Texas Lawmakers Ignore Warnings, Push Forward With Dangerous & Extreme Anti-LGBT Legislation

by Stephen Peters

Major corporations, technology leaders, and child advocacy organizations urge Texas lawmakers to stop the attacks with dangerous consequences on LGBT Texans and their families

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, condemned the actions of anti-equality lawmakers in Texas in moving forward extreme anti-LGBT legislation, despite warnings from major corporations, technology leaders, and child advocacy organizations of the dangerous consequences.

HB 4105 – a bill that takes direct aim at stopping marriage equality in Texas – passed through the House State Affairs Committee yesterday. HB 3864 – a bill that would enshrine into Texas law special anti-LGBT discrimination rights for child welfare providers based on the “provider ’s sincerely held religious beliefs” – passed through the House Juvenile Justice and Family Affairs Committee last Wednesday. Both bills are part of more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation being considered by the Texas legislature.

“The Lone Star State deserves better than the consequences these anti-LGBT bills will bring to the state if they become law,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Major corporations, technology leaders, and child advocacy organizations have made clear that these shameful attacks on LGBT Texans and their families are taking the state in the wrong direction. Texas lawmakers must stop these extreme bills from moving forward.”

Making it abundantly clear that these anti-LGBT bills undermine their core values and set dangerous precedents that stifle investment and economic growth, dozens of major corporations – including major Texas employers like PepsiCo, parent company of Frito Lay, and American Airlines – have joined HRC in condemning these bills as bad for business. Signing on to HRC’s Equality is Our Business pledge, these corporations are calling on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact these harmful pieces of legislation.

Over 130 technology leaders – including titans of the industry from Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Verizon, AT&T, and many, many more – have also taken the unprecedented stance of calling for an end to the anti-LGBT legislation in Texas and around the country, saying, “We believe it is critically important to speak out about proposed bills and existing laws that would put the rights of minorities at risk. The transparent and open economy of the future depends on it, and the values of this great nation are at stake.”

On Thursday of last week, major child advocacy organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association joined HRC in condemning bills like Texas’ anti-LGBT adoption bill, saying: “These bills ignore the fact that our duty is to ensure the best care for our children, youth and their families.” “We, as organizations dedicated to serving the best interests and well-being of children and youth, are deeply concerned about the spate of anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced in state legislatures around the country this year,” the statement says, “including measures that would allow discrimination in adoption and foster care, criminalize transgender people who attempt to use restrooms, and, under the guise of religious liberty, give service providers the power to deny child welfare services to the very people who need our care the most.”

After a similar battle over equality in Indiana, the Governor and the state suffered huge repercussions because of a law intended to discriminate against LGBT people. A stunning 75 percent of Hoosiers reported that Gov. Mike Pence’s push for the “religious refusal” bill damaged Indiana’s business climate.

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


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