May 6, 2019
By Robert Kuttner | May 06, 2019
Don’t Mess with LGBT Texans. The Texas legislature is considering a bill that would allow any person in a licensed occupation, such as plumbers, opticians, pharmacists, and even non-emergency doctors, to refuse service to someone who happened to be LGBT because it offended their religious sensibility. You know, God created Eve from Adam’s rib, marriage is between a man and a woman, and who is the government to mess with God’s will?
You wonder why the racists didn’t come up with this ploy back in the civil rights era: Hey, I have nothing against blacks personally, you understand, but race-mixing is contrary to the Bible and the will of God, and it offends my religious sensibility.
Well, the anti-LGBT/religious sensibility bill may yet go down—because of the opposition of the Texas business community, God help us. It isn’t that corporate America is all that progressive on LBGT issues (though it’s a lot better than the Texas legislature). It’s that corporations stand to lose a lot of business.
One in ten business conventions are held in the state of Texas. Forget that if the bill passes. And LGBT workers in large corporations have enough influence that they expect their companies to stand up for them.
So in this topsy-turvy Trumpian world, the strongest lobby opposing the measure is the Texas business establishment—which otherwise supports Trump and all manner of right-wing stuff that trashes labor as workers, just not as LGBT workers.
Strange bedfellows. Strange times.