AUSTIN – A list of more than 50,000 signatures from Texans who oppose discriminatory legislation has been delivered to key figures in the state.
Several LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, the Texas Freedom Network, and the Transgender Education Network of Texas, worked together to collect the signatures. According to an Aug. 14 press release put out jointly by these groups, those who signed did so to oppose such anti-transgender legislation as SB6, HB2899, SB3 and HB46.
“Those bills were part of a slate of unconscionable anti-LGBTQ bills being pursued by Texas lawmakers, who have been working to systematically roll back the rights of LGBTQ Texans, piece by piece,” says the release.
The release also points out that those showing support for the LGBTQ community come from a variety of backgrounds. While some work with the groups who submitted the signatures to lawmakers, others are “employees and customers of the hundreds of companies that spoke out. They are sports fans. They are families with children in public schools. They are faith leaders and Texans of many faiths,” reads the release.
“Those 50K names represented the names of people who actually came out and actively worked to defeat these awful bills on behalf of the coalition organizations,” Lisa Scheps, interim executive director of Transgender Education Network of Texas, told The Record in an email. “The actual number of people who took action is much higher. As a trans woman, it gives me hope to know so many have my back and the backs of the gender diverse in Texas.”
The press release included statements from spokespeople from each of the organizations involved, such as Kathy Miller, president of Texas Freedom Network, who said, “The deeply cynical campaign to pass a so-called ‘bathroom bill’ never passed the Pinocchio test with faith leaders, businesses and everyday Texans… So thousands of Texans across the state are sending a clear message to lawmakers today: stop telling lies to justify passing laws that discriminate against people simply because of who they are.”
Similarly, Marty Rouse, national field director of Human Rights Campaign said in the release, “The 50,000 Texans and the many organizations that have spoken out against these bills demonstrate that there is no tolerance in Texas for discrimination - and there’s no doubt about the fact that these efforts are discrimination in action.”
The signatures were delivered to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus, in hopes that “these elected leaders hear what thousands of their constituents have taken direct action to say to them: Texas must stop wasting taxpayers’ time and money to pursue discriminatory legislation that would harm not only some of our most vulnerable Texans, but all Texans,” says the release.