This is the guy that is REALLY forcing Indiana to fix its scary law


Marc Benioff MSNBC


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

For the past week, the boom has lowered on the state of Indiana after it passed a controversial law that could encourage discrimination against members of the LGBT community.


Gov. Mike Pence went from standing firm in support of the law to saying he was now going to encourage lawmakers to "fix" the law.

Proponents of the law insist it was meant to protect business owners from being forced to do things like cater a gay wedding if gay marriage violates their religious beliefs, and that it would not cause widespread discrimination.

But after the bill was signed, some lawmakers admitted that businesses would be allowed to post "No Gays allowed" signs in areas within Indiana.

For the past week, outrage poured out across the country from people condemning the law:


But for all the words of outrage, it was really one company, one guy, that sent the first real wallop to the state: the CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff.

Salesforce is the largest tech employer in Indiana. For weeks before the law was passed, its top executives warned there would be a price to pay if the law was signed.

And when it was signed, Marc Benioff kept his promise and immediately cancelled all events being held in Indiana, and he said employees would not be asked to travel there. Last year, one Salesforce conference alone brought in between $8 and $9 million to the city of Indianapolis, MSNBC reported. He also said Salesforce would reduce its investment in the state.

Benioff, a hugely influential figure in the Valley tech industry, then ramped up a TV and social media campaign encouraging all of the other outpourings of condemnation.

Since then, a few other companies have followed through with more substantial reactions. For instance, Angie's List this week announced it has halted indefinitely the $40 million expansion on its Indianapolis headquarters.


On Tuesday, Benioff appeared on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC news show saying that he's not happy with the governor's promise.

He is waiting for action real action before he reinstates events and investment.

"This is a bad law and it needs to change," he said on MSNBC. "He [the governor] has not made the statement that we're waiting for. We want to make sure employees and customers are protected. We are the largest tech employer in Indiana and we bring thousands of customers to Indiana and we want them to have a great experience," Benioff said. "This law, though, is just brutal."

Benioff wants them to fix the law to "make it crystal clear that if you an LGBT member and you're walking into a cafe, there isn't going to be a sign there that says, 'No gays allowed.' You saw those legislative leaders basically make a statement yesterday saying it was ok to have a sign that says 'No gays allowed.' That's not ok."

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