Business groups rally at Texas Capitol to oppose ‘bathroom bill’


Toting signs declaring “Texas Welcomes All” and “Keep Texas Open For Business,” state business and tourism representatives took to the steps of the state Capitol this morning to urge lawmakers to reject what they call a discriminatory proposed new state law regulating bathroom access for transgender people.

The rally — a day before the start of a special session of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday in which some Republican lawmakers are vowing to approve what’s become known as a “bathroom bill” — caps a recent flurry of political activity by business groups opposed to the measure.

“State-sponsored discrimination has very severe economic consequences,” Jeff Moseley, chief executive of the Texas Association of Business, said during Monday’s event.

Moseley and others who spoke cited a number of potential economic consequences facing Texas if such legislation wins approval.

Among them, they said existing Texas businesses will have trouble recruiting quality employees, while out-state-businesses won’t consider relocating here if the social climate is viewed as intolerant and discriminatory. They also said tourism-related events such as concerts, conventions and sporting events will go elsewhere.

“Tourism is part of the lifeblood of the Texas economy,” said Phillip Jones, president of VisitDallas.

He said Texans working in many professions — from hotel clerks and bartenders to caterers and florists — will suffer if the legislation wins approval.

“These are real livelihoods that are at stake, and this will affect real working families,” Jones said.

Supporters of the measure say such economic claims are overblown. They say the legislation is needed to protect women and girls from men who prey upon them in women’s bathrooms.

As the American-Statesman’s Lilly Rockwell recently reported, several tech groups have sent letters to send to top political leaders in Texas, urging them to reject the proposed legislation. In addition, IBM recently took out full-page advertisements in several of the state’s major newspapers, including the Austin American-Statesman, calling the legislation discriminatory.

For updates, keep an eye on www.statesman.com, as well as on Twitter at @bob_sechler.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

How easy is it to #DeleteFacebook? Advice from some who’ve disconnected
How easy is it to #DeleteFacebook? Advice from some who’ve disconnected

SEATTLE — Facebook’s image has taken a beating the past couple of years. First it was the Russians buying ads to try and influence U.S. elections, followed by the news that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission and used it to help Donald Trump become president...
Customers want more tech, fewer people

Get out of our way. That’s the message customers have for merchants looking to improve their in-store experience, according to a new study of more than 2,900 adults and children in the U.S. and Canada. The survey, conducted winter by HRC Retail Advisory, found that a majority of buyers prefer to be left alone to browse while shopping and would...
How listening to random sound can unlock a trapped mind
How listening to random sound can unlock a trapped mind

LOS ANGELES – David Tobin took to the stage at a recent technology conference in downtown Los Angeles, asked the 500 attendees to close their eyes, and turned up the sound so they could sample his wares: a textured, layered soundscape that he calls an “audiojack.” A thousand eyes clamped shut as they collectively heard a ball thudding...
Best AV receivers for 2018
Best AV receivers for 2018

So you’ve got the high-def, wide-screen, 4K video television, multiple surround speakers and a subwoofer the size of a dorm fridge. You’re almost there — but if you want the full home theater experience, you need an AV receiver to ride herd on all of it. These are the four best models CNET has reviewed over the last year. —&mdash...
‘Yakuza 6’ a modern chapter in need of one vital update
‘Yakuza 6’ a modern chapter in need of one vital update

Jumping into the “Yakuza” series right now is a tricky proposition. Sega’s long-running underworld crime saga has been out for more than a decade and has several chapters that follow the exploits of legendary gangster Kazuma Kiryu. The developers have been trying to get both new and longtime fans into the series with a two-pronged...
More Stories