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For Immediate Release

Monday, March 30, 2015

AFSCME Women's Conference Leaving Indiana

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement about AFSCME's decision to move it's 2015 Women's Conference out of Indiana due to the recent legislation passed that legalizes discrimination.

Washington, D.C. — 

"This past week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that legalizes discrimination, allowing businesses to refuse service to customers simply because they are gay or lesbian. Further, since Governor Pence claims disingenuously that it is about religious freedom, his law protects any business owner who refuses to hire someone of a different religion from their own.

"This un-American law sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights. It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated. As such, AFSCME will move our 2015 Women’s Conference in October from Indianapolis, Indiana, to another state. We will send additional details about the conference’s new location and any necessary date change as they become available.

"The 1.6 million members of AFSCME cannot in good conscience make such a sizeable financial investment in Indiana knowing that women and men in that state are deliberately being targeted for discrimination.

"Throughout our proud history, our union has stood up whenever injustice has occurred – be it for striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968, or for the victims of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Governor Pence’s law, motivated by ultra-right wing zealots, is an affront to the vast majority of those in our nation who believe that every American deserves equal treatment under the law, no matter whom they love or where they worship. 

"AFSCME is pulling our Women’s Conference out of Indiana this fall as a sign of our disgust and disappointment with Governor Pence’s discriminatory law. We stand with the ever-growing number of corporations and associations who are taking similar action this week, and demanding fairness for all in the state of Indiana."

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