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$50 Million Convention Threatens To Leave Indiana If Governor Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

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The longest-running gaming convention in the world, which brings in $50 million annually to Indiana is threatening to move in response to an anti-gay bill awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Since 1968, Gen Con has been bringing gaming lovers together. The convention, now worth an estimated $50 million in revenue, boasts attracting over 56,000 attendees last year to its current home in Indianapolis, Indiana, where it has resided since 2003. But CEO and owner Adrian Swartout is willing to move Gen Con if Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence signs SB 101, a controversial anti-gay “religious freedom” bill that is sitting on his desk.

“Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds,” Swartout wrote in a letter to the Governor. “We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention.”

“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,” she warned.

SB 101 could allow anyone, including businesses, to discriminate against LGBT people, merely by claiming their deeply hed religious beliefs would be compromised if they did not.

Governor Pence has said he is “looking forward” to signing the bill, despite even admitting it is unnecessary.

But Gen Con is not the only big name opposed to the pro-discrimination legislation.

“In recent days, several personalities, including Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, first openly gay pro athlete Jason Collins and “Star Trek” actor George Takei, have spoken out against the bill,” the Huffington Post reports.

Screen_Shot_2015-03-25_at_8.36.45_AM.jpg 

Visit Indy, Indianapolis’ tourism bureau, also has voiced opposition, even before the bill was passed.

“Our concern is that there could be a misperception with this bill that doesn’t paint a picture of being a warm, welcoming, hospitable place,” Chris Gahl, VP of marketing and communication for Visit Indy said. “It doesn’t align with the brand that is Indianapolis, and for that matter, Indiana. Because it could impact our ability to win convention business down the road — and keep convention business — we raised our hand and said we do have a concern.”

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), also based in Indianapolis, said it is “examining the details of this bill,” and added “the NCAA national office is committed to an inclusive environment.”

Also on the list criticizing the legislation are Salesforce.com, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, and Eli Lilly and Co.

 

Image by Carlos A Smith via Flickr and a CC license
Hat tip: IndyStar

 

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Trump Serves Up Paranoid Election Conspiracy Rant for Thanksgiving: ‘Flick of a Switch Can Change Course of History’

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President Donald Trump on Thanksgiving broke weeks of refusing to answer questions from reporters, and focusing his anger on Georgia called its Republican Secretary of State “an enemy of the people” while brewing up an insane new conspiracy theory.

After praising GOP Senators in two run-off elections fighting to keep their seats, Trump said he told Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, “you have a fraudulent system.”

“You have a system where the flick of a switch or the putting in of a new chip can change the course of history.”

He also falsely claimed voting rights advocate and former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams had illegally “harvested” 850,000 ballots. In reality, Abrams says 750,000 Georgia voters have requested absentee ballots.

Watch (poor quality video):

Earlier –
‘No I Can’t Say That’: Trump Says He Will Not Concede – but Will Exit White House if Electoral College Makes ‘Mistake’

 

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AMERICAN TRAITOR

‘No I Can’t Say That’: Trump Says He Will Not Concede – but Will Exit White House if Electoral College Makes ‘Mistake’

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President Donald Trump used the occasion of Thanksgiving, weeks after Election Day, to declare he will not concede.

Speaking to reporters after calling troops overseas – at 1:16 AM their time, several hours later than scheduled – the President was asked if he will finally concede.

“No I can’t say that at all,” Trump replied, the first time he’s taken questions from reporters in weeks.

President-elect Joe Biden has 306 Electoral College votes, against Trump’s 232.

He also said the Electoral College members will have made a “mistake” if they do not declare him the winner of the 2020 presidential election, as Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reports.

But he also said he would leave the White House if Biden is the official winner. (Trump frequently denies making remarks he has made.)

Trump, however, is not planning on believing the results.

“I don’t know what is going to happen. I know one thing, Joe Biden did not get 80 million votes,” he added.

 

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STAY HOME

‘Mother of All Superspreader Events’: Expert Warns Daily COVID Deaths ‘Will Double’ in Days After Thanksgiving

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As millions of Americans are traveling across the country this Thanksgiving, ignoring CDC guidance to stay home and not mix households, a medical expert warns daily COVID-19 deaths will soon double.

“It’s potentially the mother of all superspreader events,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, tells CNN Thursday.

The U.S. saw more than 181,000 new cases on Wednesday. Current daily deaths are now about 2000 per day. Dr. Reiner says they could come close to 4000 per day soon.

“I expect that the daily death rate will double in the next 10 days,” Reiner says. “We’ll be seeing close to 4,000 deaths a day.”

There’s already been a massive increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations over the past few weeks, fueling the potential for spread – and death.

“Every day since November 3,” CNN reports, “more than 100,000 new infections have been reported. Every day for more than two weeks, climbing hospitalizations hit another national record. And every single day, hundreds of Americans die of the virus, with both Tuesday and Wednesday recording a daily death toll of more than 2,100 deaths.”

The CDC projects another 60,000 deaths in less than four weeks, 321,000 total coronavirus deaths by December 19.

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