Salesforce CEO Cuts All Ties To Indiana After Passage of Anti-Gay Law

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has taken a bold stand against Indiana after its governor signed into law a bill Thursday that makes it legal for individuals to use religious grounds as a defense when they are sued by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, reports re/code.

Benioff says he has canceled “all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination” and threatened the state with a “slow rolling of economic sanctions” if the law is not thrown out.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act helps the people of Indiana who “feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.” The new law now allows any person or corporation to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party. The bill hands companies and business owners legal cover if they simply do not want to do business with same-sex couples.

Benioff made the announcement via twitter and gave an exclusive interview to re/code.

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Benioff added:

We’ve made significant investments in Indiana. We run major marketing events and conferences there. We’re a major source of income and revenue to the state of Indiana, but we simply cannot support this kind of legislation. Gov. Pence says he wants to bring the tech industry to Indiana and to increase the number of tech-related jobs in his state, but he doesn’t seem to understand that a significant portion of the tech industry is gay. This is one of the most important industries in the country and he has been advocating for us to expand and invest in Indiana, but you can’t say that and then say you’re going to legalize discrimination like this. The tech industry is not going to support this kind of legislation and is going to react against it.
[h/t: Instinct]