• Source: WFIU Public Radio/Flickr
  • Angie's List Cancels $40 Million 1000 Jobs Indiana Expansion Over Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Law

    Popular local business review and search site Angie's List is canceling its expansion plans in response to Indiana's "religious freedom" law.

    Since the year after its 1995 founding, Angie's List has been headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The $315 million corporation which lets users review local businesses, especially home improvement professionals, has been planning a $40 million renovation of its own, moving its headquarters across town and adding 1000 new jobs over five years.

    But thanks to state lawmakers and Republican Governor Mike Pence's new Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, those expansion plans have been canceled.

    "Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents," CEO Bill Oesterle said in a statement today, adding, the expansion is "on hold until we fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on our employees, both current and future."

    UPDATE: 
    How's This For Proof Mike Pence Is Lying When He Says His Anti-Gay Bill Isn't About Discrimination?

    The company's statement noted it "will begin reviewing alternatives for the expansion of its headquarters immediately."

    The IndyStar adds that Angie's list "hinted that moving some parts of the company out of state is 'on the table.'"

    Oesterle has said in the past that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence, was non-inclusive and would make it harder for the state's companies to attract top talent.

    Oesterle is well known in Republican and business circles, and he was former Gov. Mitch Daniels' campaign manager in 2004.

    The decision by Angie's List to pull back its investment in Indiana is part of a huge and growing negative response from businesses and other financial interests across the country that do business or are based in Indiana, and other public individuals and entities, including the world's largest and most-respected corporation, Apple, Inc., the City of San Franciscothe White House, Broadway's Audra McDonald, $4 billion software firm Salesforce$50 million annual gaming convention Gen Con, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., YelpHillary ClintonGeorge Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, James Van Der Beek, Sophia Bush, Dustin Lance Black, Mara Wilson, Jack Antonoff, the Mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana's own tourism board.

     

    Image by WFIU Public Radio via Flickr and a CC license
    Hat Tip: TJ

     

     

    Get weekly news & updates
    Subscribe
    Support our work DONATE



    Register to VOTE

    Showing 260 comments

    Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

    • commented 2015-04-03 15:42:22 -0400
      Tiny Mind Tim, you have it wrong. Since it’s these companies that have the jobs, it’s these companies who are choosing to make people lose those jobs. If these companies and people are blaming religion then these companies are displaying hatred and bigotry.

    • commented 2015-04-03 15:35:59 -0400
      It’s mess up that people will loose out on jobs because of stupid people and there religious beliefs when we have freedom of it. The biggest, and has always been the down fall of a nation is people uses of religious in politics. Let keep religion out of State policy. As well to put down others and their freedom to express themselves freely.

    • commented 2015-04-03 00:58:11 -0400
      The constitution was written to regulate our government so it doesn’t become a totalitarian state. It was not written to regulate we the people.The constitution says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (make we the people practice a particular religion ) nor prohibit ( prevent we the people from practicing one) the free exercise there of. It wasn’t written to suppress religious liberty but to protect it. It doesn’t say the government or people in the government cannot exercise a religion. It just says it can’t make you do it. The Holy bible has been used for 200 years for swearing in elected officials and in courts of law. Many courthouses have had the 10 commandment for 200 years and many public buildings including in Washington DC have carvings, biblical quotes and statues of Christian religious figures like Moses. The White House for all of these years has been decorated for Christmas. Throughout our history people have understood that the Constitution never said our government or government employees can not be Christian. They understood the Constitution just said it can’t make you be one nor keep you from being one. There is no such provision in the constitution as separation of church and state. Publicly exercising a religion forces no one to participate. Prohibiting the public exercise of religion DOES suppress a persons religious liberty which is contrary to the constitution. All laws are someone’s beliefs about right and wrong so why in a nation that was founded for the sake of freedom of religion are only athiest and secularist allowed to have their beliefs influence our government and its laws? http://myemail.constantcontact.com/-Our-laws—-are-based-upon-the-laws-of-Moses-and-the-teachings-of-Christ——Supreme-Court-Justice-David-Josiah-Brewer.html?soid=1108762609255&aid=i1YmpCc8S1U

    • commented 2015-04-02 17:40:55 -0400
      Micah Clark and Eric Miller are heads of two Indiana religious family organizations, standing right behind Pence in the private law signing photo. Since the law is now being reworked, they are protesting saying “This law does not allow discrimination, but if you add wording saying you cannot discriminate, you will destroy the law.”. Wait!!!! Huh????

