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Gen Con’s Cowardice

gen con SB 101

Most of you have probably heard about SB 101, Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” bill, that would allow a business to discriminate against anybody they feel like just by saying Jesus told them to do it.

Some companies, such as the CRM giant Salesforce.com, have already declared that any further plans for the state have been halted due to the signing of this bill.  One such giant is the gaming convention Gen Con.  Gen Con’s CEO, Adrian Swartout sent this letter to the Governor of Indiana threatening to pull out of the city as well.  Their main reasoning for threatening to leave the city:

Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination of our attendees […] will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.

They were highly applauded by pretty much everyone in the gaming community.  Then someone pointed out that they are under contract for the next five years to keep the convention right where it is.

Adrian back pedaled a bit, and then released this letter to the Gen Con attendees.  A letter in which they said:

Due to specific dialog with long-time partners in Indy, we believe that Gen Con attendees not only will receive the same great service and hospitality in 2015, but an even warmer response from the city.

You see, they’ve talked with their local partners.  You know, the guys that would be directly effected by the $50 million leaving the city if Gen Con were to move.  Of course they are going to say what ever it takes to keep Gen Con there.  Likewise, what about the companies that aren’t partners?  Sure, the food court may not discriminate, but what about the pizza shop around the corner?  What if you can’t afford to stay at the official hotel?  So what if discrimination is now legal in this state, they won’t discriminate against you.

It’s a spineless response.  You can’t make a threat and then just back down.

So what if you are under contract.  If you don’t have a clause that allows you to break the contract should the city become uninviting to the convention, then it’s your own damn fault.  Man the hell up and follow through on your threat.

Those of you still wishing to attend, don’t worry, they’ll have a form set up where you can tell them when you are discriminated against.  They won’t do anything, but maybe filling out a form will make you feel better about yourself.