More than 50 companies including tech behemoths Apple, Amazon, and Google have signed a letter opposing the Trump administration’s plans to roll back transgender protections.
Says the letter in part: “We, the undersigned businesses, stand with the millions of people in America who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex, and call for all such people to be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves. We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.”
The letter adds: “In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people. Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology. Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are good for business, and that discrimination imposes enormous productivity costs (and exerts undue burdens), hundreds of companies, including the undersigned, have continued to expand inclusion for transgender people across corporate America. Currently more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 have clear gender identity protections; two-thirds have transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage; hundreds have LGBTQ+ and Allies business resource groups and internal training efforts.”
Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members,” it concludes. “What harms transgender people harms our companies. We call for respect and transparency in policy-making, and for equality under the law for transgender people.”
Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Nike, Dow Chemical, JP Morgan Chase, Levi Strauss, MGM Resorts and Sodexo are among those who signed the letter.
News of a Trump administration memo detailing a proposal to legally erase transgender people by creating a federal legal definition of gender came last week in a report in the New York Times.
The NYT: “The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined ‘on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.’ The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.”
According to the memo seen by the NYT, the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing that “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”
READ THIS: Trump Plans to Legally Abolish Transgender People, Define Gender by Genitalia at Birth: Memo
Trump spoke to reporters last week about the memo: “We’re looking at it. We have a lot of different concepts right now. They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now. You know that as well as I do, and we’re looking at it very seriously. I’m protecting everybody. You know what I’m doing? I’m protecting everybody. I want to protect our country.”
On the heels of the memo the Justice Department filed a brief arguing that businesses can discriminate against workers because they are transgender. The Trump administration is also reportedly moving to have the word “gender” removed from United Nations documents and replaced with the word “woman”.
All this follows a series of efforts the Trump administration has been making to remove and restrict the rights of transgender individuals in multiple areas, including military service, federal prison rights, health care, schools, the CDC, and the judiciary.