GE’s Immelt Says He’s ‘Concerned’ About Pence’s Anti-Gay Law


Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

Jeffrey Immelt, the head of the multinational conglomerate General Electric, expressed strong reservations about the impact of a controversial religious freedom law Pence signed last week and has since been forced to defend.

In a letter to Pence dated Wednesday, Immelt said he was “very concerned about the potential impact the Religious Freedom Restoration Act could have on our company and our employees.”

The letter came a day after Pence said he would look into seeking a clarification of the law that stressed it did not allow discrimination, anyway.

The law bars state and local governments in Indiana from forcing businesses to serve gay customers based on religious objections. Critics, which have included businesses with major stakes in Indiana, as well as prominent national figures like Hillary Clinton and George Takei, have argued that the law essentially legalizes discrimination against gay people.

“We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” Immelt wrote. “The impact of laws in other states could have a very negative impact on our employees and their communities.”

“I urge you, the Indiana legislature, and other state leaders across the country, to make it clear immediately that the state does not permit discrimination of any kind, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Immelt wrote.

While other heads of major companies, like Marc Benioff of Salesforce and Tim Cook of Apple, have criticized the law, Immelt’s letter is especially significant since in 2014 GE Aviation announced a $92 million investment in Indiana last week. In 2015 GE announced making an additional $15 million investment.

Read the full letter:

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