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Gen Con Responds to Indiana Passing “Religious Freedom” Bill, Moving Ahead With Discussions to Leave the State

What Would Leslie Knope Do?

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After Indiana passed a heinous “Religious Freedom” Bill yesterday allowing business owners to deny same-sex couples service, Gen Con CEO and founder Adrian Swartout issued a letter to Con attendees promising that “discussions, whether to remain in Indy or move elsewhere, have begun” in light of the hateful new law.

The announcement comes after Swartout published an open letter earlier this week asking Indiana Governor Mike Pence to veto the Bill as “legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the State of Indiana in future years.”

Gen Con has a contract with Indiana through 2020, but as Swartout wrote yesterday, planning for a potential out-of-State move for 2021 needs to start “five years prior to a contract-term commencement.”

In the meantime, Swartout emphasizes that the Cons leading up to 2021 will “be inclusive and fun,” and reassures attendees that “the Indianapolis business community is not in favor of the state’s decision. We have received hundreds of messages from industry members and Indianapolis companies doubling down on their support to welcome all Gen Con attendees.”

The open letter also details a feedback system whereby attendees can record their experiences at local businesses, and offers several ways that concerned members of the Con community can contact Swartout to share their opinions on the issue: “Prospective attendees, if you don’t feel comfortable attending, based upon your principles, we invite you to make the decision that feels right for you, your business, or group. We support your decision, regardless of the outcome.”

Kudos to Swartout for working with local business owners to protest this new legislature, and for setting up a system whereby attendees can be heard. If Gen Con does decide to leave Indiana, they’ve definitely proved themselves worth following.

(via Comic Book Resources)

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