Olympic diving gold medalist Greg Louganis, ex-NBA player Jason Collins and other prominent gay athletes are planning to protest the recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, ABC News reports. The controversial law protects business owners who want to decline services to gays, lesbians and others on the basis of sexual orientation.
The protest will apparently go on despite Indiana Gov. Mike Pence saying the state would “fix” the law to say it will not allow discrimination. Pence, however, did not mention adding a clause that would specifically protect gay or transgender individuals. He also said he has no plans to repeal the bill, which is the protesters’ goal.
“It should be totally repealed,” Louganis told ABC via the podcast “Capital Games.” “Everybody should feel embraced. And I feel that the majority of the populace of Indiana do embrace all people. I felt very embraced. … They’ve been so wonderful. This is just so contrary to my feelings of Indiana people.”
[Charles Barkley says NCAA should move Final Four games out of Indiana because of anti-gay law / Despite Connecticut ban on state-sanctioned travel to Indiana, U-Conn. Coach Kevin Ollie may go to Final Four]
Louganis and Collins joined executives from several major sports organizations, who have already spoken out against the controversial law. NASCAR, the NBA, the WNBA and the NCAA — the Final Four will be held in Indianapolis this weekend — have all said that despite the law they would welcome all people to their events. Others, however, have demanded that some of those organizations move their events out of Indiana until the law is appealed.
“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me,” Charles Barkley said last week. “As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”
The NFL remains one of the few major sports organization that has not commented publicly on the law.