One for all
The LGBT chambers of commerce in the Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas areas have combined forces to create the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce with the mission of advancing and advocating for LGBT business leaders and allies within the state.
The four founding entities of the coalition represent over 1,000 LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied business interests, according to a release.
"The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce is proud to stand with our sister LGBT chambers across the state to bring the power of our collective voices to advocate on behalf of the LGBT business community," says Tammi Wallace, co-founder and chair of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, in the release. "Representing hundreds of LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses — and growing — our work together is even more important as we unify to represent our members through advocacy and other collaborative opportunities."
The coalition will host an advocacy day at the Texas Capital on Feb. 20 with the goal being to introduce lawmakers to the coalition and address business issues regarding the LGBT community, according to the release
"There is power in numbers," says Clint Thomson, chair of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, in the release. "This new alliance will enable us to work collectively on behalf of all LGBT-owned and LGBT-allied businesses throughout the Lone Star State."
The group effort is a response to the anti-transgender "bathroom bill" that was introduced to lawmakers in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session. While the bill didn't pass, a study showed that it would have had a negative economic impact of $8.5 billion and a loss of 185,000 jobs.
"The Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce intends to prevent any and all anti-LGBT, economy-damaging measures from becoming law in Texas at the state and local levels," says Chase Kincannon, chair of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, in the release.
As of January 29, no legislation regarding the LGBT community was recognized as active within the 86th Texas Legislative Session.