Austin — About 50 members of the Texas LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce from North Texas, Austin, Houston, North Texas lobbied lawmakers in Austin on Tuesday. Their message was “Business is Business in the Lone Star State.”

Two resolutions — one in the House and one in the Senate — welcoming the Chamber members were voted down. These types of resolutions are routinely passed.

In response, the Chambers issued a statement that read in part:

“Simple resolutions like this express congratulations and recognize individuals and organizations across our great state who work to make Texas a better place to live and work. Business is Business and recognizing all businesses in the state is important to acknowledge and support the diverse communities that make up the whole of Texas.”

Chamber members met with their representatives and delivered a Valentine that outlined their support for a legislative session that focuses on business issues and keeping Texas open and competitive for all business.

“It was great to have so many members of the Texas LGBTQ+ Chambers at the Capitol on Valentine’s Day,” said Rep. Mary González, Chair of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus. “It is important that my colleagues see and hear from business owners in the LGBTQIA+ community and really understand what kind of impact that proposed legislation might have on not only their constituents personally and their families, but on their businesses and their employees. Impacts of discriminatory legislation are felt throughout the state, including in our business community and their ability to recruit and retain talent.”

Chamber members voiced their support for LGBT Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Jessica Gonzalez’s HB2182 that will add LGBTQ-owned businesses to the “historically underutilized business” category and create more opportunity for LGBTQ-owned business to bid on and receive government contracts.

“Houston, Austin, and San Antonio have already enacted policies that consider LGBTQIA+ owned business in city projects,” González said. “We have existing statute that already considers minority owned businesses in state contracts and adding the LGBTQIA+ community to that list is common sense.”

— from press reports