Big Business Steps Up to Oppose New State Bills

A host of some of the biggest businesses in Texas is making a stand to protect LGBT non-discrimination ordinances (NDO) in the state legislature.

Businesses including American Airlines, IBM, Celanese, and SXSW are hosting a news conference on Tuesday to make their opinions known. The four Texas Senate bills would block municipalities from mandating that private businesses give paid sick leave and other crucial benefits to employees. According to the business cohort, the bills do not give adequate protection for LGBT employees. The bills are sponsored by Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe.

These new four bills are basically a reboot of Creighton’s former Senate Bill 15. This bill generated controversy because it did not offer enough protection to LGBT citizens and workers. When that bill was under negotiation, a coalition of business leaders also stepped up in opposition to it. Facebook, Amazon, and Google were just a few of the companies that composed a letter stating their belief that the bill would disrupt the overall economy of the state of Texas while also hurting their individual businesses.

A preliminary version of the original Senate Bill 15 stated that the legislation could not overrule local NDOs. Creighton eventually took that wording out of the bill. Tuesday’s news conference by the supportive businesses is asking the Texas House to put the NDO legislation back into the four new bills in an effort to protect the rights of the LGBT community.

American Airlines sent an email to its flight attendants union stating that the company opposed the new bills as they are currently written. The local airline giant said that it stands with the LGBT community and that the bills should not override local NDOs.

The opposition is putting on the pressure now because the bills are set to be debated in a committee in the House on May 1.

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