For American businesses – and yes, this includes those in Texas – time has come to speak out and tell legislators that enough is enough.

Among the spate of anti-LGBTQ legislation, anti-drag legislation, and anti-transgender legislation, the one missing voice appears to be those of corporate leaders reaching out publicly in support of their queer employees. They are happy to tout their inclusive policies and equity, diversity, and inclusion leadership, but so far what we keep hearing is crickets.

Time to put your money where your mouth is.

Time to stand up and realize that both proposed legislation and passed legislation is an attack on your employees. It’s an attack on families, including your own. And it’s an attack on friends.

Business owners will tell you they are lobbying behind the scenes, working with supportive PACs to kill legislation, and working with organizations like Equality Texas. All in efforts to make sure bills don’t move beyond committee consideration and don’t reach House and Senate floors for votes.

Except that has not been happening. Florida happily kicked off this trend with their Don’t Say Gay law, and each day seems to bring more bills to marginalize their queer citizens. Utah kicked off the year by passing the first anti-trans legislation. Tennessee’s anti-drag and anti-trans bills were just signed into law.

And Texas certainly appears to be next. Of around 400 bills in 38 states, Texas is ranking third in the number of bills introduced. Sure, the Texas Legislature is also talking about school vouchers and property tax relief and reform. But we aren’t hearing nearly as much about that and for good reason – that doesn’t rile the voters conservative Republicans need to keep them in office.

Conservative politicians have always been good at creating solutions for issues that do not exist. Whether that’s banning same-sex marriage, or immigration, or teaching critical race theory (which I have yet to see a K-12 curriculum where this is happening). Instead of focusing on issues that really impact citizens, they find a hot-button issue to seize on, and unfortunately, that tends to fall on already marginalized groups.

Once upon a time, Texas Republicans were very pro-business, enticing companies to move headquarters and factories to the state. Toyota is a prime example, with nearly their entire corporate workforce relocating. Why not? There’s no state income tax, and Texas counties and cities are willing to dole out millions in tax abatements.

But how long will that last as the bills start to pass? How long will companies stay when they start having trouble attracting talent or when they start losing talent? How many corporations will think twice about Texas when they have to worry about the health and safety of their employees? At what point will Texas and other states stop being seen as business-friendly when it means state government is going to have their noses in everyone’s private business?

And for taxpayers, get ready to spend millions from state coffers to fend off the bevy of lawsuits headed your way. Is deny gender-affirming care for a transgender minor – something that should be between a family and their doctors – worth watching money go out the door when teachers need raises? When kids need better schools?

People know right from wrong. Corporations know right from wrong. And it’s time to step up, whether you’re a Toyota, a Tesla, or even an architecture firm. Queer employees aren’t just a checkbox on EDI reports to show how diverse a company is.

It’s time for business leaders and owners to put their money where their mouth is and accept that this type of legislation is harmful to your employees. Show that they support their queer employees and families. And finally tell Texas and other states that enough is enough.