Indianapolis in crisis mode after tourism hit by religious bill


(Reuters) – The rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights, flies prominently on the Visit Indy website and Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence personally phoned the head of a Seattle company that gathers 56,000 gaming nerds in the heartland each year.

These are just some of the signs that Indianapolis, a corn belt city of 850,000 with a $4.4 billion tourism industry, has gone into full-on damage control to make sure its growing convention business is not harmed by a national uproar over a religious bill that Pence signed into law last week.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act – which to some meant religious freedom and to others a license to discriminate – was modified on Thursday by Indiana lawmakers to clarify that businesses cannot deny service to gays and lesbians.

Pence signed the clarified law on Thursday, soon after his Arkansas counterpart, Governor Asa Hutchinson, signed a modified…

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