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Silicon Valley leaders respond to Indiana, Arkansas religious freedom acts




Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple MacBook during an Apple event on Monday, March 9, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple MacBook during an Apple event on Monday, March 9, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/AP

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The legislature in Arkansas on Tuesday passed what is being called a religious freedom act - similar to one passed last week in Indiana.

The act prohibits any law that "substantially burdens" someone's ability to follow their own religious beliefs. Critics say this opens the door for discrimination against gays, and there have been plenty of critics.

The band Wilco canceled their May 7 show in Indianapolis.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>We&#39;re canceling our 5/7 show in Indianapolis. “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act” feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.</p>&mdash; WILCO (@Wilco) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wilco/status/582641088869109760">March 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden was expected at the College Football Playoff Meeting in the Hoosier state. He, too, took to Twitter to cancel that trip.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EmbraceDiversity?src=hash">#EmbraceDiversity</a></p>&mdash; Pat Haden (@ADHadenUSC) <a href="https://twitter.com/ADHadenUSC/status/582939268730867712">March 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The issue has also been embraced by leaders in Silicon Valley. Companies like Apple, Salesforce.com and Yelp have all released comments on the religious freedom laws. Nick Wingfield from the New York Times has been writing about this, and he joins the discussion.