Sen. Hobbs, 36 other lawmakers sign letter inviting Indiana’s Gen Con to relocate following RFRA

April 1st, 2015|

The signing of a controversial law in Indiana may hit the Hoosier State right in the wallet.

A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence allows businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples. The CEO of the state’s largest gaming convention, with an economic impact of $50 million annually, had promised to head for more tolerant pastures if the bill became law.

Sen. Steve Hobbs hopes that destination is Washington. The Lake Stevens lawmaker has gathered the signatures of 37 Washington State Senators and Representatives, encouraging Gen Con CEO and Washington State native Adrian Swartout to relocate the gaming convention here. You can view the letter here. Gen Con is under contract to remain in Indiana through 2020.

“Washingtonians are proud of our long history of embracing all people, regardless of their race, creed or sexual orientation,” Hobbs said. “I applaud Mrs. Swartout for taking this stand and encourage her to set up shop in the much more tolerant Evergreen State.”

Last year more than 56,000 people attended the conference which the Gen Con website says is, “the original, longest-running, best attended gaming convention in the world!”

Washington is home to multiple gaming companies, numerous comic and gaming conventions and companies such as Nintendo, Pop Cap Games and Microsoft.

“To paraphrase Mr. Spock, Washington is the most logical place for GenCon,” Hobbs said. “We are home to Wizards of the Coast and other gaming companies who produce such classics as Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering as well as many other table top games. We are the nerd capitol of the world and Gen Con deserves a home here.”