Local leaders respond to Indiana's Religious Freedom Bill - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local leaders respond to Indiana's Religious Freedom Bill

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(CBS 8) - As controversy continues to grow around a new law in Indiana, the governor there says he doesn't plan to make any changes to the Religious Freedom Bill, which gives businesses the right to refuse service to certain customers, including gays and lesbians.

Local business owners and advocates say they can't believe a law like this now exists in 2015.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence made that announcement on ABC's "This Week" Sunday despite growing criticism surrounding the Religious Freedom Bill, which he signed into law earlier this week.

Thousands protested in Indianapolis Saturday and company leaders and politicians have also spoken out. The law gives businesses the freedom to not serve customers based on their religious and sexual preferences and while it doesn't specifically name the LBGT community, critics say that's exactly who's being targeted.

"These laws are a direct response to anticipating that the Supreme Court will allow same sex marriage,” said Stampp Corbin.

Corbin is the chair of San Diego's Citizens Equal Opportunity Commission and adds that while 19 other states have religious freedom laws, Indiana's is being criticized because of its timing and the way it's written.

"Indiana's is particularly egregious and particularly written to be interpreted or misinterpreted however it can be,” continued Stampp.

Aside from the political backlash that's come from the law, many fear Indiana's economy will suffer as well. Some of which we've already seen, Angie's list for example, has pulled out of a $40 million expansion project in Indiana which was supposed to break ground within days.

"It's astounding and I think that it's really, really bad for business,” said Brett Serwalt, who owns Obelisk in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood.

Indiana business owners have joined an open for service campaign, posting signs indicating they won't discriminate.

Serwalt supports that, but says it's something they shouldn't have to do:

"We're already supposed to be in business for everyone. Why do we have to put a sticker on our window that actually says we don't discriminate? What we should do are the businesses that are discriminating. They should have to put a sticker on their window saying who they're discriminating against. That, I fully support. If they want to be bigots and they want to discriminate, they should let people know."

Aside from announcing there will be no changes to the law, Indiana's governor said Saturday that the law is not about discrimination.

City leaders elsewhere have also taken a stand. Seattle's mayor, for example, has banned city employees there from traveling to Indiana for work.

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