Boycott Indiana is a hashtag on Twitter that has taken off over the last few hours, thanks in no small part to the fact that the state has passed legislation that harkens back to the days of “separate but equal.” Those calling to boycott Indiana are pointing to the law which allows businesses to refuse to serve gay people because of religious beliefs.
The comparisons to the deep South in the early part of the 20th century that wouldn’t allow service to black people have been coming ever since the law passed, and the backlash and the calls to boycott Indiana have been building ever since. The push to get the movement up and running quickly comes as MSNBC points out that Arkansas is now considering passing a bill that has the same kind of discriminatory practices.
The Boycott Indiana movement has been sparked in large part thanks to a number of businesses such as SalesForce and Apple announcing early and often that they would no longer be doing business in the state. Governor Mike Pence, meanwhile, has started blaming the media for covering the passage of the bill. It doesn’t appear that Twitter is taking this particular excuse in stride.
Instead, the Boycott Indiana movement seems to have some real push thanks to social media. It helps that that mayor of San Francisco has also announced that his city will be the first of what he hopes is many to boycott Indiana when it comes to doing any kind of business. Prominent actors and gay rights activists are also asking the public to boycott Indiana until something is done about the law.
Of course, there are a number of questions as to what can actually be done at this point. The state could take the Boycott Indiana movement seriously enough that it will almost immediately start working on a repeal, but it’s more likely there are some that will hold the backlash up as a badge of honor. Of course, if the movement does actually become successful, it could indeed have an economical impact the state can’t ignore. The real effect the social media campaign could have is that it will indeed stop other states from following in these footsteps. That is likely the real purpose of the Boycott Indiana movement.