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Update: March 13, 2017

Last week, on March 7, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7 to 1 to advance Senate Bill 6 (the “bathroom bill”). Although more than 89 percent of public testimony was in opposition to the bill, it will now move for debate and vote in the Senate, and we expect the bill to pass and move to the Texas House of Representatives.

The Senate decision is only one step in the process and we now prepare for the next battle in the House. Be assured, the tourism industry and business leaders are working to make sure this bill does not become law. We have been and will continue to meet with Texas Representatives, and we’re encouraged by the reasonable and thoughtful response we’ve received.

We believe now, more than ever, it’s important for us to continue the fight against SB 6 and defeat this bill as it does not align with our economic objectives. Meeting planners and major events will take their business elsewhere if any discriminatory bills pass in our state, and Texas can expect a significant negative economic impact.

Texas embraces diversity and inclusiveness, and we’re working to make sure our state stays open to business for all.

Update: March 8, 2017

Early this morning, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7 to 1 to advance Senate Bill 6 (the “bathroom bill”). Although more than 89 percent of public testimony was in opposition to the bill, it will now move for debate and vote in the Senate. The Texas Welcomes All coalition is disappointed by this decision and we believe more than ever it’s important for us to continue the fight against SB 6 and discriminatory legislation in Texas.

Yesterday’s action does not change our trajectory or goals – to defeat this bill as it does not align with our economic objectives. Meeting planners and major events will take their business elsewhere if any discriminatory bills pass in our state, and Texas can expect a significant negative economic impact.

Today’s decision is only one step in the process and we now prepare for the next battle in the Texas House of Representatives. Be assured, the tourism industry and business leaders are working to make sure this bill does not become law. We have been and will continue to meet with Texas Representatives, and we’re encouraged by the reasonable and thoughtful response we’ve received.

Texas embraces diversity and inclusiveness, and we’re working to make sure our state stays open to business for all.

Update: March 7, 2017

The Senate State Affairs Committee hears testimony on SB 6 today in Austin. The Texas Tribune is live streaming the event.

Yesterday afternoon, the Texas Welcomes All campaign joined a coalition of small and large businesses at the State Capitol in speaking out against SB 6. Representatives from SXSW, C3, Alamo Drafthouse, Silicon Labs, VisitDallas and the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau were in attendance. Read the press release.

Update: Feb. 27, 2017

The Texas Welcomes All coalition continues to grow, adding six new partners in the last week. Organizations joining the fight against SB 6 (the bathroom bill) and other discriminatory legislation detrimental to the Texas economy include:

Bishop Arts Theatre Center
Nasher Sculpture Center
North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
The Highland Dallas
The Sixth Floor Museum
Ultimate Ventures

Thank you to all our supporters, and we need your help to spread the word. Please share the Texas Welcomes All message – that Texas is inclusive and we are open for business to everyone – with your constituents.

On Feb. 22, the Trump administration reversed guidelines to protect transgender students in schools previously issued by the Justice Department and the Department of Education. Texas Welcomes All is disappointed by this decision, and we want to be clear that this action does not change our trajectory or goals – to defeat SB 6, as it is discriminatory and does not align with our state and organizations’ economic objectives.

Meeting planners and major events will take their business elsewhere if any discriminatory bills pass in our state, and Texas can expect a significant negative economic impact.

Update: Feb. 21, 2017

This week, Texas Welcomes All is pleased to welcome a host of new partners, from Dallas’ diversity chambers of commerce to major Texas arts organizations. As word spreads about SB6 (the bathroom bill) and the expected negative economic impact to the state, support for Texas Welcomes All continues to grow. New partners include:

AT&T Performing Arts Center
Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce
Dallas Theater Center
Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
International Association of Venue Managers
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce
Sammons Center for the Arts

Additionally, last week the NBA joined the NFL in speaking out against SB6. NBA spokesman Mike Bass says an environment where people are treated “fairly and equally” weighs heavily in deciding host locations. Texas has hosted three NBA All-Star Games since 2006, events the state stands to lose if SB6 passes.

Update: Feb. 14, 2017

Today more than 140 musicians and artists have released an open letter to Texas leaders asking them to oppose any anti-LGBTQ legislation, including SB 6 (the bathroom bill). Released by Equality Texas, signers include Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Cyndi Lauper, Emma Stone, Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Lawrence, Jimmy Kimmel, Juanes, Julianne Moore, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Sting and many more. Signatories with Texas roots include Sarah Jaffe, Girl In A Coma, Natalie Maines, St. Vincent, FEA and Guster.

Read the full letter here.

The letter’s signers have pledged to do “everything within our power to make sure all of our fans, crews, and fellow artists feel safe and welcome, wherever we go.” These artists have spent time in countless towns and cities across the state and want to let Texas leaders know that the creative community is watching.

Update: Feb. 13, 2017 

Last week, the National Football League (NFL) released a statement in opposition to proposed legislation SB 6 in Texas (the bathroom bill).

“We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” the statement said.

The NFL’s statement warning Texas about the negative implications of SB 6 confirms what the Texas Welcomes All coalition has been saying since this bill was announced. The state stands to lose major events resulting in a significant economic loss and jobs if this discriminatory legislation becomes law. That’s why the coalition is growing stronger and working to defeat this bill.

Thank you for supporting the Texas Welcomes All campaign. We continue to share the message that Texas is inclusive and that we are open for business to everyone.

Update: Feb. 6, 2017

Thank you for supporting Texas Welcomes All, a coalition of businesses, organizations and tourism industry leaders who aim to showcase the inclusive nature of Texas and its residents by sharing the message that Texas is open for business to everyone.

The campaign continues to welcome new partners daily, including the convention and visitor bureaus representing Arlington, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Irving and San Antonio as well as the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (TACVB).

Tourism and business leaders continue to meet with legislators in Austin to educate them on the devastating impact the Bathroom Bill, and any discriminatory legislation, could have on the Texas economy – Texas Competes estimates the Bathroom Bill could cost the state $8.5 billion in GDP and 185,000 jobs. We’re working hard to continue the positive momentum we’re building at the Capitol, but we need your help.