More than 60 companies, including Apple, Google and Ikea, are calling on Texas governor Greg Abbott to drop his “discriminatory” order for parents of trans kids to be investigated for child abuse.
In an advert in the Dallas Morning News, the businesses demanded Abbott “abandon efforts to write discrimination into law and policy”.
Meta, Johnson & Johnson, Ikea, PayPal, Capital One, Electronic Arts and many more firms all signed the ad, which ran in the paper on Friday (11 March).
“The recent attempt to criminalise a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies,” the ad says.
The companies added: “It’s not just wrong, it has an impact on our employees, our customers, their families, and our work.”
Abbott’s 22 February order demands that state agencies in Texas “conduct prompt and thorough investigations” of gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, including surgeries (which are not routinely, if ever, accessible to under-18s) and puberty blockers.
He called this healthcare “abusive” and said officials who failed to report it could face jail time. The order also requires teachers, doctors and civilians to report parents of trans children to the authorities and says the parents should incur criminal penalties for supporting their trans kids.
Abbott’s order comes in the wake of Texas attorney general Ken Paxton calling trans healthcare “monstrous and tragic” and claiming it “remains medically impossible to truly change the sex of an individual because this is determined biologically at conception” – a statement Abbott said he agrees with.
Both men’s comments about trans healthcare align with the position of “gender critical” activists in the UK, who maintain that it is not possible to change sex.
“Texas state leaders are forcing parents of transgender kids to decide between abandoning their lives, quitting their jobs, and leaving the state or fostering a safe, inclusive environment for their child,” Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign interim president, told Axios.
Pressure from corporations has had some success in pushing back against anti-trans political efforts in recent years, notably with getting rid of the so-called “bathroom bill” in North Carolina.