In my social media feeds yesterday, I saw some friends and acquaintances say that they were reconsidering their attendance at DPLAfest, scheduled to be held in Indianapolis, IN, April 17-18, in light of the recent signing of SEA 101, or the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” into law by Governor Pence of Indiana. I must admit that as an openly gay employee at DPLA, I had an immediate and strong negative reaction. I was unhappy about my organization spending money in a place that would allow businesses not to serve me simply because I am gay.
However, after more thought and a night of sleep, I have come to a different conclusion. The passing of this law should make us all want to attend DPLAfest even more than we might have before. We should want to support our hosts and the businesses in Indianapolis who are standing up against this law, and we should make it clear that our money will only be spent in places that welcome all.
At DPLA, we have already begun to diligently ensure that all the venues we are supporting welcome all of the DPLA staff and community. Messages like these have already helped put our mind at ease about a number of our scheduled activities:
Stickers like the one below are going to help us know which businesses to support while we are in Indianapolis:
At DPLAfest, we will also have visible ways to show that we are against this kind of discrimination, including enshrining our values in our Code of Conduct. We encourage you to use this as an opportunity to let your voice and your dollars speak. Let’s use this as a time to support those businesses and venues that support true freedom, all while enjoying each other’s company and a great conference lineup!
DPLA Director for Content