Star Trek actor George Takei issued a stark warning to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R): sign a controversial anti-gay “religious freedom” bill and gamers, including the world’s largest gaming convention regularly held in Indianapolis, will boycott the state.
Takei’s warning, which he relayed over Facebook on Tuesday, comes as Pence is poised to sign legislation that could let businesses discriminate against potential customers based on their sexuality. The large tabletop convention Gen Con —the major convention Takei referenced— threatened to leave the state if Pence signs the legislation. Gen Con has a contract with Indiana through 2020 so it would boycott the state after that.
Below is Takei’s statement:
The Governor of Indiana has indicated that he will sign SB101—a law that allows businesses to discriminate against customers based on the proprietors’ religious beliefs. This bill is strikingly similar to one proposed—and vetoed due to public outcry—in Arizona. Such laws harken back to a time where our society was divided, and people of color were banned from white establishments. That is not our nation any longer, and those are not our values.
To the governor and to the legislators in Indiana who support this backward-looking and divisive bill, I say to you this: If it goes into effect, Indiana will be marked as a state where certain people are not welcome, and so we will not visit. We will not spend. And we will not attend events, including GenCon, the world’s largest gaming convention, held in Indianapolis each year. Many fans here are gamers, Governor Pence, and we will demand the convention move out of your state.
Fans, friends and especially you gamers, let Governor Pence know how you feel about this bill. Give him a call: 317-232-4567.
Several other notable people and organizations have come out against the bill including NBA star Jason Collins, and the Eli Lilly company, one of the state’s largest employers. Despite the warnings, Pence’s office has said he still plans to sign the legislation. Nineteen other states have similar laws.
(H/t: Ben Brody)