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Lambda Legal Hails Introduction of Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill in Texas Legislature

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“Day-to-day, LGBTQ+ Texans never know when they might be fired, denied housing, even denied service, just for being who they are. This bill will go a long way to lessening that daily dread.”
March 11, 2021

Lambda Legal today thanked Texas State Rep. Jessica González and State Sen. Jose Menéndez for filing comprehensive non-discrimination legislation (HB 3860 and SB 1540) that will protect all Texans – including LGBTQ Texans – from discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.

“An LGBTQ+ person can get married on Sunday and the very same day get kicked out of a restaurant, told to vacate their apartment, or fired from their job under state law because of who they are or who they love,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Shelly Skeen. “The legislation introduced today will guarantee explicit protections for all LGBTQ+ Texans, including those LGBTQ+ Texans who are members of other marginalized communities and experience even greater discrimination than their white counterparts.”

The legislation implements statewide non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations for LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized communities. Currently, Texas has no explicit state law protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, or healthcare, and Texas is one of only five states that provides no protections in public accommodations for disabled individuals.

“The only way to achieve the freedom for LGBTQ+ people to live, work, earn a living, raise our families, and contribute fully to our communities is to pass a comprehensive, statewide nondiscrimination law that protects all people, including LGBTQ+ people,” said Avery Belyeu, Regional Director of Lambda Legal’s South Central Office. “Day-to-day, LGBTQ+ Texans never know when they might be fired, denied housing, even denied service, just for being who they are. This bill will go a long way to lessening that daily dread.”

In May of 2020, renowned Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman examined the expected economic impacts of a statewide, comprehensive nondiscrimination law covering employment, housing, and public spaces for LGBTQ+ Texans and visitors. The study shows that a 2021 statewide nondiscrimination policy would result in:

By 2025

• $20 billion in annual Gross Product

• 180,000 new jobs

• $2.8 billion in state tax receipts and $2 billion to local governments

By 2045

• $105 billion in annual Gross Product

• 700,000 new jobs

• $74 billion in state tax receipts and $56 billion to local governments

“70 percent of Texans – including majorities in both parties and all major religious groups – already support the idea of nondiscrimination protections for their LGBTQ neighbors, coworkers, family members, and friends,” Belyeu said. “Opponents of LGBTQ+ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in Texas to undermine LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of their lives. The people of Texas are better than that and stand to gain with this legislation.”

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