HRC announced the results of new polling from Public Policy Polling showing that Texans strongly support cities’ ability to protect their residents from discrimination and oppose any attempts by the state legislature to overturn those protections. This polling comes ahead of a critical hearing in the House State Affairs committee tomorrow on legislation -- SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487 -- that would gut Texas cities’ enforcement of their employment non-discrimination ordinances. These ordinances cover at least 3.7 million Texans across the state. Of the respondents, 35 percent identify as Democrats, 40 percent as Republicans and 25 percent as Independents. The results show that voting for this legislation could have dire consequences at the ballot box.

“Dan Patrick and the anti-equality politicians driving bills that would roll back the rights of LGBTQ Texans are dangerously and politically toxic in Texas,” said Rebecca Marques, Texas State Director. “This polling underscores what so many of us already know -- that voters across Texas support equality and they will remember the lawmakers who vote against the best interests of their LGBTQ friends and neighbors. Lawmakers in the Texas House and the business community need to listen to the will of the people and stand strong against Dan Patrick’s relentless and reckless attempts to attack millions of LGBTQ Texans. And if the intent of their legislation is not meant to gut non-discriminatory ordinances, they still can add language that protects them.”

When Texas’ legislative session began in January, lawmakers in Austin stated their intention to focus on key funding issues facing Texas -- issues such as property tax reform and education funding. Yet Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other extreme lawmakers continue to push anti-equality bills -- bills that are designed to harm LGBTQ Texans and, as a consequence, the businesses that depend on them. Three anti-LGBTQ bills are scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, May 1, in the House State Affairs Committee. This new polling shows Texans’ overwhelming opposition to legislation that would undermine the rights and welfare of the LGBTQ community.

Following are questions and responses from the polling, conducted by Public Policy Polling:

Generally speaking, do you support or oppose local governments being able to pass non- discrimination protections for their residents?

Support ........................................................... 50%

Oppose ........................................................... 23%

Not sure .......................................................... 27%

Who do you trust more to legislate on issues in your community: the State Legislature, or your city government?

Trust the State Legislature more ..................... 31%

Trust city government more ............................ 50%

Not sure .......................................................... 19%

Would you be less likely or more likely to vote for a candidate if they voted to undermine civil rights protections, or would it not make a difference?

Less likely ....................................................... 51%

More likely....................................................... 18%

Wouldn't make a difference............................. 19%

Not sure .......................................................... 12%

These bills would be used to gut enforcement of non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ Texans. These cities’ ordinances protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment. Texas does not have a state law protecting its residents from discrimination in these categories based on sexual orientation or gender identity. If these NDOs were unenforceable, it would leave LGBTQ Texans without meaningful municipal or state employment nondiscrimination protections, statewide. This legislation has similarities to North Carolina’s disastrous HB2, which included provisions that preempted the state’s non-discrimination ordinances.

HRC continues to work alongside Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, the Transgender Education Network of Texas and others on the ground to battle against dangerous or harmful bills that attack the dignity of LGBTQ Texans. As a coalition, we will stand together; we will support and comfort one another; and we will continue to work together until we defeat every bill this session that discriminates against LGBTQ Texans.


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