Gen Con LLC Responds to Indiana Bill Passing

By Polar_Bear
In Events
Mar 26th, 2015

Gen Con LLC (the link opens to a .pdf file, just so you know) has posted their response to the passage of Indiana Legislative Bill SB101. Earlier this month, they had sent one letter stating that they will reconsider keeping the convention in Indianapolis if the bill passes. Well, it passed. So what’s Gen Con’s response?

Basically, they will continue their contract through 2020, but they are entertaining bids for moving the convention. Also, if anyone feels that they can’t, in good conscience, attend the event, they fully understand. They also want you to contact them if you feel you are at all discriminated against during the show. You can see the whole letter attached below.


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I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • Chad_Caughmann

    Its sad to think that in 2015 there are STILL people willing to be so close-minded, intolerant, and judgmental of others who have virtually no direct effect on them. What’s even worse is that there will very likely ALWAYS be enough people like this to cause significant drama.

    • porkchop28

      The sad part is there enough people “like this” (aka intolerant) to get laws passed supporting them… that’s what doesn’t make any sense… and what bothers me even more is how few people stand up and voice their dissatisfaction with their legal representation… it is the vocal minority with funding that push these bills through instead of the majority of sensible people speaking out and keeping bills like this from passing.

      • Dorb

        Hollywood needs to try harder to convince people what is normal and what is not. I myself do not really care. Just be what you want and don’t shove it everyone’s face.

        • Lexthilian

          Although I’m not to sure about the Hollywood part, meaning I wouldn’t put my trust in them, I couldn’t agree with you more. THANK YOU!

      • Tam Song

        There you go again – condensing fact from a vapor of nuance. Intolerant people MAY use this incorrectly, but this law does not target an individual group. The potential for misuse doesn’t invalidate the entire law or negate legal rights.

        That would be similar to someone taking away your freedom of speech because you ‘might’ say something slanderous, treasonous, or deceptive. Or your right to bear arms because you ‘might’ commit a crime.

        In addition, I believe there was majority support for the bill/law. Not simply the product of some fictional ‘vocal bigoted minority’ agitators.

        Rights work both ways. That’s what folks on both sides of this issue need to understand.

  • David McLeod

    This year EVERYONE has to gender swap for cosplay.

  • Donald Davis

    With all the crap going on in the world this rates pretty low.The right to refuse service is a right.We “free” folk have very few rights remaining.

    • Tam Song

      My understanding is the bill grants broad rights to business owners and
      doesn’t particularly single out homosexuals. Right of refusal is granted
      for any reason the owner/server deems legit.

      As a business
      owner, I have the the right to refuse to do business with anyone being
      rude, hostile or inappropriate. Freedom of conscience and religious
      convictions are protected rights as well.

      However, if a person –
      gay or otherwise – is civil, what’s the problem? They’re human beings
      deserving of respect even if you disagree in some areas. To refuse
      service on the basis of a particular ‘sin’ is a slippery slope and
      double-standard; will servers/owners refuse Bankers for Greed or
      Mammon/Materialism? Lawyers for Deception? (and Greed?)

      understanding of Christian doctrine is we’re all in trouble and all need
      a Savior. This entire situation strikes me as an over-reaction on
      everyone’s part.

      just my .02.

      • porkchop28

        The problem is the “right of refusal for “any” reason the owner deems legit”… so you are giving the right to the owner to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and religiously intolerant… and even if the owner is in the wrong, it is going to take so long, so much money, and effort to fight them legally, it isn’t going to be worth it for most people who are being discriminated against. just my .02

        • Tam Song

          First, I haven’t studied the Law or it’s precise wording. That’s my paraphrase from general news sources. I’m supremely confident lawyers will soon be involved to pick at nits.

          Second and most obviously, not every refusal will be discriminatory. It’s inaccurate hyperbole to suggest so. And to repeat, it does NOT specifically target one particular group. Hugely important to remember this.

          Third, this doesn’t ‘give’ anything. Private business owners already have that right – this simply clarifies and codifies. This isn’t some new idea or restriction.

          You and I aren’t the ones to judge the owner’s reasons or personal convictions, nor can we impose ours on them. Our choice is limited to whether we do business, like Gen Con’s response.

          I suspect this is really a tsunami in a shot glass. The aim of any business is profit. The bottom line will win the day, and owners will continue to serve customers. The law simply iterates freedom of conscience and conviction to owners/servers in individual circumstances. Which is their right.

          • Lexthilian

            Well said. This is EXACTLY the point that people should be aware of. But unfortunately many will just read internet tag lines.

            We should not disallow business owners the right to run their business as they see fit because of what ‘might’ be in the head of someone later, no more than we should disallow people the right to defend themselves because of what might be in the head of one individual. A smart business owner will server to all if they want to make money. But if one, or some, bother them in any way, they should have the right of refusal.

