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Prejudice Religious Freedom Sexual Orientation and Commercial Real Estate.

firestormpic2

A Firestorm.

That’s what they say you have created when you say or do something beyond stupid and the entire world throws it back in your face.

Case in point. The governor of my home state of Indiana. He signed into law Senate Bill 101 or as it’s being called “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

It is stated in the bill that it  prevents state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless a compelling governmental interest can be proved.

What ever the intent or desired action that this bill was supposed to provide it did set off the firestorm because it is and was perceived as a bill that could be used by individuals and businesses to discriminate on the basis of religion — particularly against the LGBT community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

If you want to read the bill in its entirety please click on the above link. Also if you have an opinion and or point of view please exercise your personal freedom and voice it as such.

The Big Apple.

I just happened to be spending some time this last week in New York for DisruptCRE NYC and I was asked on more than one occasion about this specific topic. To be honest I had not personally paid that much attention to the Bill. It became obvious to me that all of a sudden I was somewhat of a representative of the entire state of Indiana and all of its Red State Right Wing Politics and there I was in the flesh staring these people in the face.

Each and everyone that made any comment to me did it in a very inquisitive and friendly way. It was more of a question of what was my opinion about what the legislation meant and what did I think about it. I never got the feeling or vibe that anyone was personally attacking or “blaming” me for any of my home states actions.

Ironically Standing on the Soap Box.

It just so happens that I was smack in the middle of an email/DM/phone call mini debate about a couple of articles that I had written. 10 Reasons You Will Never Become A Commercial Real Estate Broker and Commercial Real Estate Is All White Males and That May Never Change. Some people had taken exception to what they thought was my “opinion” of females in general and believe it or not straight white males.

This brings me to the point of this article in the first place.

Interpretation.

Any and all of the people who have read my articles will obviously interpret them in their own way. Yes and I said YES it is up to me to get my point across in a clear and concise way.

A Well Deserved Shit Storm.

The Governor of Indiana is right now in the middle of what I would call a Shit Storm. A Shit Storm caused by interpretation. This Shit Storm has affected many things and you can hit the Google and see for yourself.

One of the major issues that it has already affected is commercial real estate and economic development. If you hit the Google you will see where many major companies and their CEO’s have made a very public and personal stance against the bill and the governor himself.

Two huge stories stand out. One is very local and that is the pulling out of a major downtown development from Angie’s List. There was the promise of a $40 million dollar campus expansion with thousands of additional jobs. The CEO of Angie’s List (ironically the campaign manager for the last republican governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels) said  “We’re unwilling to engage in an economic development agreement that is contingent on us hiring people in when the state is sending a message out to potential employees that is not always palatable.”

The other one was a statement from the CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff. Why would he be concerned you ask? Salesforce bought Exact Target (with 1800 employees) for $2.5 billion. Exact Target is the absolute #Tech darling of Indianapolis if not the entire state. It represents everything the state of Indiana wants every other tech and non tech company to look at and see “how they can help you and your company do business in Indiana.” To have the CEO of that company state “We’ve made significant investments in Indiana. We run major marketing events and conferences there. We’re a major source of income and revenue to the state of Indiana, but we simply cannot support this kind of legislation,” is an economic development deathblow.

Clarification.

The Governor of Indiana Mike Pence has within just a couple of days stated that he “wants to clarify the intent” of the new state law.

In other words he “wants to clarify the intent of the new state law” to keep the jobs in Indiana. The first one of those jobs would be his own.

Perception and Interpretation.

The Governor of the state of Indiana is I assume a smart man. I also assume he has some very smart people working for him.

I am not so sure about the State Legislature that created and passed the bill for the governor to sign.

Whatever the intent they have done unrecoverable harm to the state’s reputation and it’s ability to attract talent and business to the state of Indiana.

The Building Does Not Care.

In my article Commercial Real Estate Is All White Males. I made two specific statements and made sure to highlight them.

“It should not matter the color of the skin the persons sexual preference the gender or religion of that human being. The building doesn’t care.”

Duke Long 2015

“If you want equality in commercial real estate you have to first acknowledge that things are not equal, they are not equal for women, people of color or persons with a different sexual preference and that those people have problems that straight white males do not.”

Duke Long 2015

In New York I had someone state directly to me that  “you may be considered a conservative by some people standards but when it comes to commercial real estate you are as liberal as it gets.”

Prejudice Religious Freedom Sexual Orientation and Commercial Real Estate.

 

 

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