Almost 200 companies across Texas, including 15 Fortune 500 companies, have joined together in a new organization in support of LGBT equality.

The organization, Texas Competes, believes that equality will be economically beneficial for the state.  Alamo Drafthouse, Home Away, SXSW, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Whole Foods are some of the well-known Austin, TX companies to join Texas Competes.  Texas Competes Managing Director Jessica Shortall states that the organization's priority is a show of force to the rest of the nation,

What we need to see is a Texas brand that is projecting that same kind of inclusive and diverse environment so that we can be sure that Texas and the businesses that call it home can attract the best talent.

As Texas goes, so goes the nation because we are so economically strong.

Austin's Home Slice Pizza is one of many companies to show support for LGBT employees.  According to Home Slice co-founder Terri Hannifin, talent and ability are the most important factors in hiring someone, not sexual orientation,

Our business is all about our people, our employees are our business.  We don't put up with that. We don't put up with making people feel uncomfortable or disrespected in any way.

Texas Competes states they do not lobby legislators and did not form as a result of religious freedom laws going into effect in other states.  According to the organization's website,

In order for Texas businesses to compete for top talent, we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Texas Competes' motto is, "A united Texas is a competitive Texas, and when Texas competes, Texas wins."

via KVUE

The complete list of Texas Competes pledge signers:

3C World Network, LLC
AD&M Advertising
Alamo Drafthouse *
Alliance Abroad Group
Alpine Pacific Advisors LLC
American Airlines *
Antonelli's Cheese Shop
Apple *
Appleseed Partners *
Arrowhead Films
Art Gallery
Associa *
Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce *
BazaarVoice *
BBVA Compass *
Benchmark Research
Bezner Realty LLC
Big Tall Direct *
Birds Barbershop
Blue Fish Development Group *
BP3 Global
Brenda Thompson Communications *
Broad Sreet Co.
Bromley Communications *
Bruce W. Smith, DDS *
BuildASign *
Capital Factory *
Carmichael Law Office *
Civic Interest LLC *
Clean Line Energy *
Crouch Environmental Services, Inc.
Dai Due *
Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau *
Dallas Entrepreneur Center *
Dallas Mavericks *
Dallas Regional Chamber *
Dallas Sports Commission *
Deep Eddy Vodka *
Dell Inc. *
deNovo Health *
Design Basics *
DFW Nerd Herd
DLA Piper US LLP *
Donatti Translation & Interpreting
Doug Boster gourmet catering *
Due South Communications
Emmitt Smith Enterprises, LLC *
Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas *
Far West Capital *
Farmhouse Delivery *
FondaSanMiguel Restaurant
Freescale Semiconductor *
GameStop *
Garcia Hamilton & Associates *
Gearbox Software *
Genius Liquids LLC
Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody *
Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce *
Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce *
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce *
Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce *
Greatest Common Factory
Harris Queza and Company PLLC *
Henna Chevrolet *
Hilton Worldwide *
Home Slice Pizza *
HomeAway *
Hot Dang *
Houston First Corporation *
Houston Super Bowl Host Committee *
iHeartMedia Texas *
Intel *
Intuitive Touch Therapy
J & D Entertainment, LLC *
J Mark Everett, Attorney at Law
JoAnn McKenzie LLC *
John Palmer Art *
Juice Real Estate  Co
Keep Austin Weird Homes
La Quinta Inns & Suites *
Legacy Community Health *
LOOK Cinemas *
Mammoth Recruiting *
mark Thomas studio *
Market Integrations
Marriott International *
McGuire Moorman Hospitality *
Mercury Mambo *
MetroPCS *
Moontower Counseling
Morningstar Curio
Nanga Yoga Limited Liability Company
New Global Scope LLC
Nimble Worldwide *
Noetic Outcomes Consulting, LLC *
North Star Foot & Ankle Associates, PA *
North Texas GLBT Chamber *
Norton Rose Fulbright *
Oeftering Properties *
Opportunity Space, LLC *
OutSmart Magazine & Media Company *
Pearl Bar Houston
Philarthropy, Inc. *
Pingboard, Inc. *
Pink Petro *
Players Bingo * LLC
Polycot Associates *
Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner
Return Path
Richardson Koudelka, LLP
ROKA Sports, Inc. *
S & M National, LLC
Sabre *
Salt Lick Cellars *
Samsung Austin Semiconductor *
San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce *
Savrick, Schumann, Johnson, McGarr
Serranos Restaurants
Shepherd Sanctuary
Shiva Gill PC
Silicon Labs *
SoCo Counseling *
SomaComm Inc. *
Southwest Airlines *
Stacy Todd photography
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide *
Stephen Kubenka Architects
Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q *
studio SHORTALL *
SXSW Interactive Festival *
T-Mobile *
Tenet Healthcare *
Texas Association of Business *
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association *
Texas Instruments *
Texas Pride Realty *
Texas Zero Waste Strategies
texture media
The Aldwych Group, Inc *
The Dialog Group *
The Hunter Realty Group
the Montrose Center *
The Pennybacker Company
The REFUGE Group
TITAS Presents *
Trilogy Pharmacy *
Umbel *
United Airlines, Inc. *
UnLtd USA *
vcfo *
Vinson & Elkins LLP *
Voice Publishing Company, Inc. *
Whole Foods Market *
WP Engine *
Zeus Comics
*indicates founding pledge signer