“Nike proudly stands for inclusion for all. We believe laws should treat people equally and prevent discrimination. Nike has led efforts alongside other businesses to defeat discriminatory laws in Oregon and opposes the new law in Indiana which is bad for our employees, bad for our consumers, bad for business and bad for society as a whole. We hope Indiana will quickly resolve this,” said Mark Parker, president and CEO of Nike, in a statement.
On March 23, Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, effective July 1. It “prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.” The Act, known as Senate Bill 101, goes on to further state that “certain causes of action against a private employer” cannot be taken by applicants, employees or former employees.
Opponents of the law have said that it will legally allow employers to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Nike is the latest company to publicly condemn the Indiana law. Other companies that have taken a stand include Apple, Levi Strauss, Angie’s List, Salesforce, and Yelp.