Google, Apple and Meta are among more than 60 companies calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to drop recent legislation that defines gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender minors as “child abuse.”
In a full-page advertisement published in the Friday edition of Dallas Morning News, the companies are calling on Texas leaders to “drop their efforts to enshrine discrimination in law.”
“This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children, who may now be faced with the choice of providing the best possible medical care for their children, but risk having those children removed by the child protective services for this,” the announcement states. “It’s not just bad, it impacts our employees, our customers, their families and our work.”
Signatories to the letter include big tech companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM and PayPal, as well as blue chip companies like Johnson & Johnson, Ikea and Gap. Around the same time news of the announcement broke, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted his own thoughts on this and other anti-LGBTQ laws being passed in the states. -United :
As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am deeply concerned about the laws enacted across the country, especially those focused on our vulnerable youth. I am with them and with the families, loved ones and allies who support them.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 11, 2022
The Texas legislation in question is a directive issued by Abbott on Feb. 22 that calls on state agencies to “promptly and thoroughly investigate” any reports of minors undergoing “elective gender transition procedures.” The directive instructs members of the public as well as professionals like teachers, nurses and doctors to report such cases, and threatens those who do not with “criminal sanctions”.
The ordinance – which many experts say is illegal – is part of a wave of anti-LGBTQ laws being pushed by conservative lawmakers across the United States ahead of the midterm elections. In Florida, lawmakers recently passed a law that prohibits discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools (dubbed the don’t say gay bill by opponents).