On Tuesday, Gen Con, the United States’ largest annual gaming convention, issued a political challenge to the Governor of Indiana, where the con is currently hosted, over a bill passed by that state’s House of Representatives the same day. The open letter ended by threatening to seek a new home should the bill pass.
The language of the bill, SB 101, resembles that of recent bills passed in other states in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Hobby Lobby corporation. The bill’s critics have argued that it would allow Indiana corporations to openly discriminate against anybody they deemed out of favor with their religious beliefs, particularly members of the LGBTQ community.
In the letter, posted to Gen Con’s Twitter account, Gen Con CEO Adrian Swartout spoke of the event’s “diverse attendee base” made up of visitors from around the world, and he made clear that such diversity included factors like cultures, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences. After pointing out the event’s economic benefit to the state, Swartout argued that the legislation “could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees,” which would ultimately “factor into our decision-making” on returning to the Indiana Convention Center “in future years.”
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