Here's the important thing that people need to hear - a LOT of people and businesses and organizations and smaller governments disagree with it as well.
Do just a little bit of digging and you will find colleges making statements, city and town governments making statements, businesses making statements. Indiana is a state that is open and welcoming.
We aren't perfect - but no state is perfect. You will find close mindedness in any part of the country.
But Hoosiers are hard working people. Our state, like all the others, is filled with history and beauty and uniqueness.
I understand the initial inclination to "boycott Indiana." I really do. And in some ways, I applaud it. Because it has obviously captured the attention, on some level, of our state government. Because a national response does mean an impact on dollars - and economics is what truly speaks the loudest.
Instead of boycotting this entire state and all of the good that it does offer, I'd encourage people to come and visit. And make a point to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants and shop in stores that have stood up against RFRA. Do what so many Hoosiers are already doing - letting our money speak for us.
Don't damage the people and companies that didn't have anything to do with this legislation. In fact, support the towns and cities and businesses and events that are speaking against this legislation, that are demanding change, that are showing up for rallies and sending letters and voicing opinions and issuing statements. Because when you look at the long list of people inside Indiana who are voicing their anger, their disapproval... Indiana becomes a much more acceptable and open place to visit and support.
In a couple of weeks, I will be attending an annual event on Indiana Tourism. I love this event. I get to meet people who work for the tourism division of their city or town or county. People who are passionate about introducing people to their part of Indiana. There are so many ways that I enjoy celebrating Indiana - everything from Vintage Indiana to the Indiana Artisan Marketplace to DigIN to the Indiana State Fair. Here in Indiana, we celebrate wine and beer and food. We celebrate the arts. We celebrate people and diversity - we actually do!
Here are some things I am looking forward to in the coming months - places to go, events to attend.
I also want to plan a family weekend to Columbus, IN. I want to make (and buy and eat) marshmallows from one of my all time favorite sweet spots - 240Sweet. I want to go to The Commons and KidsCommons and Zaharakes. Columbus has some fantastic walking routes, too, which seem like a great way to see parts of the city and surrounding areas.
Indiana has a beach! No - really! This would be a long weekend family trip. Time at Indiana Dunes, a visit to Kosciusko County and Marshall County. I want a day on the beach. I want to hike and explore the dunes. I want to visit the statues in Kosciusko and maybe catch a show at the Wagon Wheel Theatre, and I want to see a few barn quilts in Marshall County.
It seems that I am always out of town when Pride happens in Indianapolis. This year, in light of recent current events, I want to make it a priority to attend parts of Pride. While the dates may be coinciding with possible vacation time again... I think I can make at least some of it work. June 6 is the Rainbow 5K Run/Walk. June 13 is the Pride Parade. And lots goes on the entire week!
Indiana State Fair
My love for the State Fair is well known. So you can certainly expect that I will be getting more and more excited as we get closer and closer to Aug 7. This year's theme is Year of the Farmer. Agriculture is a big part of Indiana - both historically and currently.
Indiana has a lot to offer. Please don't judge this state and the people in it by the bullheaded good ole boys currently in office in our state government. These people did not listen to the people who voted them in to office! Don't punish an entire state of good people for their poor actions - actions that we are fighting. I love my state. I love my city. I love the people of this state.