WASHINGTON Today, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and 60+ businesses released a sign-on letter, published as a full page add in the Dallas Morning News, calling on Governor Abbott and public leaders across the country to abandon anti-LGBTQ+ efforts to write discrimination into law and policy. Apple, Capital One, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce and Unilever are among the more than 60 businesses that signed the open letter condemning hateful attacks from Texas elected leaders, led by Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
"The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies," the letter reads. "This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children."
Last month, Texas Gov. Abbott and Texas Attorney General Paxton took unprecedented steps to prevent transgender youth from accessing best-practice, age-appropriate, medically-necessary, gender-affirming care, in opposition to the recommendations of every major medical and mental health organization in the country all of whom affirm the importance of gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people. This open letter is a historic step by Texas businesses to use their influence to take a stand against specific state attacks on transgender youth and their families.
"There is no other way to say itthis is a frightening time for Texas families. Texas state leaders are forcing parents of transgender kids to decide between abandoning their lives, quitting their jobs, and leaving the state or fostering a safe, inclusive environment for their child," said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President. "These businesses recognize this unfair ultimatum and are advocating for their LGBTQ+ employees, customers, and their families. Over 60 businesses that do business in Texas are explicitly sending a message to Governor Abbott and Texas public officials that these hateful, harmful actions will not be tolerated. Parents are against them, the public is against them, the medical community is against them, and now it is clear that business leaders are against these policies. The Human Rights Campaign is grateful for these companies supporting transgender youth as we hold Governor Abbott accountable and extremist politicians who are attacking trans kids across the country"
Last week, HRC released a letter signed by thousands of parents speaking out against actions taken by Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton, as well as calling attention to the most extreme slate of anti-transgender legislation in history. Additionally, more than 160+ major companies have signed HRC and Freedom for All Americans' Business Statement Opposing Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation, stating their clear opposition to harmful legislation aimed at restricting the access of LGBTQ+ people in society. HRC and FFAA have deployed that statement, along with in-state partners, in Iowa, Indiana, Florida, Alabama and Kentucky in recent weeks.
Business leaders consistently report that they have difficulty with recruitment, retention, and tourism in states that debate or pass legislation that excludes LGBTQ+ people from full participation in daily life, and that includes the children of their valued employees and recruits. These policy fights negatively impact businesses operationally and financially, and needlessly put the safety and well being of their team members and their families at risk.
The full letter/ad:
"DISCRIMINATION IS BAD FOR BUSINESS
Businesses Call on Governor to Abandon Anti-LGBTQ+ Efforts
Our companies do business, create jobs, and serve customers in Texas. We are committed to building inclusive environments where our employees can thrive inside and outside of the workplace. For years we have stood to ensure LGBTQ+ people our employees, customers, and their families are safe and welcomed in the communities where we do business.
The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies. This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children, who might now be faced with choosing to provide the best possible medical care for their children but risk having those children removed by child protective services for doing so. It is only one of several efforts
discriminating against transgender youth that are advancing across the country.
We call on our public leaders in Texas and across the country to abandon efforts to write discrimination into law and policy. It's not just wrong, it has an impact on our employees, our customers, their families, and our work.
Akamai Technologies, Amalgamated Bank, Apple, BASF Corporation, Ben and Jerry's Homemade, Inc, Bottle Rocket, Bounteous, Box, Inc., Capital One, Cisco, Corning Incorporated, Creative Artists Agency, CREDO Mobile, Curology, Dow, Dropbox, Edelman, Electronic Arts, Emerson, Fastly, Folx Health, Gap Inc., Gearbox, Google, GSD&M, H&M US, IBM, ICM Partners, IKEA U.S., Included Health, Johnson & Johnson, Juniper Networks, Levi Strauss & Co., LinkedIn, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Macy's, Inc., MassMutual, Match Group, Meta, Microsoft Corporation, Momentive, Neiman Marcus, Patagonia, Patreon, PayPal, Phillips Murrah P.C., Pinterest, Plume, Range Media Partners, REI Co-op, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Inc., Shutterstock, State Street, Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, SXSW, Talon Labs, Taxa Outdoors, Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce, Trillium Asset Management, LLC, Unilever United States, VMLY&R, VMware, Yahoo, Yelp."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.