

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The athletic director at the University of Southern California, Pat Haden, said on Tuesday that he would not attend the NCAA's College Football Playoff committee meeting in Indianapolis this week, due to the new Indiana religious freedom law that may allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

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ESPN host Keith Olbermann criticized the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Monday for not moving the Final Four games from Indianapolis after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the religious freedom bill that may allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

Olbermann called on the NCAA to move the Final Four games and the league's headquarters from Indianapolis and use its "moral force" against the law.

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) on Monday denounced Indiana's new religious freedom law and issued an executive order to help ensure that gays and lesbians are still protected from discrimination in the city.

"Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity. And RFRA threatens what thousands of people have spent decades building," he said in a Monday press conference, according to the Indianapolis Star. "Discrimination is wrong. And I hope that message is being heard loud and clear at our Statehouse."

Ballard's executive order reaffirmed the city's existing policy that prohibits anyone who receives city funds from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Monday said he would prohibit state funded travel to Indiana due to the state's controversial religious freedom law that may allow discrimination against gay people.

"I find Indiana’s new law disturbing, particularly at a time when more and more states and people in America are embracing civil rights for everyone," Inslee said in a statement.

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The Indianapolis Star published a front page editorial on Tuesday morning criticizing the state's new religious freedom law and urging state lawmakers to change the legislation to ensure that it does not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"We are at a critical moment in Indiana's history," the editorial begins. "And much is at stake."

"Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers," the editorial continues. "All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future."

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The leaders of nine Indiana businesses on Monday wrote a letter to the state's Republican leaders urging them to make sure the new religious freedom law does not allow discrimination.

The chief executive officers of Angie's List, Anthem, Cummins, Dow AgroSciences, Eli Lilly and Co., Emmis Communications, IU Health, Roche Diagnostics and Salesforce Marketing signed the letter.

They wrote to Gov. Mike Pence (R), as well as the state Senate and House GOP leaders, that they were "deeply concerned" about the impact the new law would have on employees and the state's reputation, according to a copy of the letter obtained by WTHR-TV.

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Republicans believe that President Obama poses a greater imminent threat to the United States than Russian President Vladimir Putin or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

When asked which individuals, countries, and organizations posed an imminent threat to the U.S., 34 percent of Republicans said that Obama was an imminent threat, while just 25 percent said Putin was an imminent threat and 23 percent said Assad was an imminent threat.

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The Miami Beach city commissioner on Friday lamented the lack of support the southern, coastal city has received from the Florida legislature in addressing the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.

"We send our lobbyists to Tallahassee and beg for every little bit we can…but we’re not getting help from anybody else," Commissioner Michael Grieco said at a sea level rise summit, according to Fusion. "Some people in Tallahassee don’t want to deal with realities."

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