WASHINGTON – – A gay rights group is calling on Amazon to delete 11 of its last 20 locations as options for its second headquarters, including Indianapolis.
The group behind the campaign, “No Gay, No Way,” says it is about the laws that the nine states that the cities live in have regarding LGBTQ protection. They claim that states are not doing enough to protect their residents from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, especially when it comes to protecting jobs.
The group also points out that Indiana doesn’t have a hate crime law on its books as a reason for listing. Earlier this week, another attempt to push a law against hate crimes failed in the legislature.
Indianapolis area officials responded to the campaign on Thursday afternoon.
In a statement, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett wrote:
“In 2005, Indianapolis was one of the first cities in Indiana to enact comprehensive human rights law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. For the past 13 years, Indianapolis has thrived and attracted top talent and innovative companies through our community’s promise to provide safe and welcoming homes for all residents.
Our city has shown time and again – thanks to a non-partisan coalition of elected leaders and passionate, caring residents – that Indianapolis is a place where everyone is welcome. “
Fishermen’s Mayor Scott Fadness, who played a role in the town square across from Amazon, also made a statement:
“Despite reports disregarding Indianapolis as a welcoming place to all, there is protection for gender identity and sexual orientation in cities in our state, including Indianapolis, which has been in existence as a human rights law for over a decade. The Indy Subway is an inclusive and diverse place where equality and tolerance go hand in hand with business. The city of fishermen signed its proclamation as an inclusive city in 2015. With this law, Fishers has been tolerated as proud of its growing diversity, intolerance of any kind of discrimination, and affirmed the expectation of all government agencies, businesses and individuals living in Fishers to abide by the core values of equality, tolerance, human dignity, diversity and Inclusivity. “
The Indy Chamber also made this statement:
“The Indy Chamber and the Greater Indianapolis Community have consistently advocated actions that defend the rights of all Hoosiers and promote our region as a welcoming, inclusive place to start and grow businesses. Indianapolis has been a strong advocate of LGBTQ for many years -Community The Indy Chamber is a founding organization of the Indiana Competes Coalition, formed as a collection of corporations across the state to keep Indiana competitive and end all forms of discrimination. As recent history has shown, we do so in the face of great adversity what Hoosiers do best and we work together to create who we really are as a region and as a people. Indy welcomes everyone. “
Greg Shufeldt, associate professor of political science at Butler University, says that while the campaign could put Indianapolis at a competitive disadvantage for landing the company, it could also serve as an additional incentive to choose Indianapolis as the landing site for Headquarters 2. He realized the company’s potential to want to change the structure and influence the culture of the location he chose.
“It couldn’t move the needle in a place like Boston, but if it’s moved to a place like Nashville or Indianapolis, places often referred to as blue dots in red states, it could actually move the needle in a way it does it could be a socially responsible company I actually want to be part of, ”said Shufeldt.