    • commented 2015-04-02 15:26:27 -0400
      Requiring a Christian Business owner to provide a product or service that will be used in the service or celebration of a same-sex wedding, or for an event that promotes homosexuality; may very well be offensive to some – but it should not be a reason to do harm to an entire community.

      If these anti-discrimination laws promoted by some are taken to their intended and well-articulated conclusions; then there will come a time when a florist shop, bakery or photography service that is owned by a gay person will be required to produce products or services that support messaging that they disagree with. For example, a gay owned T-shirt printing company would not be legally allowed to refuse to print T-shirts for a white supremacist group when said T-shirts promoted a racist white supremacist message. A gay owned bakery would not be allowed to legally refuse to produce a wedding cake for a traditional marriage couple. Nor would any other business owner be allowed to legally refuse producing a product or service for a polygamist marriage; or refuse to print shirts with a pro-pedophilia message for someone who is a member of NAMBLA.

      The most important question in this equation is simply this – is the business owner declining to offer a product or service based on a person’s “being or humanity”, or are they declining to offer a product or service because they don’t support a particular behavior or message that an individual is trying to promote.

      At this point, as these wacky lawsuits have ramped up – I have taken the time to review the circumstances in many of them. Whether it was the grandmother who owns a floral shop in the state of Washington, Christian owned photography services, T-shirt printing companies, bakeries, etc. – in nearly every case the Christian business owner who objected either did refer the person to a competitor who would provide the product or service, or at least offered to. In the case of the grandmother that owned the floral shop in the state of Washington; the gay gentleman had been a customer of hers for years and himself said they had a very respectful relationship. She had provided services to him over and over in the past; it was only this one particular behavior or message that she could not in good conscience support – providing flowers for his same-sex partner wedding ceremony. She referred him to another floral business who did provide what they needed; and the gentleman himself said that he was very satisfied and had no complaints. It was only after the Atty. Gen. of the state found out about it, from an article or a blog post of – then the Atty. Gen. decided to go after her guns-a-blazing.

      There are religious freedom affirming laws in more than 12 states; and of course we know of the one that was signed by Pres. Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They are all very carefully worded to show that no one can legally discriminate against someone or an entire group of people (i.e. refuse to serve Blacks, gays, LGBT, etc.).

      If these laws are crafted reasonably, and many of them are, they follow a principle of individual liberty – to live and let live.

      So – the senior management of Angie’s list is making a decision (a decision of discrimination), that harms an entire community because they disagree with the ideas of an individual making a religious or choice of conscience. These business owners are not refusing to serve gays or LGBT folks. To the contrary, many of them not only serve such people but also employ such people. I can think of an example right here in my hometown. A gentleman who owns a series of restaurants, he employs LGBT, serves LGBT people, and has even promoted gay individuals into his management team. So he is not discriminating against someone based on their “being or humanity”. That is clearly shown by his behavior. But if he were to choose to decline servicing a same-sex wedding ceremony who wanted to rent out his banquet facility; that would be him declining to provide such services based on a behavior that they exhibit and not the fact that they are a “person” or part of a group. Stated another way, he is not refusing services to an entire people group; LGBT or any other group – he is objecting to a particular behavior choice based on a strong belief of conscience; and does not want to be scene is condoning or promoting a particular behavior.

      The closing comment of irony – while the CEO of Apple threatens to remove his business from entire states based on some religious freedom restoration act; he continues to actively promote and sell his products in countries where the governments murder gays simply because they’re gay.

      Total hypocrisy!

    • commented 2015-04-02 13:45:51 -0400
      Ban Angies List!

    • commented 2015-04-02 09:07:59 -0400
      DAVID ANDERSON

    • commented 2015-04-02 09:05:58 -0400
      Is right!

    • commented 2015-04-02 01:11:05 -0400
      DAVID ANDERSON

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:47:40 -0400
      " it’s about a childish neediness to have the last word"

      Yes, that right there is your motivation for continually responding. Thanks for your honesty.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:44:23 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      This isn’t about defending your religion, it’s about a childish neediness to have the last word. You’ve had every chance to make intelligent contribution, but all you do is post abuse about my late mother, to show how Christian you are.

