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Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce Call for Comprehensive LGBT Protections

Texas ranks last in new state equality index

AUSTIN, Texas (February 5, 2019) — In a blow to the state’s economic prosperity, Texas receives the worst rating in the new State Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute. However, a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute shows a majority of Texans support anti-discrimination laws protecting the state’s LGBT residents. 

Given Texas’ poor showing in the State Equality Index but its strong showing in the poll, the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce believes it’s time for Texas lawmakers to pass legislation providing comprehensive protections for LGBT Texans, including long-needed statutes that would erase the risk of Texans being fired, evicted or denied services because of their LGBT identity. 

“Enacting basic protections for LGBT Texans is not only the right thing to do from the perspective of equality, but it’s also the right thing to do to ensure Texas continues to attract and retain equality-minded workers and employers,” said Tammi Wallace, co-founder and chair of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce. 

In the HRC Foundation’s and Equality Federation Institute’s State Equality Index, Texas joins 27 states in the lowest-rated category — “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality.”

“The State Equality Index is a shameful reflection on the sad state of LGBT equality in Texas,” Wallace said. “We can and must do better to ensure that key economic players — including employers like Apple and events like the Super Bowl — continue to consider Texas. It has been demonstrated that Texas stands to lose billions of dollars if lawmakers are successful in passing legislation that singles out LGBT Texans for discrimination.” 

In the current legislative session, non-discrimination bills have been filed by state Sen. José Rodriguez of El Paso, state Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston and state Rep. Diego Bernal of San Antonio. Bills filed by state Sen. Charles Perry of Lubbock, state Sen. Bob Hall of Rockwall and state Rep. Bill Zedler of Arlington would make it legal for certain groups to discriminate against LGBT Texans. 

On Feb. 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. 

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 

Additional Info

Media Contact : Tammi Wallace (she|her|hers) / 713-301-2266/

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