The Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE) exists to support and strengthen the success of association professionals throughout the state of Indiana and the associations they serve. Our members represent 170 organizations throughout the state of Indiana that, in turn, represent hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout the state, country and world, and much of our members’ success hinges on business, meetings and events conducted within the state of Indiana.
In recent days, ISAE has heard from members whose organizations have lost contracts, future events and even members of their own as a direct result of the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana.
No matter your opinion on the law, it is hard to argue that it has brought significant negative attention to the state of Indiana. The passage of RFRA has created a perceived environment of legalized discrimination. So long as that perception remains, Indiana’s reputation and economy are likely to suffer. As a result, this will negatively impact the success of many in our state, including our members and those they represent.
We have already seen far too many examples of businesses and government leaders issuing various degrees of boycotts against traveling to or doing business with Indiana as long as this law remains in effect. Whether these concerns are grounded or not, the ripple effect of the economic impact of this law could be staggering.
ISAE remains committed to the principles of Hoosier hospitality that bring together our diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. With significant revenue and jobs on the line, and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of individuals we represent, we do hope the legislators of the state of Indiana will revisit RFRA and genuinely consider clarifying its language to mitigate the unintended consequences that this law is already having on our great state.
Mark McSweeney, CAE
President, Indiana Society of Association Executives