Texas Competes is proud to be the country’s largest state-based coalition providing a unified business voice on the clear economic and business case for rejecting anti-LGBT discrimination. This issue is becoming more important every day—that’s why our membership is robust and growing.
But this growth has also lead proponents of anti-LGBT discrimination, like Rep. Scott Sanford, to try and discredit Texas Competes by arguing that our 1300+ member businesses couldn’t possibly see fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as essential for the state’s economic well-being—they must have been “duped” into joining.
That’s according to comments he made last night at CBS Dallas-Fort Worth’s livestreamed panel debate on the so-called “bathroom bills” that have been pre-filed for this month’s special legislative session.
Our members, however, are pushing back aggressively on Rep. Sanford’s assertion. One of those members is Dr. Susie Wolbe Educational Services, which teaches mindfulness, study and organization skills to adults and children with learning difficulties. Dr. Wolbe is also a certified continuing education provider for the state of Texas (CPE# 902209) and is the author of The Empowered Teacher: Proven Tips for Classroom Success.
Dr. Wolbe reached out this morning from her office in Rowlett, Texas, to let Texas Competes know that Rep. Sanford’s comments do not reflect her experiences at all:
“I knew exactly what I was signing on for when I agreed to sign on to Texas Competes,” she says. “I fully support equal rights for all, including LGBTQ people.”
“I knew exactly what I was signing on for when I agreed to sign on to Texas Competes. I fully support equal rights for all, including LGBTQ people.” –Dr. Susie Wolbe
Her practice relies on being able to build clients’ confidence in themselves and their abilities—something she would not be able to do if her office presented itself as anything less than accepting and welcoming of all people.
Another member, Edward Jones financial adviser Kyle Nayfa, who works in Denton, Texas—not far from Rep. Sanford’s district—also reached out to reiterate his commitment to Texas Competes and rejecting anti-LGBT discrimination.
“In my business, I help people,” he says. “All people. Race, religion, political affiliation, gender, or gender identification do not matter one bit to me because we are all people and I believe that we are inherently good.”
“In my business, I help people. All people. Race, religion, political affiliation, gender, or gender identification do not matter one bit to me because we are all people and I believe that we are inherently good.” –Kyle Nayfa, financial adviser
Like Dr. Wolbe, Mr. Nayfa says fostering a welcoming, accepting atmosphere is critical to ensuring that his business can attract and retain clients. Rejecting anyone because of arbitrary characteristics would cut into his bottom line, and could hurt his reputation.
That’s what he and other Texas Competes members fear could happen to businesses across Texas if the state continues to cultivate a social climate of exclusion and discrimination. Texas’ reputation will suffer—and that will scare businesses away.
Texas Competes believes our state is stronger economically when it’s open to everyone. That’s why these and thousands of businesses have joined, and continue to join, our coalition. If you’re a business owner and you agree, you can learn more about Texas Competes and join the coalition by signing our pledge.