More than 50 companies representing over $2.4 trillion in annual revenue took a stand Thursday for legal protections for transgender people following a report that the Trump administration is considering limiting the definition of gender to birth anatomy.
The move is a response to an Oct. 21 New York Times report that the Trump administration is considering limiting the definition of gender to birth genitalia.
"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," the Department of Health and Human Services proposed in a memo obtained by the Times.
If legislation were to move forward, it would jeopardize legal protections for an estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, the Times said.
The statement from the companies, which have nearly 4.8 million employees, said "diversity and inclusion are good for business."
"Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members," the statement said. "What harms transgender people harms our companies."
Out Leadership and the Human Rights Campaign mobilized the 15 LGBTQ community organizations that sought signatures for the statement.
This is the full statement along with the list of signatories:
We, the undersigned businesses, stand with the millions of people in America who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex, and call for all such people to be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves.
We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.
In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people. Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.
Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are good for business, and that discrimination imposes enormous productivity costs (and exerts undue burdens), hundreds of companies, including the undersigned, have continued to expand inclusion for transgender people across corporate America. Currently more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 have clear gender identity protections; two-thirds have transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage; hundreds have LGBTQ+ and Allies business resource groups and internal training efforts.
Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members. What harms transgender people harms our companies.
We call for respect and transparency in policy-making, and for equality under the law for transgender people.
Adobe Systems Inc.
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)
Bank of America
Ben & Jerry's Homemade
Cisco Systems Inc.
Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Hogan Lovells International LLP
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Lush Handmade Cosmetics
MGM Resorts International
Ropes & Gray
Royal Bank of Canada
State Street Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Company
Trillium Asset Management