Members of GetEqual TX are holding a sit-in in the offices of Texas State Senators in the Texas Capitol. They are pressuring members of the Senate Committee on Economic Development to let SB237 come to a vote. If passed, this bill would prevent employers from firing workers for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to GetEqual:
- 26% of transgender Texans report being fired solely based on their gender identity.
- 12% of lesbian and gay Texans report being fired because of their sexual orientation.
- 37% of gay and lesbian Texans report being harassed at work due to their sexual orientation .
The Texas legislature meets for only 140 days every two years. This means that any major legislative change — and a lot of activism and lobbying — happen during a small window of time. Though this bill faces steep odds in the less than a month which remains, if the members of the Committee allowed it to come to a vote it would give activists a better idea of which legislators to pressure or vote out in future elections.
Members of GetEqual TX expect to get arrested during this action, the latest in an escalating series that began with banner drops, petitions, and memes targeting Senator Brian Birdwell. The campaign has since expanded to include all four hold outs on the committee: Bob Deuell, Kelly Hancock, and Troy Fraser, all Republicans. If you’d like to join with phone calls, their numbers are:
- Sen. Bob Deuell – Chair (R-Greenville), 512.463.0102
- Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), 512.463.0122
- Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-N.Richland Hills), 512.463.0109
- Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), 512.463.0124
Photo via GetEqual TX.