BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates joined the mayors of Oakland and San Francisco in asking city officials and Bay Area residents to join the boycott against the state of Indiana in response to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week.
A wide array of critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have said the law will allow Indiana businesses to refuse service to gay, lesbian and transgender customers on the basis of religious freedom.READ MORE: Asian American Attacks: San Francisco Shop Owner Says Teen Thief Pepper Sprayed Her
“I find it abhorrent that a state would enact legislation allowing businesses and individuals to claim religion as an excuse to discriminate against people who are gay,” Bates said in a statement Thursday.
“Such a law promotes intolerance and permits a person’s rights to be violated on the basis of sexual orientation,” Bates said. “I ask that people not travel to Indiana or do business with companies that are headquartered there as long as this injustice continues.”
Bates said that he intends to go “on record” against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on April 28 during an upcoming Berkeley City Council Meeting.READ MORE: Santa Clara Wins NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, Topping FSU In Penalty Kick Shootout
Councilmember Darryl Moore is planning to introduce an agenda item banning publicly funded, non-essential travel to Indiana until the law is repealed, according to Bates.
They’re also planning to urge Berkeley’s city manager to avoid making new contracts with and consider discontinuing existing contracts with businesses headquartered in Indiana, according to Bates.UPDATE: 2-Alarm House Fire Contained In San Francisco's Bayview District
Indiana Governor Mike Pence called the controversy over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act a misunderstanding in a statement issued Thursday, saying he’s signed an additional piece of legislation clarifying that the original act does not create a license to discriminate or deny service to any individual.