Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook are among more than 50 companies to sign a joint letter opposing the Trump administration’s leaked proposal to roll back legal rights and protections for transgender people.
Last month, the New York Times obtained a Department of Health and Human Services memo revealing the Trump administration may legally define sex as either male or female, determined at birth by “immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth”.
LGBTIQ advocates reacted with fury, saying such a definition would essentially be a government declaration that gender identity, transgender people and intersex people don’t exist.
In the statement, the 56 US companies say they “oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations,” as well as “any policy or regulation” that violates privacy rights of anyone who identifies as transgender, non-binary, or intersex.
“We, the undersigned businesses, stand with the millions of people in America who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex, and call for all such people to be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves,” the companies wrote.
“Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members. What harms transgender people harms our companies.”
The companies wrote that the reported policy revision was not medically or scientifically sound and it “fail[s] to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.”
They also argue that removing protections for trans people would hurt businesses by imposing “enormous productivity costs.”
‘Inconsistent with science and ethics’
Meanwhile, over 1,600 scientists have also signed an open letter with similar objections, including that the Trump administration’s proposal is “fundamentally inconsistent not only with science, but also with ethical practices, human rights, and basic dignity.”
The scientists say the proposed changes aren’t backed up by scientific evidence and are an unethical attack on human rights.
“There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex,” the scientists’ letter states.
“Even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.”
They call on the US government to scrap the proposal and urge politicians to “oppose its implementation, as it would cause grave harm to transgender and intersex Americans and weaken the constitutional rights of all Americans.”