The corporate backlash to Indiana's recently enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act continues to grow, with automaker Subaru of America adding its voice to the chorus of critics who say the law is discriminatory.
"We at Subaru do not agree with any legislation that allows for discrimination, or any behavior or act that promotes any form of discrimination," said Michael McHale, director of corporate communications for Subaru of America. "Furthermore, we do not allow discrimination in our own operations, including our operations in the state of Indiana. We will certainly continue to take the issue of non-discrimination into consideration as part of our decision-making processes."
Subaru, which received a score of 90 (out of a possible 100) on the Human Rights Campaign's latest Corporate Equality Index, maintains an assembly plant in Indiana. McHale had previously told reporters that the company did not comment on local or national legislation but made the statement on the record to John Voelcker, editor of Green Car Reports, according to HRC.
Earlier today, several other prominent businesses with headquarters or operations in Indiana signed on to a joint letter demanding that the law — which allows individuals and businesses to refuse service to LGBT people or anyone who they claim imposes a "substantial burden" on their religious belief — be amended, reports Indianapolis TV station WTHR.
"Regardless of the original intention of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, we are deeply concerned about the impact it is having on our employees and on the reputation of our state," reads the letter, signed by leaders of several companies that had yet to weigh in on the law, including health care company Anthem Inc., Indianapolis-based companies Emmis Communications Corp. and manufacturing company Cummins Inc., medical tech company Roche Diagnostics, and agricultural chemical company Dow AgroSciences.
"All of our companies seek to promote fair, diverse and inclusive workplaces," continues the letter, addressed to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long. "Our employees must not feel unwelcome in the place where they work and live. … As leaders in the Indiana business community, we call on you to take immediate action to ensure that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will not sanction or encourage discrimination against any residents or visitors to our state by anyone.
"By immediately enacting new legislation that makes it clear that neither the Religious Freedom Restoration Act nor any other Indiana law can be used to justify discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity, our state’s elected leaders can provide the reassurance to the people of our state, our nation and the world that is needed at this critical moment," the letter concludes, followed by signatures from officials with companies that previously spoke out against the law, including business review website Angie's List, Eli Lilly, Salesforce, and Indiana University.