All people should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state. But right now, it’s legal to fire someone, refuse them service at a business, or deny them housing simply because they are gay or transgender. It’s time to update the law so that all people, including gay and transgender people, are protected from discrimination.
Discrimination is Wrong, No Matter Whom It Affects
- Gay and transgender people are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. When it comes to being able to earn a living, having a place to live, or being served by a business or government office, they should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against.
- Protecting people from discrimination, including gay and transgender people, is about treating others as we want to be treated. Even though we may have different beliefs, what’s most important is focusing on what we have in common—taking pride in our work, respecting our neighbors, and giving back to our communities.
- All hardworking people should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Nobody should have to live in fear of being legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance. Employees should be judged on their qualifications, experience, and the job they do—nothing more, nothing less.
- Such discriminatory policies are potentially expanding beyond the LGBT community to include veterans, single moms, people of faith, and many others. This is a can of worms we don’t want to open. Discrimination of any kind is not in line with Texas values.
- Some of Texas’ largest employers—AT&T, Apple, American Airlines, Dell, HP and Chevron—are on record in their support for workplace equality for all employees.
For America’s armed forces, the majority of Fortune 500 companies, 18 states and hundreds of local municipalities,
nondiscrimination policies have helped create diverse, productive workplaces that are competitive in a global marketplace. America’s largest employers know these policies are simply good for business.
Maintaining our state’s brand as a great place to do business is vital to our economy, and nondiscrimination laws are essential to that brand. To attract talented workers, spur entrepreneurial innovation, recruit investment, and build a thriving travel and tourism industry—we need to welcome all people and treat everyone fairly.
It’s time for our state to update our nondiscrimination law to protect all workers. These policies work for America’s leading businesses and employers, and they can work in our state, too.
Religious Freedom is Essential, but No One Should Face Discrimination
Freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it’s protected in the Constitution. But religious freedom doesn’t give any of us a right to discriminate or treat others unfairly. It’s about striking a balance. We can update state law to protect gay and transgender people and, at the same time, protect the constitutional rights of churches and religious organizations.
Treating Transgender Americans Fairly
Because so few people personally know a transgender person, it can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender. A transgender person is someone whose body doesn’t match who they know they are on the inside, and so they transition and live as the gender they have always known themselves to be. Like all of us, transgender people work hard to earn a living and meet their responsibilities. Updating the law will give all people, including those who are transgender, a fair opportunity to provide for themselves and their family and build a better life.