Laura Durso

Laura E. Durso

Backlash over the passage of the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” signed into law in Indiana last week by Gov. Mike Pence, could cost the Hoosier state as much as $250 million in economic activity — and counting — according to analysis done by the Center for American Progress.

Laura E. Durso, director of CAP’s LGBT Research and Communications Project, said in a statement released today (Wednesday, April 1), that, in just a few days, Indiana’s “license to discriminate against LGBT Americans” has managed to put about a quarter of a billion dollars at risk for the Indiana economy.

That number is based on the business activities and events that have already either publicly declared their intention to pull business from the state, or have publicly said they are considering pulling events.

That number “will only climb as long as state officials insist on disingenuously using religious freedom as a ruse to discriminate against LGBT Americans,” Durso continued. “A broad coalition of businesses, faith communities and organizations have taken a stand against this law. It is time for officials in Indiana and the roughly 30 other states where LGBT discrimination is legal to take notice.

“You cannot be pro-business and pro-discrimination at the same time,” Durso said.

This is CAP’s list of dollars lost due to the new law:
• Angie’s List: $40 million
• American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, conference: $500,000

Those at risk, according to CAP, are:
• Big Ten football, 2016–2021: $96 million ($16 million per year)
• Big Ten men’s basketball, 2020: $8 million
• Big Ten women’s basketball, 2017–2021: $10 million ($2 million per year)
• NCAA Men’s Final Four, 2021: $71 million
• NCAA Women’s Final Four, 2016: $25 million
• Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 2017 General Assembly: $5.9 million