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Statewide anti-gay bias bill introduced in Legislature

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Hiring

Texas state Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) has filed a bill that would prohibit Texas employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

If passed, Texas employers, including employment agencies and labor organizations, would be prohibited from considering sexual orientation and gender identity when hiring, firing or classifying employees.

According to Villarreal’s office, H.B. 665 would “end a discriminatory atmosphere that drives away well-educated professionals that would otherwise benefit the Texas economy.”

Villarreal continued, “Many other states and several large Texas cities have protections against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s time for Texas to join in stopping unfair employment practices that hurt our economy and hard-working Texans.”

Gay rights advocates say they’re not optimistic the bill will become law.

Austin, Dallas, El Paso and Houston already have municipal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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