Apple, others speak out against Trump’s move on transgender rights

Apple and others in the tech industry are taking a stand against Donald Trump’s move to roll back federal protections for transgender students over their bathroom use.

“Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination,” the company said in a statement to news site Axios. “We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”

Barack Obama’s administration issued guidelines last year that allowed transgender students to use school bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identities. However, the guidelines had been on hold because of lawsuits. Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “this is an issue best solved at the state and local level.”

Transgender-rights groups had been urging the Trump administration to keep the guidelines in place.

Other tech executives who expressed opposition to the new administration’s move include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who posted on Facebook Thursday a link to an article about the news, with the comment “sorrow for our transgender children.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted the following on Wednesday:

Apple, Salesforce and Netflix and/or their CEOs have voiced their concerns over anti-LGBT laws before.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is gay, tweeted his disappointment over a bill that then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed in 2015 that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gay people under the guise of religious freedom. Benioff canceled Salesforce events in that state.

Pence is now vice president of the United States.

Last year, Netflix joined other companies and organizations in decrying a North Carolina law that requires people to use the bathroom for the gender that’s indicated on their birth certificates. The law prompted boycotts of the state by companies such as PayPal and Google Ventures, and entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen.

Photo: This file photo taken on May 4, 2016 shows a sign posted outside Santee High School’s gender-neutral restrooms in Los Angeles. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • ShadrachSmith

    Now there is an interview question. Cultural fit answer: How can Trump even want to roll us back to the days of Jim Crow? Rational answer: Transgender toilets are a stupid idea that died young.

    So what do you answer?

  • Randy King

    Obama’s guidance was unlawful.

    What these corporations are advocating is the support of clinical pathology at the expense of the rule of law.

  • zorro1945

    If folks are protesting Mr. Trump’s removal of the “guidance” issued by the previous administration, then they are protesting being given what they wanted. The removal of the guidance only puts the issue back into the states, where it belongs. So, why would someone protest being given the right to make a decision? Possible answer–the protesters know they cannot sell their ideology to a more local populace and wanted to enforce compliance by a faraway entity.

    • ShadrachSmith

      Spicer is answering the transgender toilet issue as we type. He said this for states and school districts to decide, not for the prez to decide. Simple position.

      • mneiai

        Ah, yes, “states’ rights”…certainly nothing bad has ever come of that…..

        • ShadrachSmith

          I take your point, the term was used to justify slavery. But that is like saying Democrats were pro-slavery so Ds = evil always and forever. There is a logical fallacy in there somewhere. For full credit name and describe that logical fallacy.

          the rights and powers held by individual US states rather than by the federal government. Nothing evil in the concept.