Fix This Now: California Endowment Mulls Divesting from Indiana Businesses

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April 1, 2015; California Endowment

Talk about stakeholder revolts! The reaction to Indiana’s recent passage of SB101 has been wide and loud.

In a letter sent yesterday to Joseph R. Swedish, the CEO of Anthem, and copied to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the president and chief investment officer of the California Endowment declared yesterday that the foundation was reviewing its Indiana-based investments as a result of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act recently signed into law.

CA Endowment

The act, they write, is not only “bad for business” but also badly matched to the mission of California Endowment.

“As a health foundation,” they write, “we are…profoundly troubled by the negative implications for the health and safety of employees, customers and residents of any state enacting policies allowing discrimination against LGBT people.”

The letter goes on to say that that the state has created a discriminatory legal environment that, if not changed, will require the Endowment to reconsider their investments in Indiana. In its closing paragraph, they write that they want to add their concerns to the many others already being expressed on the matter (detailed in part in this Mother Jones article), saying, “Laws like SB101 are damaging to the economy, divisive to society and ultimately un-American.”

Meanwhile, the backlash within the state itself continues, with the entire front page of the Indianapolis Star reading:

Indianapolis Star

 —Ruth McCambridge