Tech giants signs brief supporting Supreme Court case for transgender student protections

Major technology companies including Apple, Amazon, Twitter and Intel on Thursday officially signed an amicus brief in support of a Supreme Court case regarding protections for transgender students.

The brief, organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), argues in favor of a suit brought by transgender student Gavin Grimm. Grimm alleges that Gloucester County School Board violated his Title IX rights by not letting him use the boys’ restroom at his school.

A federal court in June ordered the school board to give Grimm access to the boys’ restroom. The Supreme Court, however, halted the lower court’s order, and will hear the case itself.

{mosads}In their brief, the tech companies argue that reversing the 4th Circuit federal court’s decision could have a harmful and far-reaching impact.

“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 reads. “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.”

“These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that America’s leading businesses have their backs,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a news release.

Fifty-three companies have signed the brief, including IBM, Lyft, Slack, Yahoo, Tumblr and Salesforce.

Notably, Google, Facebook and Uber did not sign the brief.

The companies, however, have voiced opposition to the Trump administration’s decision last month to rescind protections for transgender students. Google and Facebook also signed a letter last year calling on North Carolina to repeal its law restricting transgender individuals from using the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.

Uber said that it missed the deadline to sign the amicus brief but noted that it has voiced support for the LGBTQ community and legal protections for transgender individuals in the past.

Google did not immediately return The Hill’s request for comment.


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