Friday, 27 March 2015

Gov. Mike Pence's 'Religious Freedom' Bill and SCA 50 Year

Yesterday, the governor of the state of Indiana, site of the SCA's 50th year event next July, signed into law a 'religious freedom' bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ community. This has led to several groups and organizations (including GenCon) to threaten to pull up stakes and leave the state.

Members of the SCA seem split on whether they'd like to see the 50 Year event also leave. While some say it would serve the state right to loose the business the event would bring, others are concerned that moving the event (while also being a potential financial loss for the SCA) would not punish the right people. While moving the event might put some pressure on the governor and the state's legislators, it is local businesses and local Society members who would bear the brunt of the loss. It is also worth noting that other states that hold large SCA events have similar discriminatory legislation.



Several members of the group Inspirational Equality in the SCA live in Indiana, and they assert that there is a large and growing resistance to this bill, and that many businesses are stating they do not support it and will continue to serve everyone. Some members of IE have also stated that they will be personally drafting a list of LGBTQ friendly local businesses to give to attendees.

For their part, the event stewards of 50 Year posted the following to their Facebook page:

Regarding Indiana's new legislation:
Hi, this is Duchess Elina, one of the Stewards for the event, resident of the county, and state it is held in:
1) To date the only businesses that openly discriminate seem to be going out of business, as the people in the state do not support the discrimination.
2) We have seen exactly “0” businesses anywhere near or associated with the event indicate that they would even contemplate such discrimination.
3) Emergency and health services are exclude from being allowed to discriminate.
4) There is a SUBSTANTIAL backlash from businesses about this legislation, and it may not survive very long. (Please see personal post as to why)
5) While state sales tax will be given to the state, the income supports many services, I would not recommend removing the event for the same reason I would not recommend anyone leave the state to deny it income tax over this legislation.

With luck, as opposition to this bill grows, it will be overturned before the 50 Year organization begins in July 2016.

COPYRIGHT 2015 TODD H. C. FISCHER.  PERMISSION IS HEREBY EXPRESSLY GIVEN TO REPUBLISH THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY IN ANY NON-COMMERCIAL PUBLICATION, AS WELL AS ANY PUBLICATION OF THE SCA, INC. OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES, PROVIDED THE ARTICLE IS NOT ALTERED EXCEPT AS TO FORMATTING AND THIS NOTICE IS RETAINED.

1 comment:

  1. Considering the one-off nature of the 50-year celebration, threatening to relocate SCA 50 Year would not carry the same impact as a similar threat from a large annual event like GenCon.

    Instead, I would encourage the organizers of SCA 50 Year to reach out to local LGBTQ groups, asking what our membership can do to support them, financially, symbolically or both.

    I also assume LGBTQ groups in Indiana are keeping track of those businesses who have taken advantage of this legislation to discriminate against LGBTQ people -- in addition to the SCA 50 Year staff publishing an official list - not personal lists from individual organizers, but an officially-assembled and vetted list - a list of openly anti-LGBTQ businesses should be provided. Individual SCA members can then make their own choice where they wish to spend their money while visiting the state of Indiana.

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