Wilco Cancels Indiana Performance in Opposition to Religious Freedom Bill

The Chicago-based band Wilco won’t be performing in Indianapolis for their scheduled tour date on May 7, the band announced in a Facebook post Monday afternoon.

Wilco stands in solidarity with the uproar of opposition that has come against the state of Indiana after Gov. Mike Pence signed into effect a “Religious Freedom” bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gays, lesbians and transgendered.

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We are canceling our May 7 show at the Murat in Indianapolis. The “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act” feels like...

Posted by Wilco on Monday, March 30, 2015

“The ‘Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination to us,” the band said in their statement, while offering refunds to fans that already had purchased tickets.

A Washington-based Human Rights Campaign said Indiana lawmakers "have sent a dangerous and discriminatory message," in signing of the bill.

Republicans in the Hoosier state want to rework the law to clarify its intent while many Democrats want to get rid of it entirely.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people despite what the law says," said Sarah Warbelow, the group's legal director.

Gov. Pence has vigorously defended the state religious objections bill since signing it into law Thursday.

"There has been a lot of misunderstanding about this bill," Pence said. "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

Those arguments didn't satisfy opponents who worry the law, which will take effect in July, presents Indiana as unwelcoming and could give legal cover to businesses that don't want to provide services to gays and lesbians.

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