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Gogobot is warning its users about travel to Indiana, Salesforce.com is banning employee travel to the state, and Yelp is telling states considering laws that allow discrimination under the guise of religious freedom that it won’t maintain or create a presence in such states.
Yesterday Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a religious objections law that clears the way for businesses, associations, and individuals that do business with the public to not obey rules about equal access if they feel these laws conflict with their religion.
In the travel industry, trip-planning site Gogobot is in the process of updating its Indiana state destination page and 400 of the state’s city pages to advise travelers about the new law:
“Note: Gogobot is a company that supports equal rights for all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. If you are traveling to Indiana or intend to travel to Indiana you should know that on March 26, 2015, the Governor of Indiana signed the religious objections bill into law. Critics of this law say that it may legalize discrimination against travelers due to their sexual orientation.”
Appearing on Bloomberg TV, Gogobot CEO Travis Katz said the company isn’t choosing sides on the issue but felt it would be important to let its users know what they would be getting into if they travel to Indiana and were refused service as a restaurant or hotel.
“For us it’s not about picking sides of an issue,” Katz said. “It’s more about providing people with the facts and making sure they are aware of what they are getting into. There would be nothing worse than planning a trip somewhere with your family and being asked to leave a restaurant because of a law without having known that beforehand.”
“I think if that happened to one of our travelers we would feel like we let them down,” Katz said.
Gogobot, which enables its community members to join affinity groups called tribes, has a “very active” LGBT tribe with more than 30,000 members and they feel strongly about the “equal rights movement,” Katz said.
Meanwhile, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted that the company, which has 16,000 employees, has banned all employee travel to Indiana to protest the new law.
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelmman wrote a blog post warning states that are considering similar laws to the one enacted by Indiana that “it is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.”
Wrote Stoppelman: “I encourage states that are considering passing laws like the one rejected by Arizona or adopted by Indiana to reconsider and abandon these discriminatory actions. (We’re looking at you, Arkansas.)”
Here’s the Bloomberg video about the new Indiana law: