Apple, Google, IBM, PayPal, REI Co-Op, and Meta are among dozens of companies participating in a human rights campaign that asks Texas governor Greg Abbott to abandon legislation that criminalizes a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare.
The full-page open letter published in the Dallas Morning News on Friday condemns Texas lawmakers for attempting to criminalize parents who support gender-affirming care for their children.
“As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am deeply concerned about laws being enacted across the country, particularly those focused on our vulnerable youth,” Tim Cook, Apple CEO tweeted on Thursday. “I stand with them and the families, loved ones, and allies who support them.”
There were varying responses to Cook’s tweet. Cook is not known to have any children and has been openly gay since 2014. Daniel Castro wrote “if you are not a parent, you don’t understand what parents do to raise their children.”
Another asked whether Apple will stop doing business in states that pass anti-gay laws -- similar to the way it stopped doing business in Russia after Putin invaded Ukraine.
Abbott’s proposed directive requires members of the public as well as professionals such as teachers, nurses, and doctors to report these cases, and threatens individuals who fail to do so with “criminal penalties.”
The Texas legislation is a directive issued by Abbott on February 22. It calls “sex change” procedures a form of “child abuse under existing Texas law, and calls on state agencies to conduct an investigation of any reports of minors undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning.”
A child officially becomes an adult when he or she turns 18, according to the United States government. At this age, they become responsible for their own actions, including signing a legal document. As an adult, the person can enlist in the armed forces, and can legally drink alcohol in many states.
Other companies participating in the petition against the legislation include Levi Strauss & Co., LinkedIn, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Patagonia, PayPal, Phillips Murrah P.C., Pinterest, Salesforce, Shutterstock, State Street, Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, SXSW, Talon Labs, Taxa Outdoors, Unilever United States, VMware, Yahoo, Yelp, and many more.
In the full-page ad, the companies call on public leaders across the country to abandon writing discrimination into law and policy.