While representing thousands of the top hotel brands and properties throughout the world is certainly his bread and butter, fighting for equality is what truly makes attorney Steve Rudner tick.
Founder and managing partner of Dallas-based Rudner Law Offices, Rudner, as chair of Equality Texas, is a staunch advocate for LGBT rights and most acutely in the fight against Texas Senate Bill 3, aka the “bathroom bill,” which sought to limit the access of transgender people to bathrooms in public buildings. The bill, which caused many groups to boycott the state, failed to leave committee in mid-August so is dead for the time being.
“The hotel community in almost every one of these instances is aligned with the people who are boycotting,” Rudner said. “Almost every hotel in Texas was against this legislation against the transgender community, but hotels don’t get to set policy in the states in which they are located. Almost every major hotel company took a stand, almost every airline took a stand, as well as almost every Fortune 500 company, and it was an honor and a privilege to work with those companies to make their views known.”
An odd twist is that as a law firm that exclusively represents hotels and resorts, Rudner could very well find himself representing a property that is litigating against an organization that is canceling a meeting because of a boycott. A contract’s a contract, after all.
“If you feel so strongly that you can’t meet in that city or state, you should cancel your meeting, but when you ask me to pay for it, it’s not quite as brave or bold,” Rudner said. “You can cancel but you pay for what you are canceling. And those two things don’t create a conflict for me.”