The mayor of Hammond, Indiana is calling on Governor Mike Pence to step down over the state’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law and the ensuing national firestorm.
“I woke up this morning to the nation and world taking our state to task again for a measure signed into law by our governor that should have never seen the light of day,” writes Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., a Democrat who has served as the mayor of the northwestern Indiana city since 2004.
“The Indiana I know is one that is welcoming, open and tolerant. The Indiana that Governor Pence has allowed to be seared into the mindset of many Americans is one of out of touch intolerance and discrimination,” McDermott says.
The mayor says that he is concerned about the loss of “tens of millions of dollars” for the Indiana economy with major corporations, conferences, and events leaving the state or scaling back expansion plans as a result of the law. A national #BoycottIndiana movement has spread on social media.
McDermott argues that the governor is ultimately responsible for the damage done to the state.
“When a CEO of a corporation makes a decision that irreparably harms the company that he or she runs, they oftentimes step aside voluntarily or are asked to by the Board of Directors,” McDermott writes.
The mayor questioned Governor Pence’s leadership ability, pointing to a national interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday in which the governor was repeatedly asked if Indiana’s law would allow discrimination against gays. The governor hedged, refusing to directly answer the question.
“If Governor Pence can’t even answer a simple question on national TV and defend our state and Hoosiers everywhere, he needs to look himself in the mirror and ask whether he has the leadership that Indiana needs right now,” McDermott adds.
“For the good of Indiana Governor, please step aside and let new leadership fix the harm that you’ve caused all of us that are proud to call ourselves Hoosiers.”
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore, flickr