Tech companies join challenge on transgender bathroom rules

PHOTO: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Apple Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., EBay Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Inc. are among the technology companies that are backing transgender rights by joining a friend-of-the-court brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding bathroom access.

The move follows opposition from tech companies to a decision this week by President Donald Trump to rescind protections for transgender students. The administration on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of legal guidance put in place by the Obama administration in May that directed schools to let transgender students use bathrooms consistent with their own gender identity.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing a female-born transgender high school student in Virginia, is asking the Supreme Court to uphold a decision that federal law requires the teenager’s school to allow him to use the bathroom of his gender identity. The technology companies are signing on to a brief to be filed next week by the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group that maintains the Trump administration action puts students at risk.

“PayPal is committed to preserving human rights and advancing the principles of inclusion and equality that are at the core of our values,” the company said in a statement. “We seek to defend against actions that violate our values, which is why we have signed this amicus brief with other like-minded companies seeking to uphold critical protections against discrimination.”

Technology companies were among those challenging Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travelers and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries, arguing the move hurt the industry economically by limiting the number of candidates for jobs.

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