Top firms decry religious exemption bills proposed in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Fortune 500 companies are joining gay rights activists in opposing several Texas bills they say are discriminatory after banding together to help defeat the state’s transgender “bathroom bill” in 2017.

Corporate giants including Facebook and Google are among the businesses urging Texas lawmakers to reject more than a dozen bills in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Many of the proposals are geared toward religious liberty and faith-based exemptions.

The companies said in a Wednesday letter to lawmakers that the bills would damage Texas’ reputation and create problems for their employees and their families.

They previously joined dozens of other powerful firms in opposing a proposal requiring transgender Texans to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.

Texas failed to pass that, despite strong support from social conservatives.

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