Texas Businesses Say Restrictive Transgender Bathroom Laws Are Bad Economics

“Social issues are business issues when they affect the bottom line.”

By Alexandra HartOctober 26, 2016 1:34 pm| , ,

Yesterday, 200 small businesses signed an open letter to state lawmakers urging them to oppose legislation limiting transgender bathroom access. They’re part of a growing chorus of Texas businesses denouncing laws like the so-called Women’s Privacy Act, fearing the state will go down the path of North Carolina. A similar law ended up costing the state some jobs and some big-ticket events, like concerts and the NCAA Final Four.

So how might this play out in Texas?

Jessica Shortall managing director with Texas Competes, a group of businesses opposed to the legislation, says businesses could make an impact on the legislation.

“I think we’re seeing business voices get louder and more insistent on this issue around the country as economic damage shows up in real dollars, real events, real jobs for big businesses and small businesses,” Shortall says.

Shortall says this is not a moral issue – her organization just looks at economic data.

“Social issues are business issues when they affect the bottom line,” she says. “That’s what Texas Competes exists to look at and talk about, so we’re not in the business of telling people that they’re right or wrong and what they believe – we’re literally just in the business of tallying up what pursuing some of the actions we’ve seen in North Carolina and elsewhere will likely do to our state.”

And economic impact is ongoing, Shortall says. North Carolina’s losses number at almost half a billion dollars, according to publicly reported impacts. If the Women’s Privacy Act passes, Shortall says Texas could see similar effects.

“I think we will see companies that choose to expand and invest and create jobs elsewhere because this is the way that the business community is going,” she says. “They see real risk in being perceived as aligning themselves with choosing a discriminatory state over another state, and they can’t afford to do that.”

Post by Sunny Sone.