CEO’s from 10 Fortune 500 companies voiced their opposition to the Texas bathroom bill in a letter which was sent to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday, August 3.
“No industry will remain untouched by the unnecessary harm that discriminatory laws will do to our competitiveness, to our ability to attract talent, and to our employees and their families,” the CEOs wrote.
“We support all efforts to maintain a world-class state brand and a strong state economy,” the letter goes on to say. “We know that when Texas thrives economically, our public schools can thrive, our infrastructure can be strengthened and millions of Texas families can see a brighter future for themselves right here in the Lone Star State.”
The letter, which was originated by the Texas Association of Business, included the signatures of executives from PayPal, Frito-Lay, Neiman Marcus, Uber, Lyft and five others. Over the past months, a total of 34 Fortune 500 companies have spoken out against the proposed legislation, among them Apple, American Airlines, IBM and AT&T.
Efforts to oppose the bill also have been organized in San Antonio where tourism agencies and chambers of commerce have gathered almost 40 signatures from local business leaders for a letter sent to Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus. “We believe our economy is stronger when Texas is open for business to everyone,” the letter says.
In testimony before the Senate’s Committee on State Affairs on July 21, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, “This legislation threatens the state’s economy and lives of citizens we all represent because discrimination is as bad for business as it is for the safety of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
The current iteration of the bathroom bill, was passed in the Texas Senate on a 21 to 10 vote after an 8-hour debate on July 25.
Senate Bill 3, which was introduced by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, seeks to regulate bathrooms in public schools and government buildings, based on the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate or other forms of state-issued identification. The bill now goes to the House where it faces another vote before passage.
The San Antonio Express-News published the following list of local business leaders who oppose the bathroom bill.
Dennis Nixon of IBC Bank
Paula Gold-Williams of CPS Energy
Graham Weston of Weston Urban
Jim Goudge of Broadway Bank
Joe Eazor of Rackspace
Leo Gomez of Brooks City Base
Dan Bonk of Nix Health
Trip Pilgrim of Tenet Healthcare Corp.
Rick Archer of Overland Partners
Maryanne Guido of Guido Construction
Mike Beldon of Beldon Roofing
David Zachry of Zachry Hospitality
Bartell Zachry of Zachry Interests Inc.
Danny Anderson of Trinity University
Jamie Smith of Dykema Cox Smith
Hope Andrade of Andrade Van de Putte
Marty Wender of Wender REI
Alfonso Chiscano of the San Antonio Tricentennial Commission
Janet Holliday of The CE Group
Mike Novak of Novak Group LLC
Arthur Coulombe of JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
Charles Poole of Allbrite Construction
Julissa Carielo of Tejas Premiere Building Contractor Inc.
Jorge Herrera of the Herrera Law Firm
JJ Gorena of The Trey Group
Wes Baerga of VuePoint Creative
Denise Hernandez of True Flavors
Michelle Rojas Casillas of Casillas Law Firm
Erika Gonzalez-Reyes of Stamp Allergy and Research
Jim Fullerton and Lisa Fullerton of Auntie Anne’s