Weclome to Texas

Friday, Zack Ford notes that Texas has a new anti-LGBT bill in the works, something to keep us in our place. The measure, HB 2899, bans political subdivisions from enacting nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people and nullifies those that already exist. There are no state laws in Texas that protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth and Plano have comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinances covering employment, housing and public accommodation while requiring the same of city contractors. Plano’s ordinance has quite a few exemptions but I am including it here for simplicity.

Those cover a population of 3 million people.

Those protections would be gone.

Another six cities offer some form of protection:

  • Houston: City employment and city contractors
  • San Antonio: Housing, public accommodations, city employment and city contractors.
  • El Paso: Public accommodations and city employment
  • Grand Prairie: (LGB only) City employment and city contractors
  • Brownsville: City employment
  • Waco: City employments

Those cover 4.5 million people.

Those protections would be gone.

Combined with comprehensive protections, 7.5 million people are covered or roughly 28% of the state’s population. Plus there are many smaller subdivisions that ban LGBT or LGB discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. But we are not done.

Texas has two state university systems, Texas A&M and Texas State (which includes Lamar, Sam Houston and Sul Ross Universities). Those have a combined enrollment of approximately 125,000 and they employ over 55,000 people. There are scattered campus exceptions but the systems protect LGBT employees and students from discrimination. On top of that there are numerous public school systems that protect LGBT students from discrimination.

Those protections would also be gone.

What I find ironic is that Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University both provide comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for students and staff based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Perhaps some Texas officials can find the adult supervision they require at one of those Christian schools of higher learning. Or are they ineducable?

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.