VICTORY: Texas Lawmakers End Special Session Without Acting on Anti-Transgender LegislationBy Adam Polaski • August 15, 2017 • 10:42 pm
Tonight the Texas House and Senate adjourned, ending the summer 2017 Special Session – without passing any anti-transgender legislation. With the Legislature officially out of session and no anti-LGBTQ legislation passed, we’re thrilled to declare victory alongside our partner organizations – including Equality Texas and Keep Texas Open for Business.
Governor Greg Abbott included anti-business, anti-transgender legislation on his call for a special session earlier this summer – and while Patrick advanced such a measure through the Senate last month, the proposal never gained any traction in the House. The discriminatory proposal faced unprecedented opposition from the business community, who warned that such a measure could cost the state up to $5.6 billion in lost economic investment over the next decade.
Law enforcement officials, women’s groups, people of faith, conservatives opposed to discrimination, and parents of transgender youth were among the myriad voices speaking out against the discriminatory proposal
Kasey Suffredini, Freedom for All Americans’ Acting CEO & President of Strategy, said tonight after the House adjourned:
“It appears, for now, that efforts to codify discrimination against transgender Texans will fail, and this victory could not come at a more important moment for our movement. We saw unprecedented opposition to this legislation – not just from businesses concerned about the economic implications of these proposals, but from conservatives who abhor discrimination; from faith leaders who were steadfast in calling out inequality; from families of transgender Texans who demonstrated incredible bravery in sharing their personal stories. Defeating bills like this in Texas sends a strong message to other state legislatures that mean-spirited, discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ proposals are non-starters.”
Freedom for All Americans is proud to have partnered with state and national organizations to fend off discrimination in Texas. We worked with our colleagues at Equality Texas, the Texas Association of Business, and the Keep Texas Open for Business coalition to ensure that discriminatory legislation like SB 3 would not advance to the governor’s desk. The business opposition to this legislation was overwhelming, with an unprecedented number of businesses speaking out in recent weeks.
Businesses opposed to Patrick’s discriminatory legislation include Airbnb, Alamo Drafthouse, Amazon, Apple, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Cisco, Dell, Dow Chemical, Facebook, Google, GSD&M, Hewlett Packard, JPMorgan Chase, Lyft, Marriott, Microsoft, Nike, PayPal, RetailMeNot, Salesforce, SXSW, TechNet, Uber, United Airlines, and Visa. All of the major tourism, convention and visitors bureaus from across the state also opposed the legislation.
Suffredini added after the House adjourned (but the Senate had not yet adjourned): “The distressing events over the weekend in Charlottesville make today’s progress even more important. When we stand up against hateful forces that seek to demonize and oppress our communities, we can win. And we will keep speaking out and standing up until we do. We’re not out of the woods in Texas just yet, but we’re hopeful that efforts to enact legislation that hurts transgender people has reached the end of the road for now.”