NGLCC Urges Texas Lawmakers to Halt Anti-LGBT Bills

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is alarmed by the large number of anti-LGBT bills currently working through the Texas legislature. These discriminatory laws will hurt all Texans, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination is toxic to a thriving business climate, because it hampers innovation and scares away investment.  NGLCC urges Texas’ lawmakers to scuttle these bills, both for the wellbeing of Texas’ LGBT community and for the economic vitality of businesses in the state.  
NGLCC is particularly troubled by House Bill 4105, which would prohibit the use of state or local funds to issue same-sex marriage licenses, as well as bar state or local employees from recognizing same-sex marriage licenses and prohibit the use of funds to recognize them.
This proposed law is shameless obstructionism, intended to impede what both sides of the issue predict will be a pro-marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court in June.  For LGBT Texans waiting to have their relationships recognized by their home state, it is just one more insult in a long line of legislation, which has attempted to keep them as second-class citizens. For the business community, this law would be a legal and administrative disaster. 
In a pro-business amicus submitted to the Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality, NGLCC and over 300 major corporate co-signers argued that the current legal patchwork of disparate marriage laws is detrimental to business in the United States. The current system “creates legal uncertainty and imposes unnecessary costs and administrative complexities on employers.” These complexities would only multiply if both HB 4105 were to become law and the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality. In this situation, companies based or with offices in Texas would legally recognize the marriages of LGBT employees, while the state would refuse to recognize or fund them. It would render our already complicated tax system even more difficult to navigate, which is an enormous economic drain on both company and personal time and resources. 
This law would also place an undue burden on LGBT owned small businesses. Like a large percentage of all small businesses in the U.S., many LGBT businesses are owned and operated by couples. These “mom & ma” and “pa & pop” companies succeed in a business environment with stable and equitable laws. Marriage inequality in general, and the effects of the proposed HB 4105 in particular, divert attention and hinders business growth and innovation. Additionally, as tax paying citizens of the Lone Star State, LGBT Texans deserve the same taxpayer rights and responsibilities as any other Texan, including access to marriage licenses. Of course, legal inequalities, such as HB 4105, also effect LGBT owned businesses at the most difficult times. Laws concerning survivorship and inheritance are deeply connected with marital rights, and this law has profound implications on the benefits and inheritance rights of the surviving spouse.     
This bill, and similar bills in state legislatures around the country, is bad for people and bad for business. The negative social and economic impact is obvious and the business community has taken notice. Now it’s time for Texas’ lawmakers to take notice and stop this bill from becoming law.  The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as the business voice of the LGBT community, calls on Texas’ lawmakers to vote against HB 4105 and other laws that demean, belittle, and economically damage LGBT Americans
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT owned businesses.
Adam Shapiro

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