In the midst of all the election craziness, you may have missed the news that Texas could become the country’s newest battleground over “bathroom bills,” or laws that would require transgender persons to use the public bathrooms that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.
In response to these hypothetical new laws, DFW restaurants are weighing in. In an open letter published by Equality Texas, Dallas’ Liberty Burger, Denton’s Paschall Bar, and Lil’ Monkeyz Cakes in Garland have made clear their opposition to any state law that would prevent transgender people from using the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
The letter, signed by more than 200 small businesses of all types across Texas, points to the negative impact that North Carolina’s HB2 has had on the state’s economy. Check out this excerpt from the statement:
We, the undersigned, are Texas small business owners. We are at the heart of the Texas economy, and of Texas communities. We come from industries and communities all over the state. We employ local people, we pay taxes, and we work hard to make a living and make a difference in the lives of our employees and customers.
That’s why we’re watching what’s unfolding in North Carolina with a growing sense of dread. Experts put economic damage from the discriminatory HB2 law at $395 million and rising. That damage is coming from the loss of corporate investments, talent, performances, sporting events, and conventions.What’s not often talked about is that every single one of these losses impacts countless small businesses.
Many of us rely on a thriving tourism economy. Many of us are the vendors that benefit when a bigger company creates jobs in our communities. These economic impact figures aren’t just numbers to us. They represent a direct threat to our ability to do business.
There is no specific bill being considered as of yet, but a Plano lawmaker plans to introduce a law in the next session that would prohibit local municipalities from enforcing a law or ordinance that would “protect a class of persons from discrimination” if that class is not recognized as a protected group under state law. If that sounds convoluted, it’s because it is.
Time will tell whether or not the bathroom battle will actually head to Texas, but it is interesting to see a few DFW restaurants get ahead of the fight.