BAD BUSINESS

Outraged Billionaire Investor Marc Benioff Pulls Money From Indiana Over Antigay “Religious Freedom” Law

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law on Thursday a measure that grants business owners the right to discriminate against gays and lesbians all in the name of “religious freedom,” and now a major state investor is shutting down the money tap.

While the law’s supporters are surely patting themselves on the back and smoking each others’ cigars, people like billionaire CEO of Salesforce.com and philanthropist Marc Benioff have a decidedly different take.

In a statement on Facebook, Benioff announced his decision to “dramatically reduce” his company’s investment in the state.

He wrote:

We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employee’s & customer’s outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.

At a time when our nation is more polarized than ever, these so-called religious freedom bills only serve to legitimize our differences as part of the official discourse.

And as Benioff and hopefully more have and will prove, the trend is bad for business.

Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard was one of many in the state to distance himself from the law. He said:

“I don’t believe this legislation truly represents our state or our capital city. Indianapolis strives to be a welcoming place that attracts businesses, conventions, visitors and residents.”

Right now, at least ten states including Indiana are pushing through new or stronger religious freedom measures, largely seen as a reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision.

If you want to see how shaky the Republican argument is, here’s presidential hopeful Jeb Bush doing his best to lay out a case for religious freedom legislature in Georgia: