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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 21, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 29
Anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas: What they're saying
Section One
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Anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas: What they're saying

AUSTIN, TX - As the Texas Senate State Affairs prepares to hear testimony on the anti-transgender legislation SB3 and SB91 [on Friday, July 21], more and more Texans, businesses, faith leaders and other organizations are making their voices heard opposing these harmful bills. This discriminatory legislation would have a negative impact on Texas' economy, damage the Lone Star State's reputation and harm LGBTQ Texans. Here is a sample of the broad-based opposition to bills such as SB3 and SB91:

Newspapers agree...
Dallas Morning News: 'For transgender Texans, defeating 'bathroom bill' is about saving lives' by Michael A. Lindenberger. 'The bathroom bill, which thanks to Abbott and Patrick will likely dominate the special session, is just another kind of the bullying that transgender Texans have had to put up with all their lives. To his credit, Straus saw that early on, and he has listened to testimony about suicide risk and higher-than-average self-harm attempts. He didn't want to be part of that grim statistic. He didn't want Texas to be part of it either. Neither should anyone.'

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Can we just not with the bathroom bill? 'If passed, any of the various House and Senate versions would restrict the use of bathrooms by birth-certificate gender in certain buildings. And that could mean problems. IBM has come out against it. So has the NFL. In multiple cities across Texas, tourist bureaus, and business groups have made their opposition known. So why are we still talking about it?'

Houston Chronicle: Sunset and Sine Die 'There's a documented pattern of depression and suicide in the transgender community, but no pattern of transgender Texans assaulting folks in restrooms.'

Educators, businesses and faith leaders agree...
15 school superintendents and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce: '[We] oppose any legislation that seeks to regulate bathroom usage in public spaces and public schools... We all want to ensure our children are safe, but more importantly, treated respectfully and with dignity.'

14 Dallas-area CEOs: 'Our companies are competing every day to bring the best and brightest talent to Dallas. To that end, we strongly support diversity and inclusion. This legislation threatens our ability to attract and retain the best talent in Texas, as well as the greatest sporting and cultural attractions in the world.'

National Episcopal Church: 'As the presiding officers of the Episcopal Church, we are firmly opposed to 'bathroom bills' and particularly reject the idea that women and children are protected by them. As clergy who remember racist Jim Crow bathroom laws that purported to protect white people, we know the kind of hatred and fear that discriminatory laws can perpetuate.'

The American Association of Law Libraries: 'The recently-signed bill to allow discrimination against LGBTQ families (HB 3859) and the pending anti-transgender 'bathroom bill' expected to be taken up during the Legislature's special session, directly harm LGBTQ people. We cannot stand by as Texas enacts legislation that discriminates against this vulnerable community.' The group says its upcoming conference in Austin will be its last in Texas unless the state reverses these anti-LGBTQ policies.

14 tech CEOs, including Apple, Facebook, and Google: 'As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas' reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families. Our ability to attract, recruit and retain top talent, encourage new business relocations, expansions and investment, and maintain our economic competitiveness would all be negatively affected. Discrimination is wrong and it has no place in Texas or anywhere in our country.'

South By Southwest (SXSW): 'SXSW opposes all discriminatory legislation and unequivocally supports civil rights for all persons everywhere.'

IBM, in full-page ads in Texas papers: 'As one of the largest technology employers in Texas, IBM firmly opposes any measure that would harm the state's LGBT community and make it difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans.'

Sports leagues agree...
NBA: 'We consider a wide range of factors when making decisions about host locations for league-wide events like the All-Star Game - foremost among them is ensuring the environment where those who participate and attend are treated fairly and equally.'

NFL: 'The NFL embraces inclusiveness. [...] If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.'

For the latest news in Texas and around the world, sign up for HRC's #AM_Equality daily tipsheet here and follow HRC on Twitter @HRC.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign

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