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Apple, Google, Ikea and others urge Texas to drop transgender policy

Apple, Google, Ikea and others urge Texas to drop transgender policy

More than 60 companies, including some of the biggest companies in tech and finance, are calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to drop an executive order that equates gender-affirming health care for transgender children with child abuse children.

Driving the news: Apple, Google, Meta, Johnson & Johnson, Ikea, PayPal, Capital One, Electronic Arts and many other companies signed an ad that ran in the Friday edition of the Dallas Morning News calling the new order discriminatory.

“The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary and age-appropriate health care in the state of Texas goes against the values ​​of our companies,” the ad reads, according to a copy of it. seen by Axios.

  • “We call on public leaders – in Texas and across the country – to abandon their efforts to enshrine discrimination in law and policy.”
  • “It’s not just bad, it impacts our employees, our customers, their families and our work.”

Between the lines: The corporate backlash comes in reaction to the late February order that emboldened conservative state leaders while alarming activists and parents of trans children.

  • The order authorized the state to investigate parents who seek gender-affirming care for their trans children.
  • He instructed doctors, nurses, teachers and other citizens who come into contact with a child receiving such care to report the parents or face “criminal sanctions”.
  • The surveys have been blocked by court decisions so far. A new hearing on the order is scheduled for Friday.

The big picture: Corporate pressure has had mixed success in promoting changes to controversial state laws.

  • Pressure, including from some tech companies, has played a role in getting North Carolina to change a law that prevented transgender people from accessing public restrooms based on their gender identity.
  • Signatories to the new announcement include Texas-based game studio Gearbox, which was one of more than 1,400 local businesses that opposed a controversial Texas law last year that effectively banned transgender student athletes.
  • Studio management publicly said in April 2021 that the then-proposed law was “bad for business”, arguing that one of its impacts would be to discourage people from moving and working in Texas.
  • Abbott nevertheless signed the bill into law in October.

Yes, but: Employers have been less willing to speak out individually and forcefully on specific state laws than they have been in recent years.

  • Disney, for example, has come under fire from employees and critics alike for not using its influence to forcefully oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Thought bubble: Companies may have found it easier to threaten to pull their business when only one or two states were pushing a particular anti-gay or anti-trans law.

  • Now, however, battles are unfolding in states across the country, ranging from whether trans kids can play on school sports teams to access to health care to what can be taught about gender. and sexuality in schools.

What they say : “Texas state leaders are forcing parents of transgender children to choose between giving up their lives, quitting their jobs and leaving the state or fostering a safe and inclusive environment for their child,” said Joni Madison, President by Acting Human Rights Campaign, in a statement. in Axios. The organization helped organize the announcement.

Go further: Understanding Abbott’s Ordinance on Trans Children in Texas