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Government Role Playing (Games)

Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill 886

Grymalkin writes A controversial religious freedom bill has passed the Indianapolis Senate and is now awaiting Governor Mike Pence's signature to become law. Supporters claim that this bill will protect business owners from excessive government control while opponents argue it is just a veiled attempt to allow those same business owners to deny services to individuals because of their sexual orientation. Now, Gen Con has released a statement saying this bill will influence their decision to keep the convention in Indiana. This announcement has tourism officials worried as Gen Con brings in roughly 50,000 visitors each year, contributing $50 million to the local economy. So far Gen Con's announcement has not swayed the Governor who says he is looking forward to signing the bill into law. Gen Con currently has a contract with the Indy Convention Center through 2020. No word yet as to exactly when the convention would be moved should the bill become law.
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Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

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  • by garyisabusyguy ( 732330 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @02:47PM (#49338311)

    Arizona was trying to attract conventions while enacting regressive policies

    The conventions went elsewhere and Arizona changed the policies to bring them back

    Voting with your pocketbook is a fundamental tenet of the free market

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Doing business with whomever one wants, while denying to do so to others on whatever whim, is a fundamental tenet of freedom
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:00PM (#49338459)

        Being homophobic or racist is also a freedom, but has a price, which usually involves being called a douchbag.

        • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:12PM (#49338663)

          The convention organizers aren't trying to punish those who are being homophobic or racist, though. They're trying to punish those who believe that homophobes or racists have that freedom.

          • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @04:10PM (#49339389)

            They're trying to punish those who believe that homophobes or racists have that freedom.

            They already have that freedom. What businesses don't have the freedom to do is to treat people differently on an arbitrary basis, and the government of Indiana is trying to change it so people can, via companies, treat others like shit on the basis of their personal superstitions, which is unjustifiable and destructive.

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @04:51PM (#49339755) Homepage

            No. The organizers of a convention that arguably falls under the umbrella of "the arts" want to avoid a venue where many people that work in "the arts" would be treated like an underclass.

            Indiana can have the NRA convention.

        • by Ralph Siegler ( 3506871 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:28PM (#49338887)
          Suppose you owned a business, would you serve a white-hooded KKK Grand Wizard who came in for supplies for his next hate rally? I'd rather not. You imagine calling names will change someone? You are being silly, would might change a place would be a boycott organized against a business, dropping sales even ten percent would probably wake them up.
          • by TWX ( 665546 )
            The white-hooded KKK Grand Wizard made a choice to show up in a white hood to publicly demonstrate his racism.

            There are no requirements upon the dress or other outward behavior of someone indicating their sexual orientation, and there are few religious groups where manner of dress is dictated by the religion in the United States, and there are not all that many members of those groups either.

            The point of diversity-blind requirements is to keep many things beyond the control of the individual from bein
          • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @04:08PM (#49339355)

            Suppose you owned a business, would you serve a white-hooded KKK Grand Wizard who came in for supplies for his next hate rally?

            He would be asked to remove his hood upon entering the store.

            If he did not remove it, he would be asked to leave. At which point he is trespassing if he stays.

            If he did remove his hood then you'd have a funny story to tell all your friends about who the Grand Wizard is. Want to see it on CCTV?

          • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @04:15PM (#49339413)

            Suppose you owned a business, would you serve a white-hooded KKK Grand Wizard who came in for supplies for his next hate rally? I'd rather not.

            "Klansman" is not a protected class. Of course, would you know if he came in while not dressed so as to call himself out so obviously? No!

            And if you knew who he was, you could refuse to sell to him individually.

            You are being silly, would might change a place would be a boycott organized against a business, dropping sales even ten percent would probably wake them up.

            Or whole towns could adopt similarly hateful attitudes and make it de-facto. Why the fuck are we wandering back down this path? Oh right, because Christian Love^WHate.

      • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:03PM (#49338507)

        Doing business with whomever one wants, while denying to do so to others on whatever whim, is a fundamental tenet of freedom

        That bullshit argument was rejected pretty soundly 50 years ago. It is reasonable in limited circumstances, for businesses which can only deal with a very limited range of customers. It is not considered reasonable for any business which claims to be open to the public--we decided long ago that you're either open to the public or you're not. You cannot be open to the public except for women; you cannot be open to the public except for blacks or latinos. Etc.

        • by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:23PM (#49338823) Homepage Journal
          I'm going to instruct my chain of burger joints to check ID's at the door... Anybody with a first name of "Ralph" will be turned away at the door. My holy book over here clearly states that "Ralph shall be name of the demon who will eat the world." I'm disinclined to have people named Ralph in my establishment who're likely to go into a demonic craze and start eating people. Also any "hussies" named "Roberta" or "Rebecca" they're just tricky sluts, they're not allowed in either.
      • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:21PM (#49338795)

        Doing business with whomever one wants, while denying to do so to others on whatever whim, is a fundamental tenet of freedom

        Only in YOUR definition of "freedom".

        In the USofA, your BUSINESS has to treat everyone the same. Regardless of race/creed/etc.