      If you keep sending these silly rejoinders, I will just send you back blank posts.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:35:49 -0400
      Yes it is. It’s time for you to give up.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:33:59 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      Not what I said, nor what I meant. You have been disproven.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:31:49 -0400
      Ok, I accept your defeat.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:14:16 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      I’ll take that as acceptance of defeat.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:12:22 -0400
      Again, it’s pointless for me to respond so you can continue posting further rationalizations.

    • commented 2015-04-02 00:06:57 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      Specifically where in the Bible does it say that? Which religion are you, and what translation of the Bible are you reading that from?

      Regardless, I twice already proposed a perfectly workable solution that allows the baker to uphold his religious belief, not discriminate against the gay customer, and still remain in business. Did you even read it?

      Declaring I am “not relevant to this discussion because I am from Australia” is argumentum ad hominem. I am better informed than you are on matters appertaining to this dispute, and anyway, I was born in New Zealand, and currently reside in Scotland, UK, where we have same sex marriage and equal rights for LGBT as well as Freedom of Religion for all. We co-exist comfortably with very few exceptions.

      That freedom also extends to religions like Episcopalian, Quaker and Presbyterian, all of whom perform same sex marriage, alongside dozens of other Christian religions, and a substantial number of synagogues.

    • commented 2015-04-01 23:54:17 -0400
      While you’re not relevant to this discussion since you’re from Australia, I will say this though I doubt you’ll understand. Below you said "To my knowledge, no gay couple has asked a Christian bake to write hate messages about anybody, let alone Christians, on their wedding cake. "

      The act of a Christian baker writing a message in support of a gay relations is an act of hatred against god.

      It’s pointless for you to continue posting any further rationalizations.

    • commented 2015-04-01 23:42:19 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      I just wrote screeds of clarification. If you didn’t get the point then please go over it again.

      In a nutshell, I agree no-one should be asked to write a hate message on a cake, such as asking a Jewish baker to write antisemitic propaganda on a cake for Nazis. Nor is it reasonable to expect a Christian baker to write a message such as “straight marriage is wrong”, or “God sucks”.

      None of these actions would have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding in a lawsuit, for example if the Nazi decided to go after the Jewish baker in the above example.

      To my knowledge, no gay couple has asked a Christian bake to write hate messages about anybody, let alone Christians, on their wedding cake.

      If the baker feels that his god will punish him for all eternity for writing good wishes on the cake of a gay couple planning to get LEGALLY married, then he has the right to refuse, however that means he is discriminating against the gay couple, because he would write the same message for a straight couple.

      Therefore, my advice to this baker is to avoid the situation by either providing a means by which his customers could create their own custom wellwishing message, or offering a list of generic messages, again, that he can offer to everybody. Otherwise, he should simply not offer the message writing service at all, if he cannot offer it to everybody. He can still bake and sell all the cakes he wants, so long as he doesn’t shut his door on gays, blacks, Jews, Muslims, or other disliked minorities, for religious or any other reasons.

      If he can’t do that, then he isn’t behaving in a reasonable, or even frankly, in a Christian manner and should find another line of work where he isn’t dealing with members of the public,

    • commented 2015-04-01 23:23:58 -0400
      Derek, what is your point?

    • commented 2015-04-01 21:32:43 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      I’d like to share with you the text of a correspondent to the New York Times, copied below:

      jb
      “The Pharisees of Jesus day used to ask him why he ate with prostitutes and tax collectors and other sinners. They couldn’t imagine sullying their self-imagined purity with contact with people they thought so much lower than themselves.

      “They were ready to stone an adulterous woman to death, in fact, one day; and Jesus challenged them that the one among them who was sinless should cast the first stone. Then they turned away and left one by one (although today they would probably not have the grace or self-knowledge for that).

      “When Jesus was angry, when he warned against those we should fear, it was against those hypocrites who considered themselves holy. “They devour widow’s houses,” he said, “and for a pretense, they make long prayers.”

      “Those who pretend to follow him and despise their neighbors are the heirs and children of those Pharisees.”

      takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/no-comment-necessary-the-homosexual-lobby/

    • commented 2015-04-01 21:24:02 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      Some more specific analysis from you apart from lazily dismissing the entire argument as “garbage” would be more useful.

