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Texas’ Four Major LGBT Chambers of Commerce Form Statewide Business Advocacy Coalition

1/30/2019

AUSTIN, Texas (January 29, 2019) — The LGBT chambers of commerce representing Texas’ four major metro areas have formed a statewide coalition designed to advocate for LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses.

Founding members of the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce are the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The combined population of the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio metro areas is nearly 19 million — more residents than all but four states.

On February 20, the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce will hold its first-ever Advocacy Day at the Texas Capitol. During this event, representatives of the state’s LGBT chambers will visit with lawmakers to advocate for business issues important to the LGBT community.

“The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce is proud to stand with our sister LGBT chambers across the state to bring the power of our collective voices to advocate on behalf of the LGBT business community,” says Tammi Wallace, co-founder and chair of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Representing hundreds of LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses — and growing — our work together is even more important as we unify to represent our members through advocacy and other collaborative opportunities.”

The four metro-area chambers were prompted, in part, to launch the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce in response to the 2017 effort by conservative Republicans in the Texas Legislature to pass the “bathroom bill.” The measure, which died in the 2017 session, would have unfairly regulated the use of certain public facilities by transgender Texans.

A 2016 analysis by the Texas Association of Business found that the discriminatory “bathroom bill” — the so-called Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act — would have caused statewide economic harm of $8.5 billion, including the loss of 185,000 jobs.

“The Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce intends to prevent any and all anti-LGBT, economy-damaging measures from becoming law in Texas at the state and local levels,” says Chase Kincannon, chair of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Altogether, the four founding members of the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce represent more than 1,000 LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied business interests.

“There is power in numbers,” says Clint Thomson, board chair of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. “This new alliance will enable us to work collectively on behalf of all LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses throughout the Lone Star State.”

Renee Garvens, president of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, says: “By joining forces with the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce, members of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce gain strength when it comes to fighting for LGBT issues that impact businesses in the Alamo City and across our great state.”

About the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce

Formed by the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce envisions a fully equitable, diverse and prosperous Texas. Our mission is to galvanize the collective power of the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce. Collectively, the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce represents more than 1,000 LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses in Texas and beyond.

For more information, visit TexasLGBTChambers.com.

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Media Contact : Tammi Wallace
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