53 major companies support transgender teen at Supreme Court

Gavin Grimm's case, G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board, will be heard by the US Supreme Court, March 28. AP Photo, Steve Helber, File.

By Rob Howard
Associate Editor

All Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy, wants is to use the bathroom that matches his gender identity. He filed suit against the Gloucester County [Virginia] School Board to strike down their policy that requires him to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with the gender on his birth certificate.

The case, G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 28.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the 53 major U. S. companies joined a “friend of the court” brief supporting Grimm and transgender rights in general. Collectively, the 53 companies represent over 1.3 million employees and $613 billion in revenue. Apple, IBM and Microsoft lead the list of companies.

A friend of the court brief, an amicus brief in legal language, can be filed on either side of a legal case being considered by a court. The Grimm case has attracted many amicus briefs, including today’s by corporations, and several earlier by anti-LGBT conservative groups.

The brief states the companies’ interest in the matter of transgender rights, saying, “Many amici employ and/or serve transgender people, and all amici are concerned about the stigmatizing and degrading effects of the policy adopted by the Gloucester County School Board (the “Policy”), which restricts access to public school restrooms for transgender youth. The Policy, and the policies and statutes of other government entities that would be permitted if the Policy is sustained, adversely affects amici’s businesses, employees, and customers, and undermines amici’s ability to build and maintain the diverse and inclusive workplaces that are essential to the success of their companies.”

The brief makes several arguments, including that the policy, if affirmed by the court, will adversely affect the companies, and, “Its effect will extend far past Gloucester County.”

The brief concludes by saying what the companies want: “In light of the lack of any reasoned justification for the Policy, and because of the significant adverse effects on the transgender community and resultant harm to amici, amici respectfully urge the Court to determine that transgender students are protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.”

“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. “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isn't just shameful -- it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. Transgender students like Gavin are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in the classroom and beyond.”

In addition to Apple, IBM and Microsoft, the following companies signed on to the brief: Affirm, Inc., Airbnb, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Asana, Inc., Box, Inc., Codecademy, Credo Mobile, Inc., Dropbox, Inc., eBay Inc., Etsy, Fastly, Inc., Flipboard, Inc., Gap Inc., General Assembly, GitHub, Inc., Intel Corporation, Kickstarter, PBC, Knotel, Inc., LinkedIn, Lyft, M Booth, MAC Cosmetics Inc., Mapbox, Inc., Marin Software Incorporated, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, MongoDB Inc., NetApp, Inc., Next Fifteen Communications Corporation, Nextdoor, Pandora Media, Inc., PayPal Holdings, Inc., Postmates Inc., Replacements, Ltd., RetailMeNot, Inc., Salesforce, Shutterstock, Inc., Slack Technologies, Inc., Spotify, The OutCast Agency, The WhiteWave Foods Company, Tumblr, Inc., Twilio Inc., Twitter Inc., Udacity, Inc., Warby Parker, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., Yelp Inc., Zendesk, Inc.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – March 2, 2017 @ 2:10 a.m.