John Mellencamp has written an op-ed piece in The Indianapolis Star speaking out against the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which goes into effect in July, and states that private businesses and organizations can refuse the right to serve gays and lesbians.
Controversy has erupted around the law ever since Republican governor Mike Pence signed it into law last week, with critics asserting that it allows businesses to discriminate against individuals on religious grounds. Pence has asked state lawmakers to amend the law after a number of businesses said they would withdraw from the state or cancel events there. Mellencamp, an Indiana native and resident, is set to perform in the state on May 27th at Evansville, Indiana’s Old National Events Plaza.
John Mellencamp’s full op-ed piece via IndyStar.com:
“I am not questioning the sincerity of those who believe they have acted in the interests of religious freedom, but I am resolutely stating my opposition to this misnamed and ill-conceived law. It is discriminatory, hurtful, and a stain on Indiana’s national reputation.
I have thought seriously about canceling my upcoming shows, not wanting the resulting tax revenues from ticket sales, concessions and the like to help fill the same government coffers that would enforce this terrible law. But then I realized that I would be letting our government divide us again, keeping me apart from my most important audience: My Indiana fans who have been there for me from the very beginning. Our evenings together will be about music, and hopefully this situation will be made right by the time I see you in May.”
Not too long ago, John Mellencamp told us that the recent environment in America has gotten him worried about the polarization between people across the country: “You can hardly walk down the street without hearing a conversation or people mad at each other, or read articles in (the) newspaper where people are mad, and I just don’t think that’s the way this country’s supposed to be run. People are not supposed to hate each other in this country.”
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