Wilco Reinstate Indiana Concert After Religous Freedom Law Update
Rejoice, fans of equality and Wilco: The group posted an announcement on their Facebook page today (April 3) saying their May 7 concert in Indianapolis has been uncanceled. The update follows the news that Indiana governor Mike Pence has signed changes to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that attempts to alleviate the unclear language in the law.
"We consider the changes to Indiana’s RFRA a good first step toward creating the sort of welcoming environment we encourage everywhere, so we’re reinstating our May 7 show at The Murat, which we canceled earlier this week," Wilco wrote. "To quote an Indiana University statement from yesterday, 'religious liberty and equal protection under the law are both cornerstones of our democracy and they should not be in conflict with each other.' Well said, IU."
Following the Indiana Senate's 34-16 vote in support of changes to the religious freedom law, Pence spoke, clarifying the law's original intents and the changes that were necessary after it was misinterpreted.
"Last week the Indiana General Assembly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act raising the judicial standard that would be used when government action intrudes upon the religious liberty of Hoosiers, and I was pleased to sign it," Pence said. "Over the past week this law has become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation. However we got here, we are where we are, and it is important that our state take action to address the concerns that have been raised and move forward.
"Last weekend I called upon the Indiana General Assembly to clarify that this new judicial standard would not create a license to discriminate or to deny services to any individual as its critics have alleged," Pence continued. "I am grateful for the efforts of legislators, business and other community leaders who came together to forge this clarifying language in the law."
According to Wilco, a portion of the proceeds from their Indianapolis performance will be donated "to organizations fighting to build on the progress we hope this change makes in Indiana and beyond."
Wilco's reinstatement of the May 7 concert also follows an appeal made by Secretly Group, a collection of Indiana-based record labels and music businesses, which reads in part: "To musicians with events scheduled in Indiana — please follow through and perform. While canceling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally. You can insist that the venue you play publicly states that they will not discriminate under any circumstances. If the venue won’t do that, rebook your show with another venue that will. Your performance can be a rally. We need your support locally.”
Secretly Group has not yet responded to news of the updated law. Complete dates for Wilco's tour can be found here.