200+ Small Business Owners in Texas Urge Lawmakers to Reject Anti-LGBT BillsBy Adam Polaski • October 25, 2016 • 1:57 pm
This week in Texas, more than 200 Texas small business owners sent a letter to lawmakers warning that legislation targeting the LGBT community for discrimination will markedly hurt both their businesses and local economies across the state. Equality Texas released the letter this morning after bringing together small business owners in San Antonio to speak out against discriminatory bills. San Antonio is the state’s number one tourist destination and is slated to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2018.
Despite the clear signal from small business owners that discriminatory legislation will hurt Texas’ economy, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick last week proclaimed that passing an anti-transgender bill – similar to North Carolina’s HB 2, which has cost the state a half-billion dollars in lost revenue – was his top priority for 2017. The letter this week was in some ways a response to Lt. Governor Patrick’s comments.
In the Equality Texas letter, entrepreneurs called on lawmakers to remember Texas’ small businesses when heading back to session next January:
“We love Texas and we’re proud to call it home. We want to continue to provide great jobs and great experiences for our employees and our customers. That’s why we oppose any Texas legislation – broad or narrow – that would legalize discrimination against any group. That kind of legislation doesn’t just go against our values to be welcoming to everyone, it jeopardizes the businesses we’ve worked so hard to create, and it threatens the jobs and livelihoods of everyday Texans. … We can’t afford the losses seen in North Carolina, Indiana, and elsewhere. We want Texas to stay open for business for everyone. In 2017, we hope our elected officials will remember the small business community when they go to work.”
Matt McTighe, Executive Director of Freedom for All Americans, said today:
“Small business owners are the lifeblood of local economies. They are creating jobs and strengthening communities. Small businesses are also the first to feel the impact when conventions and sporting events leave town because of hostile policies. Dan Patrick is promising to pursue discriminatory bills that will severely harm these small business owners and their ability to provide for their employees. If Texas lawmakers insist on ignoring the overwhelming backlash we’ve seen in North Carolina, they at least should listen to the hardworking entrepreneurs in their state who do not want to see Texas go down this dangerous path.”
Freedom for All Americans is proud to support Equality Texas in efforts to defeat discriminatory bills this coming legislative session. FFAA also is partnering with Texas Competes to raise business opposition to discriminatory policies that would harm Texas’ economy. More than 1,100 businesses big and small have signed the Texas Competes pledge so far, affirming their support for a Texas that remains economically competitive and vibrant.