The ink is barely dry on Indiana’s Religious Freedom bill, now law, but already there are business owners expressing their pleasure with it and their readiness to start openly discriminating. An audio clip that is purportedly of an Indiana restaurant owner calling in to a radio station is going quickly viral and eliciting a wide array of responses — as the man, identified only as Ryan, explains that he has already turned away gay customers and soon will do so without lying.
In the clip, Ryan openly states that he has lied and made excuses to turn away customers based on his assessment of their sexuality.
“I have discriminated. I have, not really closed early, but said something was broken in the kitchen, said that I couldn’t serve them.”
It seems RadioNOW 100.9 invited listeners to comment on Indiana’s religious freedom law, and Ryan had a lot to say. Check out the clip below and see what you think.
He says he feels like if he allowed gay customers, it would turn away his other customers, thus losing money for him.
“They can have their lifestyle in their place, with their type of people that want to be with them, not in my place.”
Not everyone in Indiana supports the so-called “religious freedom” legislation, though. Many businesses that generate far more tax revenue and tourist revenue than any single restaurant is likely to (though, of course, we can’t identify Ryan’s, so we can hardly say for certain — perhaps his restaurant is bringing in as much revenue as Yelp or Gen-Con) are saying they don’t support the legislation, and that if the religious freedom bill isn’t overturned, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere.
Miley Cyrus and singer Audra McDonald both blasted Governor Pence, with the latter threatening to cancel gigs in Indiana.
.@GovPenceIN Or MAYBE…we need to stick to singing in states that don't legislate hate?
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) March 26, 2015
That’s still not the biggest blowback though — Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff have both spoken out. Benioff says his company has actually shut down any activity in Indiana.
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, too, recently announced they have no interest in building business or expanding interests in states with discrimination legalized under the guise of religious freedom.
The NCAA is another — with the Final Four looming, the organization says that “religious freedom” legislation is concerning.
Anonymous Ryan the restaurant owner supports Indiana’s religious freedom legislation — but is courting his vote worth it to the state to risk losing big businesses? Even if states don’t have qualms about supporting discrimination, losing revenue may convince them to put a quick stop to these bills.
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]