Over 65 Major U.S. Companies Oppose Anti-Transgender State LegislationMarch 3, 2021 • 4:59 pm
Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Dell among new signatories joining Hilton, Unilever, Dow, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, American Airlines, others
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As of today, more than 65 major United States companies have joined a statement opposing anti-LGBTQ state legislation, and in particular highlighting a wave of legislation targeting transgender youth. New signatories to this statement of opposition include Facebook, Pfizer, and Dell, among others.
As of this release, more than 60 bills have been filed in 30 states to directly target transgender people: by seeking to ban transgender youth from participating in sports or by banning access to affirming, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth. Transgender sports bans have passed through at least one legislative chamber in Montana, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota; bans on youth healthcare have passed through at least one legislative chamber in Montana and Alabama.
Business leaders consistently report that they have difficulty with recruitment, retention, and tourism business in states that have considered or passed anti-transgender legislation in years past. These policy fights negatively impact businesses operationally and financially, and put the safety and wellbeing of their team members and their families at risk. Idaho is the only state to have passed an anti-trans sports ban to date, and that law was swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill and others like it. The Associated Press projected that the 2016 North Carolina bathroom bill would have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years. During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in Texas in 2017, the state lost $66 million in canceled events, without the bill even becoming law.
“America’s business community has consistently taken a strong stand opposing legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ workers and consumers,” said Kasey Suffredini, Freedom for All Americans CEO and National Campaign Director. “Business leaders have been clear that discrimination is bad for business and economic competitiveness, which relies on fair and inclusive work environments for their employees. State lawmakers should be focused on passing laws to protect Americans’ livelihoods, not threatening to pass laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people and harm everyone in their states by jeopardizing future economic development and driving businesses away. This is especially bad policy making during a pandemic. We’re grateful to the business leaders who have signed this letter and continued to speak out publicly about how these misguided policies are bad for employees, bad for business, and bad for America.”
“Businesses across the country are standing up and speaking out against the anti-transgender legislation that is being put forward not to solve any real problems but simply as the latest iteration of a losing fight against equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “The businesses on this list are looking for inclusive states that prioritize equality, and states that decide to pass anti-transgender legislation in years past have faced dire economic consequences as a result. It is encouraging to see the business community stand up for equality and against division by opposing transgender legislation in states across the country that are introducing it at a record pace. Legislators would be wise to realize the economic risk associated with passing one of these discriminatory bills.”
The companies joining this statement do business, create jobs, and serve customers throughout the United States. Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves. Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve. What’s more, these values also matter to our bottom lines. Inclusive business practices lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction; and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.
We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LBGTQ population.
These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace.
As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions. America’s business community has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness, and state and national economies.
As business leaders dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all – as well as to improving the financial and investment climate across the country – we call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans.
Altria Group Inc.
Bayer US LLC
BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe)
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim USA
Center for Community Self-Help
CSAA Insurance Group
EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Electronics
IHG Hotels & Resorts
Levi Strauss & Co.
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Marriott International, Inc.
Molson Coors Beverage Company
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including member companies Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA; and Unilever United States
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Trillium Asset Management
Unilever United States
Xperi Holding Corporation
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.