The organization behind the popular Gen Con, a convention that is mainly for hobby games, has issued a statement threatening to move the convention out of Indiana if a proposed bill is passed. SB 101 or, as it’s being referred to, the “religious freedom” bill, would grant legal protection to business owners who refuse to serve same-sex couples.
Gen Con has released an official letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence regarding Diversity and SB 101. http://t.co/GN5zax88HO
— Gen Con (@Gen_Con) March 24, 2015
In a letter sent out this morning, Adam Swartout, the CEO/Owner of Gen Con LLC, asked the governor of Indiana to reconsider his stance on SB 101. As she puts it, creating a bill that doesn’t allow all people to be served equally could result in loss of income for the state, as well as factor into Gen Con’s decision to host its convention in Indiana.
“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.”
Per Swartout, the convention “hosted more than 56,000 attendees from more than 40 different countries,” and also creates an economic impact of more than $50 million dollars in the state.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the convention center and Gen Con LLC recently signed a long term agreement to host the event at the Indianapolis Convention Center through 2020, although it seems like now that might be in jeopardy.