Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech companies team up against Texas’ bathroom bill

By : |May 30, 2017 0

Even after witnessing the bitter effects of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill (HB2), Texas Governor Greg Abbott has proposed to pass a “bathroom bill,” that would affect transgender students.

Amid lawmakers debate whether to pass the ‘bathroom bill’ or not, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, and the CEOs of 12 other tech companies have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to not pass “discriminatory legislation,” that would block transgendered people from using bathrooms matching their gender identities.

“As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas’ reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families,” the executives wrote in a letter. “Our ability to attract, recruit and retain top talent, encourage new business relocations, expansions and investment, and maintain our economic competitiveness would all be negatively affected.”

The letter was also signed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, among others.

For those who are unaware, a bathroom bill is a legislation or a statute that defines access to public facilities – specifically restrooms – by transgender individuals.

Months ago, the Texas Senate approved a proposal requiring transgender people to use public restrooms matching to the gender on their birth certificates. While the Texas House and Senate are still attempting to agree on exactly how far this bill will extend — only in public schools or within every public restroom, major tech companies have already expressed their ‘steadfast opposition.’

“Discrimination is wrong, and it has no place in Texas or anywhere in our country,” the letter continues. “Our perspective is grounded in our values and our long-held commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Though the proposal is downright absurd, Texas is not the first state to propose such a bill. Last year, North Carolina passed the ‘bathroom bill’ and has been facing the bitter effects of the bill since then. Several boycotts ranging from sports leagues to entertainment acts cost the state nearly $4 billion in lost revenue.

Considering that Texas is following the same route, even after witnessing the side-effects, Texas is also expected to lose millions if the state’s GOP passes this bathroom bill. The bill might lead the state to a pull out from the 2018 NCAA Final Four tournament, which would cost the state an estimated $234 million in foregone economic impact and $14 million in lost tax revenue. The bill will also make it difficult for Texas to secure major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game in the future.

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