When the 2015 Texas legislative session drew to a close, a small group of people behind a new initiative quietly celebrated their part in the defeat of more-than 20 anti-LGBT legislative proposals. The group, known as Texas Competes, is a pro-equality business initiative housed under the non-profit organization, Equality Texas. And while backers of the discriminatory legislation relied on the premise of what is morally right, Texas Competes silently assembled a coalition of Texas businesses based on what is financially beneficial.
The initiative focused on four key components: recruiting top talent, attracting new companies to the state, supporting a healthy tourism industry and illustrated and maintaining the integrity of the Texas brand. As a result, over 250 businesses in Texas -- including Dell, Southwest Airlines, Samsung and Dow Chemical -- signed a pledge stating that LGBT equality was critical to the success of their business.
According to Rudy Oeftering, a representative of Texas Competes, this innovative, free market approach to legislative maneuvering caught the proponents of the anti-gay bills completely by surprise. Read More