An open letter signed by 200 of the state’s small-business owners opposes the passage of transgender bathroom bill legislation in Texas.
The letter points to economic backlash supporters say hit North Carolina after the passage of that state’s House Bill 2, which requires people to use the bathroom of the gender that was assigned to them at birth while they are in government facilities.
The Texas letter says that supporters have been seeing the impact of the new law on the North Carolina economy and that they fear the same fallout could happen here. The letter has been posted on the website of Equality Texas, an advocacy group supporting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
“Experts put economic damage from the discriminatory HB2 law at $395 million and rising,” the letter states. “That damage is coming from the loss of corporate investments, talent, performances, sporting events and conventions.”
One local signer of the letter, Cheri Cortez, owner of Hair Majesty Custom Edge Salon in Fort Worth, said Thursday that she does not care so much about the possible economic losses — she just wants to see more people be nicer to each other.
“I’m very strong in my beliefs about civil rights for everyone,” Cortez said. “I think we should all be nice to each other. I think there’s too much hate in the world.”
Texas lawmakers have drafted legislation that is similar to HB2. The letter is about business owners telling lawmakers that they do not want that type of legislation here, said Deanne Cuellar, Equality Texas communications coordinator.
“People who support these laws feel the need to protect women and children,” Cuellar said. “We cannot point to any instances of a woman or child being harmed by an LGBT person. We’ve been together in bathrooms for years and nothing has happened.”
While major sporting events and some businesses considering moving to North Carolina have pulled out of the state, the bill’s economic impact has been a hotly debated topic. According to a report in The Charlotte Observer on Monday, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said the bill’s business impact has not been anything to worry about.
The Observer also pointed out that since HB2 was signed into law, the NBA 2017 All-Star Game and PayPal have opted for other locations.