      I looked at your video, and yes, the gay bakers refused to write a message on the cake that said “gay marriage is wrong”. The point is cleverly made, but it’s false equivalence. When has any gay customer gone to a Christian baker and asked them to print the message “straight marriage is wrong”?

      Why do Christian bakers refuse ONLY gay people, yet bake cakes for divorced people, mixed race couples, couples who are living together “in sin”, before they get married, women in menstruation, widowed people – EVERY ONE of which is condemned by the Bible?

      Why do they not refuse to bake a cake for a morbidly obese customer? Gluttony is a listed sin. This is arrant hypocrisy and motivated solely by animus against LGBT people.

      The Christian baker can easily accommodate all kinds of human beings by supplying only those services that he can offer to all who walk in his door, or alternatively by setting himself up as a church, so he can serve only heterosexual Christians, his target market.

      Jews manage to uphold their religious belief by selling only Kosher products that they can sell to EVERYBODY, and those products don’t include things like bacon, ham, oysters, shrimps, crabs and mussels. Likewise Halal. Why don’t the Christian bakers do the same thing and just bake wedding cakes without the message? I’ll tell you why, because you want to proselytise your religion, and keep denying LGBT people access to goods and services until we “repent” and become part of your religion.

      We’re talking about wedding cakes for now, but there is no limit to the range of products that you can withhold from gay people, and no limit to the range of other disliked minorities to whom a religious person may refuse to sell.

      Do you support the right of Muslim shop owner to refuse to sell YOU his merchandise because he considers you “The Infidel”? Islam teaches that you are destined “for the hellfire” unless you convert and become Muslim. I’ve not heard of a Muslim shopowner actually doing that, but following your justification, he would be entitled to.

    • commented 2015-04-01 20:50:30 -0400
      Frankly nobody probably cares about you Angie’s list. Your just a copy cat of Craig’s list. I don’t know anyone who uses your lame service. And please show me where this new law says anti gay or any wording saying gay. Your another idiot that twist this law to pretend someone is against gays. I think people should boycott your site for impersonating Craig’s list.

    • commented 2015-04-01 20:49:31 -0400

    • commented 2015-04-01 20:42:39 -0400
      Derek, the garbage you post is the evidence.

    • commented 2015-04-01 20:24:25 -0400
      Good the bitch can take her failing business elsewhere and stop trying to extort the city of Indianapolis for money to bail her out. One thousand part-time jobs isn’t squat.

    • commented 2015-04-01 18:56:19 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      Cite evidence of my “lack of upbringing”, considering I was 53 years old the year mother died.

    • commented 2015-04-01 18:37:07 -0400
      Thus the lack of upbringing, understood!

    • commented 2015-04-01 16:49:23 -0400
      CLARA DEVERMAN

      Thinking about this a little further, if I were concerned I might be asked to write something offensive on a cake, i would simply change my product range to make that impossible.

      One way is simply to not provide a message writing service at all, and just bake the cake. Let the customer write their own message on it.

      Another is to have a catalogue of standardised messages. The baker is then within his rights to refuse to write a message for a gay couple, because he wouldn’t write a message for a straight couple either, in other words he isn’t discriminating against anyone, and can still sell his cakes to everyone under the sun.

      Neither the Jewish nor the Halal deli sell bacon, shrimps or oysters, and the Christian baker doesn’t sell a custom message writing service. In all three scenarios, the stores sell freely to anyone, even to homosexuals, so there is no discrimination, and no violation of belief.

      Half the problem with the present discrimination scenario arises from the fact the Christians who want to refuse service to gay people don’t actually realise they know anyone gay, same with Nazis and Jews, KKK and blacks, and so we become caricatures, less then human who can be dismissed or even eliminated. I’m a big believer in “engaging with the enemy”.

      There are a number of great videos on YouTube about engagement of KKK with blacks, that may surprise you.

      Example below (and there are many many more):
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldWf5Yj-RnI

    • commented 2015-04-01 16:31:58 -0400
      DAVE ANDERSON

      My mother died in 1998, and I have a job.

    Your rights, your movement.
    Join today:
    Your rights, your movement.
    Join today: