Indiana businesses offended by the state’s passage of the controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which opponents contend legalizes discrimination against the LGBT community, now have an open invitation to relocate to the county of Kings.
Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura issued the invite on Tuesday, March 31, calling the legislation, signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, “an unfortunate step backwards in our nation’s pursuit of equality.”
“In its wake,” the duo says, “many proprietors are questioning whether they can continue to operate or open new businesses in that state. To all who have been offended by this law, as we have been, and who are considering relocating your business or hosting an event elsewhere as a result of its passage, we want to be the first to invite you to consider Brooklyn, one of the most diverse and accepting cities in the world.”
To sweeten the deal, the pair said, “The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is proud to offer free memberships for as long as this law stands to any businesses that take a brave stance against prejudice and move to Brooklyn from Indiana, as well as from any other jurisdiction that has enacted or will enact a similar measure that results in discrimination towards customers.
“Bigotry has no place in America’s business community,” they conclude, “and Brooklyn will send a clear message that laws like this one will not be tolerated.”
Adams is not the only elected official to take a stand against the law. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned “non-essential state travel to Indiana,” noting, “New York State has been, and will continue to be, a leader in ensuring that all LGBT persons enjoy full and equal civil rights. With this action, we stand by our LBGT family members, friends and colleagues to ensure that their rights are respected.”
In addition, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has issued a ban on state-funded travel to Indiana, as have the governor of Washington and the mayor of Seattle.