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Not all are welcome

Lawmakers’ refusal to acknowledge LGBTQ chambers signals dangerous anti-business trend

Contributed by:
Tina Grider-Cannon | president & CEO, Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Tammi Wallace | co-founder, president & CEO, Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Tony Vedda | president & CEO, North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Ivey | board president, San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce

“No matter where you’re from, we are all Texans, and we’ve come together for the next 140 days to work on behalf of our state,” Secretary of State Jane Nelson said when opening the 88th Texas Legislature. “But remember this: As Texans, we all agree on much more than any differences we might have.”

But judging by the actions of the House and Senate on Valentine’s Day, Secretary Nelson may need to refine her statement to exclude LGBTQ+ Texans.

Texas LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce, a coalition of the Austin, Greater Houston, North Texas and San Antonio LGBT chambers of commerce, gathered in Austin on that day to meet with our elected officials. Many business groups, advocacy groups and others organize Day at the Capitol-type events each session to engage with legislators and participate in the legislative process. These visits are often recognized with a House and/or Senate resolution.

Since Jan. 10, more than 230 resolutions have passed. These include House Resolution 157, recognizing Texas Court Reporting and Captioning Week, HR151 commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Bolivar Point Lighthouse, and Senate Resolution 165 recognizing the current Miss Texas.

These resolutions recognize, commemorate, congratulate or memorialize individuals, organizations and local governments across our great state who work to make Texas a better place. These resolutions are not submitted to the governor for signing or filed with the secretary of state. They rightfully acknowledge citizens and organizations working to keep the Lone Star State prosperous, innovative, growing and welcoming.

However, the Texas LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce, its member businesses and communities were denied these same resolutions due to the threat of objection by one House representative, whose hate also infected the Senate.


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