The American Family Association and Family Research Council want customers of Angie’s List to boycott the company in an act of support for religious freedom.
Angie’s List recently announced that it has withdrawn a proposal to expand its Indianapolis headquarters because of the corporation’s disapproval of Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Angie’s List is an online service that gives users access to crowd-sourced reviews of local business and service providers such as painters, plumbers and doctors. Members must pay for the site’s services.
— Angie’s List (@AngiesList) March 28, 2015
“We are putting the ‘Ford Building Project’ on hold until we fully understand the implications of the Freedom Restoration Act on our employees, both current and future,” Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle said in a statement. “Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.”
Oesterle omitted the word “religious” from the legislation’s title in his comment.
The Indianapolis Star reported the $40 million expansion project would have created “1,000 good-paying jobs over five years” and helped “revitalize a struggling Eastside neighborhood.”
The Family Research Council suggests that supporters of religious freedom “Take Angie Off Your List.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in a statement that “Angie’s List takes the position that religious freedom is bad for business. We, on the other hand, think freedom is the foundation for good business.”
He suggested that supporters of religious freedom cancel their subscriptions to Angie’s List and to “politely” let them know the reason why.
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council, told The Daily Signal in an interview the organization doesn’t usually call for boycotts, but felt it was appropriate in this case.
“Angie’s List is a corporation that is very dependent on grassroots support,” Sprigg said. “We felt it was important for them to know how those grassroots feel.”
Sprigg said they have received positive feedback from people who have already canceled their subscriptions to Angie’s List.
“I do think it’s having an effect, even in the first 24 hours,” Sprigg said. “The idea that we can’t get them to reverse course is not true. We would like to see them publicly reverse their position.”
Sprigg said there has been a tremendous “misunderstanding” about the nature of the law.
“Religious freedom is there to protect everybody,” Sprigg said. “Gay, straight, right, left, Christian, non-Christian, whoever. It doesn’t protect discrimination.”