Chuck Lindell Austin American-Statesman
Raising concerns about legislation targeting LGBTQ people, a group of leading corporations on Monday urged Texas lawmakers to focus instead on urgent issues involving the pandemic, electric grid and education.
“We are concerned to see a resurgence of efforts to exclude transgender youth from full participation in their communities, to criminalize or ban best-practice medical care that is proven to save lives, or to exclude LGBTQ people in a variety of other settings,” the corporations said in a statement.
“Such legislation would send a message that is at odds with the Texas we know, and with our own efforts to attract and retain the best talent and to compete for business,” said the statement, signed by corporations based or doing business in Texas.
Those corporations included Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Dell Technologies, Facebook, IBM, Levi Strauss, Marriott International, Microsoft and Silicon Labs.
“We have long strived to make our workplaces safe and welcoming for everyone we employ. But the fullness of our team members’ lives, and the lives of their families, stretch well beyond the workplace,” the statement said. “They deserve to feel safe, welcome, and treated with dignity in those settings, too.”
The Texas Senate has approved Senate Bill 29, banning “biological males” — as determined by their original birth certificate — from competing in girls sports in public high schools and grade schools. A House committee is set to hold a public hearing on a similar bill Tuesday.
In addition, a House committee has approved House Bill 1399, banning gender-affirming medical care for those 17 and younger, including reversible puberty blockers as well as surgical procedures and hormone treatments.
The statement was released under the letterhead of Texas Competes, a group of business leaders that promotes inclusion and has identified about two dozen bills that it says target LGBTQ Texans.