Apple, Intel, Twitter, others support transgender student’s Supreme Court case

Dozens of companies including Apple, Amazon, eBay, Intel, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo have signed on to an amicus brief in support of a Supreme Court case involving a transgender student’s fight over which bathroom to use at school.

The case involves Gavin Grimm, a transgender student in Virginia who claims that the school board in his county violates his Title IX rights — rules that prohibit discrimination in education based on gender — by not letting him use the boys’ bathroom.

“Many amici employ and/or serve transgender people, and all amici are concerned about the stigmatizing and degrading effects of the policy adopted by the Gloucester County School Board, which restricts access to public school restrooms for transgender youth,” the brief reads.

Two big tech companies missing from the amici: Google and Facebook.

Some of the 53 companies that signed the brief, such as Apple, Salesforce, Twitter and Microsoft, also recently spoke out for transgender rights after Donald Trump’s administration’s move to roll back federal protections for transgender students. Google parent Alphabet and Facebook did, too.

When contacted by SiliconBeat, a Facebook spokesman would not comment about the company’s absence from the list of signatories, referring instead to the social network’s recent statement regarding the Trump administration’s move: “We stand for ensuring equal rights for everyone, including transgender students, and will continue to advocate for more rights instead of fewer.”

Google has not yet returned SiliconBeat’s request for comment.

Other tech companies that signed on to the brief include Airbnb, Box, LinkedIn, Lyft, Pandora, PayPal and Yelp. Some non-tech companies on the list of signatories are Gap, MAC Cosmetics and Williams-Sonoma.

“A reversal could embolden other local and state governments to enact legislation that also contravenes federal law and restricts transgender people’s access to restrooms that comport with their gender identity, both in the public sphere and in the workplace,” the brief, put together by the Human Rights Campaign, says. “This piecemeal approach will result in a geographic patchwork, the borders of which will be defined by the treatment of the transgender community. Such a result will have very real, adverse effects on amici’s businesses.”

A federal appeals court last year ordered the school board to let Grimm use the boys’ restroom, but the Supreme Court put a hold on that decision. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled to start March 28, and a ruling is expected in June. But there is talk about possibly putting the case on hold because of the Trump administration’s action.


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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  • James Stephens

    Proud of Google for not caving in to this mentality. This is not normal and for everyone who says it is be glad your parents were normal or you wouldn’t be here. Transgender is an abnormality and should not be forced on the public because of it media hyped trend.

    • Jeff Utz, M.D.

      No one is forcing this on anyone. It is other (ignorant) people’s opinions being forced on this young man.