Disciples of Christ make good on threat to move convention out of Indiana over anti-gay law
A Protestant group is moving its national convention — which was to be held in Indianapolis — after Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Washington Post‘s Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports.
In a letter, the Indianapolis-based Disciples of Christ asked Pence to veto the RFRA last week.
“As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow — one who sat at the table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all,” the letter read. “Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table.”
“We are particularly distressed at the thought that, under the current version of SEA 101, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in some Indiana businesses — might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.”
Despite the governor’s plea to the state legislature to amend the bill so that such discrimination would be illegal, the Disciples announced Tuesday they planned to move their 2017 convention.
Associate General Minister Todd Adams told The Indianapolis Star that the economic hit to the city could be brutal, as the 8,000 attendees were expected to pump $5.9 million into the local economy.
The letter did acknowledge that should the legislature alter the bill, the Disciples would be willing to consider returning the convention to Indianapolis. “If the legal situation changes,” it stated, ” we look forward to future opportunities to hold the General Assembly in the City of Indianapolis which we love so much and call home.”