Companies Assault Texas Movement to Classify Trans Teen Care as ‘Child Abuse’

More than 60 major companies, including household names in tech and retail, have signed a new ad campaign in Texas to protest the state governor’s decision to label medical treatments as ” child abuse” widely considered the standard of care for transgender adolescents.

In digital ads and a full-page ad in Friday’s Dallas Morning News, the companies attacked a Feb. 22 directive from Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, requiring teachers and healthcare professionals to report to departments. child welfare parents who help their children get treatment such as puberty suppressing drugs and hormones.

Mr Abbott’s order – announced a week before the Texas primary, in which he was nominated for another term as governor – came as Florida lawmakers also offered to advance a bill banning instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in certain elementary grades, widely referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Both measures are part of a wave of anti-LGBTQ crackdowns by conservative politicians ahead of the midterm elections.

“It’s a page from the playbook that we’ve seen before, and it’s very familiar to me,” said Jay Brown, senior vice president of programs, research and training at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, which arranged for Texas commercials.

“Discrimination is bad for business,” said Friday’s print ad, followed by a call for Mr. Abbott to drop the new policy.

Signatories include former blue chip brands like Johnson & Johnson and Macy’s as well as tech giants like Meta and Google, clothing makers Levi Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc., and retailers like Ikea and REI.

“Our companies do business, create jobs and serve customers in Texas,” the announcement reads, adding that the companies “have worked to ensure that LGBTQ+ people – our employees, our customers and their families – are safe. 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 announcement continues. . He warns that the policy could instill fear in parents of transgender children worried that providing them with the best medical care possible could “risk having these children removed by child protective services”.

“It’s not just bad, it impacts our employees, our customers, their families, and our work,” the ad concludes.

The corporate effort to pressure the state recalls the response after North Carolina officials passed a bill in 2016 requiring people to use public restrooms appropriate to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Whether there will be a more aggressive corporate response to the Texas measure or other similar measures remains to be seen.

“I think the community was really hungry for more,” Mr. Brown said, adding, “We really see this as the start and not the end of more voices speaking out against these laws.”

Mr. Brown said Texas lawmakers had caused intense fear among the families of young transgender people, who he said were among the most vulnerable people with the fewest legal protections.

“People are really scared,” he said. “I know families who have had to move hundreds of miles from their homes because their attorneys tell them it’s not safe in the country they live in, Texas. Lawmakers who do this, they are making a short-term bet with their extremist base that they will score some points at the risk of people’s lives.

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