Facebook, Amazon ‘Fundamentally Oppose’ Trump Redefinition of Transgender Rights

Tech giants join more than 50 companies in pushing back against president “seriously” considering stricter definition of gender

Facebook and Google joined dozens of other tech companies in signing a letter on Thursday opposed to the Trump administration’s potential move to define gender as one’s biological sex at birth.

The letter was coordinated by the Human Rights Campaign and Out Leadership and comes in response to President Trump saying last month he was “seriously” considering curtailing changes made under Barack Obama that allowed gender to be defined by one’s personal choice, rather than their birth sex. This would be a blow to transgender rights, according to both the signers of the letter and critics of President Trump.

“We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations,” the signers wrote. “We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.”

In total, 56 companies have signed the letter, including several major tech firms. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Twitter and Uber all signed.

The signers said they stand with all Americans that “identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex” and called for them to be treated with “respect and dignity.”

“In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people,” the letter continued. “Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.”

The letter marks the latest battle between Silicon Valley and the Trump White House on social issues. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, among others, voiced their displeasure with the administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement last year. Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook later criticized the Trump administration’s “inhumane” immigration agenda.

Below is a full copy of the letter:

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.

We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.

In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people. Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.

Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are good for business, and that discrimination imposes enormous productivity costs (and exerts undue burdens), hundreds of companies, including the undersigned, have continued to expand inclusion for transgender people across corporate America. Currently more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 have clear gender identity protections; two-thirds have transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage; hundreds have LGBTQ+ and Allies business resource groups and internal training efforts.

Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members. What harms transgender people harms our companies.

We call for respect and transparency in policy-making, and for equality under the law for transgender people.

And below is a look at all the signatories:

Accenture, Adobe Systems Inc., Airbnb, Altria Group, Amalgamated Bank, Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, BNY Mellon, Cargill, Cisco Systems Inc., Citi, Clifford Chance, Corning Incorporated, Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Deutsche Bank, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Facebook, Fastly, Inc., Google, Hogan Lovells International LLP, HSBC, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Intuit Inc., Iron Mountain, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Levi Strauss & Co., LinkedIn, Lush Handmade Cosmetics, Lyft, Marriott International, MassMutual, MGM Resorts International, Microsoft Corp., Nike Inc., PepsiCo, Replacements, Ltd., Ropes & Gray, Royal Bank of Canada, S&P Global, Salesforce, Sheppard Mullin, Sodexo Inc., Splunk, State Street Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company, TiVo Corporation, Trillium Asset Management, Twitter Inc., Uber, Warby Parker.