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Angie’s List halts expansion of Indianapolis headquarters over new state law that targets gays

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The company behind the Angie’s List business-rating website on Saturday put on hold a planned expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters over a new Indiana law that opponents say could allow companies to deny services to gay people.

The decision by Angie’s List Inc comes amid criticism of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was passed overwhelmingly by both champers of the Republican led-state legislature and signed into law on Thursday by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

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Supporters say the legislation will keep the government from forcing business owners to act against strongly held religious beliefs. Opponents say it is discriminatory against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and broader than other states’ religious freedom laws.

“We are putting the ‘Ford Building Project’ on hold until we fully understand the implications of the Freedom Restoration Act on our employees, both current and future,” Angie’s List Chief Executive Bill Oesterle said in a statement.

“Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents,” Oesterle said.

The project, which Oesterle said was due to break ground within days, would have expanded the company’s campus on the east side of Indianapolis by converting a 100-year-old Ford assembly plant into offices.

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Oesterle said Angie’s List, which operates a website that allows users to review local businesses, would begin immediately to review alternatives for its planned expansion.

On Friday, Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook, one of the most prominent openly gay American CEOs, joined other executives, including Salesforce.com Inc’s Marc Benioff, in blasting the Indiana law, which could let business and individuals turn away customers by citing religious freedom.

A day after Indiana’s move, the Arkansas Senate overwhelmingly approved a similar bill, which Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, has said he would sign into law.

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The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which has its home office in Bentonville, Arkansas, criticized that measure.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Scott Malone and Tiffany Wu)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘This is how he gets us killed’: American Jews and allies horrified after Trump blurts out anti-Semitic trope

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President Donald Trump blurted out another anti-Semitic trope during his brief press availability Tuesday in the Oval Office.

Trump has been having a kind of holy war with Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), two of just three Muslim officials in Congress. When speaking to the press Tuesday, he claimed that Jews have no business supporting Democrats because they're anti-Semitic. But then he took it a step further.

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Conservative columnist blasts GOP as ‘partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature’

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again ripped into The Squad, this time to undercut an emotional press conference in which Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) described the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!

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Trump-worshipping artist unveils insanely disturbing new painting — and the internet is having a field day

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Jon McNaughton, the Trump-loving artist whose worshipful portraits of the president have drawn comparisons to North Korean propaganda, has unveiled a new painting that many Twitter users find deeply disturbing.

The new painting, which is titled "The Masterpiece," features President Donald Trump sitting at an easel and preparing to unveil a painting of his own.

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