Woke businesses are protesting Texas’ decision to label transgender procedures for children “child abuse” in an advertising campaign organized by the Human Rights Campaign.
Through digital ads and a full-page advertisement in the Friday edition of the Dallas Morning News, more than 60 businesses critiqued the governor’s actions, according to The New York Times.
“Discrimination is bad for business,” says the print ad signed by brands and businesses like Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, Apple, Meta and Google, Levi Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc., Ikea and REI, according to the Times.
Full page letter in the Dallas Morning News pic.twitter.com/faR2N9YZD5
— JP Schnapper-Casteras (@jpscasteras) March 11, 2022
“The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies,” the ad continues, concluding, “It’s not just wrong, it has an impact on our employees, our customers, their families and our work.”
The advertising campaign follows Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s direction to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents of children who have undergone “so-called ‘sex change’ procedures.”
Abbott had warned that “it is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”
Texas’s direction comes as Florida takes heat for HB 1557, legislation stating that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
News outlets like CNN call HB 1557 the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” in copy, and critics of the legislation accuse Republicans of endangering LGBTQ youth by outing them to their parents or preventing them from learning about their sexuality.
More than 60 major companies are calling on officials in Texas – and across the country – to abandon discriminatory efforts against trans youth and all LGBTQ+ people.
Discrimination is bad for business, bad for employees and bad for families. pic.twitter.com/5sgDTmY8cF
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 11, 2022
Nowhere in the Florida legislation is the word “gay” mentioned, though the word “parent” is mentioned 32 times and the word “parental” is mentioned eight times. The legislation heavily focuses on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school.
Senior vice president for programs, research, and training at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Jay Brown, told the Times that the slew of GOP legislation about children is “a page from the playbook that we’ve seen before, and it’s very familiar to me.”
“There is no other way to say it—this is a frightening time for Texas families,” said Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison in a statement released Friday. “Texas state leaders are forcing parents of transgender kids to decide between abandoning their lives, quitting their jobs, and leaving the state or fostering a safe, inclusive environment for their child.”
“These businesses recognize this unfair ultimatum and are advocating for their LGBTQ+ employees, customers, and their families,” Madison continued. “Over 60 businesses that do business in Texas are explicitly sending a message to Governor Abbott and Texas public officials that these hateful, harmful actions will not be tolerated.”