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For Immediate Release: Equality Texas Praises Filing of Nondiscrimination Legislation
Posted on March 11, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

 

Equality Texas Praises Today’s Filing of New Comprehensive Non-Discrimination State Legislation that Modernizes Language and Protections for LGBTQ+ Texans by Vice Chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, Representative Jessica González and Senator Jose Menéndez

 

Austin, Texas – March 11, 2021- Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today praised the filing of new modern legislation that will pro-actively protect our community and ensure that every single Texan, including LGBTQ+ Texans will be treated equally under Texas law.

This bill would extend non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.  The only way to achieve the freedom for LGBTQ people to live, work, earn a living, raise our families, and contribute fully to our communities is to pass a comprehensive, statewide nondiscrimination law that protects all people, including LGBTQ people.

Currently, Texas is one of 27 states where there are no protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Texans can get married on Sunday and the very next day get kicked out of a restaurant or evicted from their apartment or turned down for a lease because of who they are or who they love. State legislation will guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ+ people.

“Equality Texas has been working with Rep. Jessica González for the last year and a half on a comprehensive non-discrimination bill that will provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing and public spaces. Many Texans are not aware that LGBTQ people can legally refused housing or denied services because of who we are. This is unkind, unfair, inequitable and unacceptable. We are committed to ensure Texas finally lives up to the promise for equality for all,” said Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez.

All Texans — including LGBTQ+ people — should be able to live, work, and access services like banks and medical care without fear of harassment or discrimination. Inequality perpetuates a culture that does not work for Texans.

“The good news is that 70% of Texans – including majorities in both parties and all major religious groups – already support the idea of nondiscrimination protections for their LGBTQ neighbors, coworkers, family members, and friends,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas. “Passing a comprehensive nondiscrimination law isn’t just the right thing to do to ensure LGBTQ+ people have the same opportunities to live, earn a living and contribute to their communities. Diversity and inclusion is a 21st century imperative and an economic study by economist Ray Perryman shows embracing equality will drive job creation in Texas and help our economy recover from the pandemic.”

Equality Texas’ top state offensive priority is to pass the comprehensive non-discrimination bill HB 3860 authored by Texas Representative Jessica González and SB 1540 by Senator Jose Menéndez through the Texas Legislature. Discrimination is still commonplace for LGBTQ+ Texans. Opponents of LGBTQ+ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in Texas to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage and access to basic public services and businesses. The comprehensive non-discrimination law would ensure that all LGBTQ+ Texans can live, work, and access public spaces free from discrimination.

The Perryman study examines the expected economic impacts of a statewide, comprehensive nondiscrimination law covering employment, housing, and public spaces for LGBTQ Texans and visitors. The Perryman Group found that in the first biennium, such a law would create $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues, and in the 2021-2045 period, it would create 700,000 new jobs, more than $1.3 trillion in gross product, and $130 billion in tax revenues for state and local governments.

Although 21 states and more than 330 cities have passed LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, half of LGBTQ+ people, including Texans live in the 27 states that still lack comprehensive statewide laws.

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.