Businesses with operations in Texas have joined a petition in opposition to two legislations that would prohibit transgender fluidity and minor genital mutilation.
On April 19, 43 companies signed a letter against S.B. 29, which would force "public school athletes to participate in interscholastic sporting contests based on biological sex." The bill has now reached the Texas Senate. The bill is now being debated in the state House of Representatives.
Another bill, the S.B. 1646, will change "the concept of child abuse" to include "administering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of, a puberty suppression prescription drug or cross-sex hormone to a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment." This bill is yet to be voted on in the Senate.
According to the Christian Post, these 43 businesses have labeled the bills "divisive" and signed a letter calling for trans-identified athletes to play in girls' athletics and for teenagers to be eligible to undergo elective cosmetic surgery including "double mastectomies, phalloplasties, and orchiectomies (testicle removal)."
They added that that if such bills were to become law, it would " ... send a message that is at odds with the Texas we know, and with our own efforts to attract and retain the best talent and to compete for business. We will continue to oppose any unnecessary, divisive measures that would damage Texas' reputation and make our customers, our visitors, and our employees and their families feel unwelcome or unsafe."
According to the letter drafted by Texas Competes, an LGBT rights organization, they are worried about attempts to exempt transgender youth from "from full participation in their communities" and the criminalization of care procedures that have been "proven to save lives."
Additionally, they assert that these efforts are intended to restrict LGBTQ individuals in other cases such as access to healthcare or when they need legal counsel.
In support, the corporations also voiced that they'll back policies that will amend Texas' outdated non-discrimination legislation to protect transgendered individuals.
Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Dell Technologies, Dow Jones, Facebook, IBM, Levi Strauss & Co, Microsoft, PayPal, and United Airlines are among the companies who have signed the letter.
A different but identical statement drafted by the LGBT advocacy groups Human Rights Campaign and the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund has been endorsed by 86 corporations from throughout the United States (including those that are mentioned in the Texas Competes statement).
The statement, which is titled 'Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ Legislation,' addressed the increasing legislation "which only singles out LGBTQ individuals."
"Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage," the statement asserted. "They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LGBTQ population."
Adobe, Airbnb, Apple, AT&T, Bayer, Ben & Jerry's, Capital One, Dell Technologies, Dow, Dropbox, Facebook, Gap, GoDaddy, Google, Hilton, IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co, Marriott, Microsoft, IBM, Nike, Oracle, Patreon, PayPal, PepsiCo, Peloton, Pfizer, T-Mobile, Twitter, Uber, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and Zillow are among the signatories.
American Airlines and United Airlines also signed the petition.
Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee have also passed laws this year excluding biological males that classify as female from participating in girls' sports. More than a half-dozen jurisdictions are considering new legislation.
A law recently approved by the Arkansas state legislature prohibits children under the age of 18 "from being prescribed experimental puberty blockers, cross-sex contraceptives, or undergoing genital mutilation procedures." Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who had been supposed to sign the bill into legislation, vetoed it instead. Hutchinson's veto was subsequently overridden by lawmakers.
Similar legislation was passed by the Alabama state legislature last month, but the governor has yet to sign it into law.