“Music For Indiana” Group Stands Against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The group of Indiana music businesses—including Asthmatic Kitty,  Secretly Group, and Joyful Noise—join together in demanding the repeal of the controversial new measure.

Last Thursday, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, thus enacting an extremely controversial piece of legislation that effectively prevents the government from interfering from “a person’s exercise of religion”—a provision that critics (a.k.a. reasonable people) argue invites the discrimination of the LGBT community. In response, performers such as Wilco and Nick Offerman have cancelled upcoming events in the Hoosier State, expressing their distaste for the measure and demanding its immediate repeal.

The latest development finds the prominent Indiana music community fighting back against the measure themselves, with a collective of labels, record stores, and music shops jointly signing a public stand against the IRFRA, and requesting that performers not cancel their shows.

The statement, which is signed on behalf of more than twenty local businesses—including all four members of the Secretly Group coalition (Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, and The Numero Group)—declares “[deep disappointment] with the recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the message that it sends to those both in and out of our state.” It goes on to request that musicians “please follow through and perform” with their scheduled shows in Indiana, explaining that, “While canceling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally.”

Currently, Governor Pence insists that a revision of the bill intended to “clarify” its intent is on the way, but doesn’t have much to say in terms of how it will be changed exactly, and in the meantime, Arkansas legislature has just sent its own religious freedom law to Republican governor Asa Hutchinson to be signed into law. Time to step it up, Arkansas music community…

You can see the full list of Indiana music industry signees, as well as read the entire statement here.

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