Emmitt Smith, Harlan Crow Lead High-Powered Opposition To Texas Bathroom Bill
The CEOs of 14 major North Texas companies have joined together to send a message to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott before the special legislative session gets going: Do not support the so-called bathroom bill.
Real estate heavyweights Crow Holdings Chairman and CEO Harlan Crow and EJ Smith Enterprises CEO Emmitt Smith (who recently formed a new firm after leaving the helm of E. Smith Realty Partners) signed a letter delivered to Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus.
“We strongly support diversity and inclusion. This legislation threatens our ability to attract and retain the best talent in Texas, as well as the greatest sporting and cultural attractions in the world,” the letter reads.
Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 2899, nicknamed the bathroom bill, requires people in Texas to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on his or her birth certificate, as opposed to the gender he or she identifies with.
Other signers include American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Atmos Energy Corp. CEO Kim Cocklin and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. The head executives at Kimberly-Clark, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Tenet Healthcare, Fluor, DFW Airport, The Beck Group, BNSF Railway and Celanese also signed.
The 14 companies collectively generate $322B in annual revenue and have more than 730,000 employees.
IBM has also advertised against the bill in Texas newspapers.
Convention and visitors bureau executives from around the state have also been largely critical of the bill that failed to pass through the House in the general session.
Texas Welcomes All, a coalition of businesses that promotes inclusion, estimates Texas could lose $1.5B in event and convention revenue if the bill passes.