Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, other tech CEOs oppose Texas transgender bathroom bill

Once again, the tech industry is speaking out against a potentially discriminatory law involving transgender people and the restrooms they use.

Tech CEOs including Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and HP Enterprise’s Meg Whitman are urging the Texas governor to reject legislation that would require transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.

The executives sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, dated May 27, urging him “not to further pursue legislation of this kind,” saying “such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted out a copy of the letter, which was also signed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Amazon CEO Jeff Wilke and others.

“As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texzas’ reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families,” says the letter, which does not specifically mention the bill.

The tech industry has spoken out before in similar cases, including last year against North Carolina’s bathroom law — for example, PayPal canceled plans to expand there — and this year against President Trump’s order to roll back federal protections for transgender students.

Dozens of other businesses oppose the Texas bill, telling Republican lawmakers earlier this month that the bill would “legalize discrimination.” Supporters of the bill say it would protect women and children from sexual predators.

 

Photo: Joanna Smith, of Houston, walks her twin first-graders home from school on May 4, 2017. One of her children is transgender and Smith fears the child’s school would be compelled by the state to “out” her child’s biological gender should a bathroom bill become law. (John L. Mone/AP)

 

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