Local Chamber Businesses Against Indiana Religious Freedom Bill

Starke-County-Chamber-of-Commerce. LogoThe local business community is chiming in on an issue that has garnered national attention.

A survey was conducted by the Starke County Chamber of Commerce about the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill was signed into law earlier this year by Governor Mike Pence.

Chamber Executive Director Deb Mix says the issue has grown larger than just Indiana.

“When we look at the different businesses in Indiana that are choosing to pull out of their business from Indiana because of this, it was just an important issue, I thought, to at least get the feel of what our members felt,” says Mix.

According to the results, 69-percent of respondents were against the bill. The survey option opposing the legislation also included language that respondents would be boycotting businesses that do discriminate.

13-percent of local businesses were in favor, but 19-percent were unsure about their opinion. Some chamber members would have preferred additional survey choices according to Mix.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has prompted both cities and states to declare a boycott of the Hoosier State. Governor Pence has previously said he wants to clarify language in the bill.

Mix says she was a little surprised by answers indicating a boycott of businesses supporting the bill’s language.

“They may be against it, yet they would still shop there themselves,” says Mix. “I don’t know, because that question for the activism is a really valid question. Do people have enough conviction to be activists on this?”

More than 50-percent of Chamber members responded to the survey. The survey only asked a single question, but provided three possible responses.

Results will be shared with the area’s state representatives.