        You can CLAIM that it is an infringement upon your "freedom" to have to serve black people in your business.

        You can CLAIM that you should be "free" to only serve white people in your business.

        But you would be wrong. And a bigot.

        You do not have to invite a black person into your home. But you do have to serve him in your restaurant.

  • Make some noise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fiznarp ( 233 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @02:50PM (#49338343)

    Indianapolis resident here. Most of us who live here are not as dense as Governor Pence.

    Please get the word out and help us to help him realize how much of a financial loss our state could suffer should Indiana become a place where discrimination is the legalized.

  • Put up or shut up. Instead of saying that the law will factor in to the decision making process, directly tell them that it will not be in Indianapolis or anywhere else in Indiana if the law is passed. Tell them that the law will automatically disqualify the city and state from consideration. And then follow through with it if not also try to get out of the existing contract should Pence sign the bill. Anything else is just an idle threat and won't be taken seriously.

    • by mbone ( 558574 )

      Most hotel and convention contracts (and, I have dealt with such) have enough wiggle room in the "Force Majeure" clauses that they will be able to void them. (IANAL, and TINLA.) However, it is the deposits that would be at risk; they could be soaked up in fees, etc., as could things like hotel commission payments for the last meeting. For a sufficiently large meeting on an annual cycle, there is generally no or almost no time where there is not money either deposited or owed; those payments would be at risk

  • Gen Con? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @02:58PM (#49338419)
    It would be really handy if the article mentioned what Gen Con even was. I had to go look it up.
  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:04PM (#49338525)

    Having been to GenCon 7 times in Milwaukee and twice in Indy, Milwaukee is the better place for it. Cooler weather, cleaner city, Giordano's pizza, and The Side Door. One year in Milwaukee I was headed back to the hotel at 2am, and all of downtown was filled with the deafening roar of 250+ bikes starting their ride to Sturgis... probably can't get that anywhere else.

    I hope there is some vague "business environment" clause in the contract between GenCon and the Convention Center that could be invoked to move GenCon elsewhere sooner than 2020. The economic impact will be welcome anywhere it goes, and bigotry like this shouldn't be rewarded. I wouldn't be surprised if the bill was partly aimed at GenCon attendees anyway.

  • Hmmm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:04PM (#49338527) Homepage

    Isn't it amazing how people who enjoy protection from being discriminated against want to use that same protection to allow them to discriminate against others?

    Sorry, but if you think your religion should allow you to discriminate, you should be subject to the same thing.

    Oh, what's that, your religion is a magic double standard which exempts you from logic and you are special? Go piss up a rope.

    You're just as stupid as the people who want to force Sharia law on the rest of us. Stop pretending otherwise.

    Your religion doesn't make you some special little flower who operates under a special set of rules.

    "Asshole" is universal, no matter what you believe in.

    • Would you mind pointing me to the people that want the government to force the convention to stay in Indiana?

      Because I haven't heard a single person advocate that.

  • by andywest ( 1722392 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:07PM (#49338585) Homepage
    It will be sad to see GenCon migrate to Seattle, where it would be far more welcome than in Indianapolis. But the Indiana General Assembly's act of antagonism will cause a loss of customers and business, which should be enough cause for GenCon to claim breach of contract on the part of the Indianapolis Convention Bureau, even if it was not its fault. And the law itself will be litigated over. Lawsuits will be flying this summer in Indianapolis, not cosplayers flying to Indy.
  • Arkansas also has one of these Religious Freedom bills, as well as similar southern conservative cowboy type things, and I think this is a natural progression after years of voters being told by the conservative media that our elected conservatives weren't conservative enough, weren't religious enough, and too open to compromise with the left, and too slow to respond to issues regarding immigrants and terrorists. Add to that a general sense of failure or lack of inspiration in the left regarding their own l

  • by Rambo Tribble ( 1273454 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:23PM (#49338821) Homepage
    Owning a business does not imbue the owner(s) with the rights of feudal lords. A keystone principle of American society is that you can't discriminate by refusing to conduct business with others based on ideological differences. A great struggle over civil rights would seem to have settled this, but some throwbacks still want to impose un-American values on others. The Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution were founded on the principles of the Enlightenment. It is high time our citizenry got enlightened, as well.
  • SSDD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:24PM (#49338829)
    Same shit, different decade. Bob Jones University in South Carolina tried this crap in the 50s and 60s, saying their policy of discriminating against blacks and Asians was a divinely ordained part of their religion. According to Bob Jones, the Bible clearly told him that blacks were inferior to whites. This is the same bullshit argument. It will fall in the courts, and it will fail in the marketplace. In the meantime, GenCon, and everyone else should avoid spending money in Indiana.
  • by Rollgunner ( 630808 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2015 @03:25PM (#49338859)
    When you make decisions for yourself, you are exercising your freedom.

    When you make decisions for someone else, you are not exercising your freedom, you are denying them their freedom to choose.
    • by itzly ( 3699663 )

      And sometimes people get together, and vote on certain decisions that take some freedoms away, in return for what they think is an overall improvement in their lives.

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