65 companies, including EA, Gearbox and Microsoft, have condemned Texas’ proposed directive to classify sex reassignment treatments on minors as child abuse, calling on Governor Greg Abbott “to drop [the state’s] anti-LGBTQ+ efforts.”
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March 11 human rights campaign announcement that 65 companies had signed a open letter– published in the Dallas Morning News – calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other US leaders to drop their respective efforts “to enshrine discrimination in law and policy”.
The 65 companies include Amalgamated Bank, Apple, Ben & Jerry’s, Capital One, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Gearbox Entertainment, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, Patreon and Paypal.
“Our companies are doing business, creating jobs, and serving customers in Texas,” the open letter begins. “We are committed to creating inclusive environments where our employees can thrive inside and outside the workplace. For years, we have ensured that LGBTQ+ people – our employees, customers and their families – are safe and welcomed in the communities where we do business.
“The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary and age-appropriate health care in the State of Texas goes against our corporate values,” the letter continued.
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“This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children, who may now be faced with the choice of providing the best possible medical care for their children, but risk having those children removed by the Child Protective Services for this,” the letter claims. “This is just one of many discriminatory efforts against transgender youth advancing across the country.”
“We call on our public leaders – in Texas and across the country – to abandon their efforts to enshrine discrimination in law and policy,” he concluded. “It’s not just bad, it impacts our employees, our customers, their families and our work.”
Abbot is proposing investigations into those who dispense puberty-blocking drugs or perform sex-change operations on children, following legal advice from state Attorney General Ken Paxton that such procedures could be seen as child abuse under state law.
As stated in Abbot’s own letter Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Jaime Masters said the proposal builds on established law, as the state of Texas already prohibits many gender reassignment surgeries and procedures for children.
“Texas law imposes reporting requirements on all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children at risk of such abuse,” Abbot argues, “including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such abuse.”
“There are similar reporting requirements and criminal penalties for members of the general public,” Abbot noted, before suggesting that parents would also face similar scrutiny. “Texas law also requires DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender transition procedures and other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may take place. .”
Political reports that on March 11, Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum halted Abbott’s directive, saying it cannot be implemented as long as a discrimination lawsuit against the state by the family of a transgender girl based on the proposal has not been resolved.
Furthermore, Meachum ruled that Abbott’s directive was both unconstitutional and beyond the authority of the Texas DFPS.
A trial on the matter is scheduled for July.
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