          • Donald Davis

            Agreed,If people behave they will likely get served.I don’t really want to watch anyone making out while I’m eating,there are places for that.These businesses are serving the public whether a con is in town or not.

        • StingrayP226

          Why would you want to support a racist/sexist/etc with your money? If they are that bad that they would refuse service then I sure as hell wouldn’t want to give them my money. Might actually HELP run those people out of business as they will feel free to show their bias ways so the rest of us can avoid giving them money.

          Trying to see a little positive here…

    • mathieu

      The woes of the privileged… Always so heartbreaking.

      This is the kind of comment that shows how little perspective people have on what is going on around them. I guess having had it easy your whole life makes it tough to step back and realize others haven’t been so lucky.
      That there are people today in the Land of the Free who are still fighting to have the same rights as you “free folks” is mind-boggling. That each time they obtain, or even just look like they might get close to obtain, some of these rights generate an even remotely negative reaction from you “free folks” is pathetic.

  • porkchop28

    So.. Gencon “threatened” to pull their convention.. sometime in 5 years… wow.. how sad and really not a threat… if they (Gencon) wanted to actually follow through they’d get their lawyers to fight their contract and find a new venue at least for 2016… glad they stood up, but sad they sat back down.

    • Ian Hunter

      Moving a convention the size of GenCon is not something easily done and can take significant time to setup not just the convention center but hotels and transportation. Also I am sure breaking their contract with the convention center they just signed with (before this all started) might not be fiscally feasible.

    • Ajay Pollarine

      They will do more to influence the free market if they choose to stay than people realize. By refusing to back down and remaining and inclusive event they show that a free market which embraces diversity will prosper and create prosperity in the region it resides, effectively creating an form of economic shaming on businesses who do not embrace diversity.

  • Tom

    So the governor called the bluff and their only response is that they are discussing moving but haven’t decided? I would have figured that the discussion on the action to take if the bill passed occurred prior to sending the letter to the governor. In politics that’s called back peddling, for the average Joe it’s called making idle threats. However it’s described I am disappointed in the response. I understand the contract fulfillment but they should be declaring now that they will move the convention in 2021.

    • ThaneCawdor

      Well since the Indiana RFRA is the same as the Federal RFRA Clinton signed into law in ’93, they probably need those 5 years to find a place in Canada that can house GenCon.
      Unless Gen Con LLC & its principals are ignorant of the actual bill & discussion, hypocrites, or just throwing an temper tamptrum because the people of IN didn’t fall in line

      • Tam Song

        Sad to say my guess would be ‘ignorant’ and ‘tantrum’. It takes time, thought and work to grasp a complex issue. Like junk food, sensational headlines and emotional soundbites are easier to consume though. Not surprising but always a shame.

      • Matt

        Except its not the same as the Federal RFRA and is in fact more expansive than any other current RFRA by any of the states that have one in the United States. Also since the Federal RFRA doesn’t apply to states and you are anti-all RFRAs there is still 60% of the states which are possible candidates. Several lawyers have already discussed how Indiana’s RFRA is different and the beginning of its implications. ‘Ignorant’ and ‘tantrum’ could be used for those defending Indiana’s RFRA but hardly for those who are concerned about companies now being given religious safeguards same as religious individuals, a law that gets to countermand the local county and city civil laws and more.

        • ThaneCawdor

          Its only 3 pages, read what it does. It only limits the government’s interaction with the citizenry, it doesn’t address interaction between private individuals.

          It exists because the Fed RFRA only restricts the Fed govt. This gives the same standards to interactions with the state.

          Its a law that codifies the standards of when the government can infringe religious liberties.. that’s all.

          This talk of legalized discrimination has no bearing on the actual text of the bill. The fed has had it for 23 years without any incidents like the doomsayers say… and here in IL we have it as well

          • Matt

            I have read it. Its a full page and a half longer than the Federal RFRA so its not the same. The language is also quite different in key parts. I’ve also read the dissection of the Indiana RFRA by two different lawyers, one a Indiana lawyer who know legal language and ramifications better than I do. Both said that the language is different than the Federal one in three key parts. So saying its just the same as every other RFRA is a convenient talking point but it is not the truth. The Indiana bill is closest to those of Texas and Arizona (the latter of which was vetoed because of the harm it might do to the states economy) and varies quite differently from Illinois and the Federal RFRA.

  • Guest

    I love it when those in our hobby get all self-righteous about this, that, or the other. Remember when this hobby didn’t get into politics? Get over yourselves.

    • Lexthilian

      I wish there was a thumbs up function on this site.

  • Copyleft

    Simple enough to break the contract, GenCon. So it would be ‘inconvenient’ and maybe even costly… so freakin’ what? Principles always are!

    • Tam Song

      Actually it’s not simple to break a contract. It’s legally-binding. That’s why lawyers need to be involved – which will be messy, costly and time-consuming. And in the end, lawyers are usually the only ones who really win.

  • estrus

    Whatevs… the zombies will have taken over by 2020.