Wednesday, April 8, 2015

State Capitol Coverage: Anti-LGBT Legislation in Texas

Related to our discussion of news coverage of state capitols, this piece from the Texas Observer covers a protest against the 20+ anti-LGBT laws that have been proposed in Texas this year. The rally was organized by GetEQUAL and took place at the Texas State Capitol this past Saturday. As the PEW study mentioned, the Texas Observer has been covering Austin statehouse for over 60 years and is categorized as a "non-traditional outlet". According to the “About” section on the Observer’s website, "The Texas Observer is an Austin-based nonprofit news organization known for fearless investigative reporting, narrative storytelling and sophisticated cultural criticism about all things Texan.”

The article quoted an interesting argument raised by Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, “Apple is here, Google is here, because the people who work for Apple and Google, they want to live here,” Adler said. “It’s real important that we not go down that path, and it is scary to me that our state Legislature right now is considering doing that.” It seems that Adler was implying the reason to protest these bills is primarily an economic motivation, assuming that individuals who work in the tech industry are millennials who prefer to live in an inclusive environment with non-discrimination ordinances. Attracting tech companies is an extremely important consideration for Austin, which, according to Adler, has 30% of the State’s patents and over half of the State’s venture capital. 

A number of Texas legislators have vocally opposed the passage of these bills, claiming that a bipartisan group will halt their passage. 


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