Dell tells lawmakers stop anti-gay marriage antics

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Texas computer make Dell came out swinging on Wednesday against the efforts of lawmakers to defy a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. 

From the Associated Press:

The computer maker released a statement Wednesday saying it has let Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott know that the Round Rock-based company considers diversity a “business imperative.”

Texas business groups have urged lawmakers for months to not pursue Indiana-style laws that gay rights activists say discriminate. But Dell becomes the most visible company to voice public opposition.

The statement was in response to House Bill 4105 from state Rep. Cecil Bell (photo), a measure that would prohibit state and local officials from issuing gay marriage licenses. Dell's statement isn't the first from the Round Rock-based company opposing anti-gay bills during the legislative session. 

Dell is among 200 companies and organizations – including the Houston Super Bowl Committee – that signed a pledge in April supporting diversity and gay rights as part of an effort from the Texas Association of Business, a conservative business group, to swat down “religious freedom” legislation.

From the Dallas News:

They’re trying to head off legislation that could make Texas a hostile place for the LGBT community and a target for boycotts.

The Texas Association of Business, usually a reliable ally of conservative lawmakers, is standing with Democrats, gay rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. The issue is that important for economic development, equal rights and protecting Texas’ brand as a business leader.

“Conventions, the Super Bowl, the Final Four — all those things would be at risk in Texas if this were to become part of our constitution,” Bill Hammond, CEO of the business group, said at an Austin news conference last month.

Dozens of businesses across the state, including Dell, also signed a pledge promoting LGBT inclusion when they launched Texas Competes in April.

From the Texas Observer:

“Texas is an economic powerhouse because it’s a place where talented people, entrepreneurs and companies want to call home. But our competitiveness is in jeopardy if Texas does not become a place that is welcoming to LGBT workers and families,” Texas Competes advisory board member and former Dell CFO Tom Meredith said in a statement. “Businesses that embrace diversity are doing both the right thing and the economically smart thing.”

Businesses in the state also backed LGBT equality efforts as Texas Wins launched earlier this year. The coalition, whose campaign manager is lesbian Houstonian Christina Gorczynski, recently released a poll showing that two-thirds of Texans support laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Not that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was among them.

Dell's statement is not included among the company's press releases on its website. A company spokesperson could not be reached on Thursday.


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