Apple and more than 40 other U.S. firms have all signed an open letter opposing the numerous “anti-LGBTQ” legislation bills currently being considered in courts across the country
AL.com reports the open letter, drafted by the Human Rights Campaign and published Wednesday, says the measures proposed in the bills would harm the companies’ LGBT employees and will negatively impact the companies that employe them.
The companies joining this statement do business, create jobs, and serve customers throughout the United States. Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves. Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve. What’s more, these values also matter to our bottom lines. Inclusive business practices lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction; and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.
We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LBGTQ population.
These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace.
As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions. America’s business community has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness, and state and national economies.
As business leaders dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all – as well as to improving the financial and investment climate across the country – we call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans.
Companies signing the letter include:
- AEO Inc.
- Amalgamated Bank
- American Airlines
- Asana, Inc.
- Bayer US LLC
- Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
- Boehringer Ingelheim USA
- Capital One
- Corning Incorporated
- CSAA Insurance Group
- Dow Inc.
- Dropbox Inc.
- Eastern Bank
- IBM Corp.
- IKEA North America Services, LLC
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
- Lyft, Inc.
- Marriott International, Inc.
- Nike, Inc.
- Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including member companies Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA; and Unilever United States
- Trillium Asset Management
- Unilever United
Apple has long taken a strong position on equality, including LGBTQ rights while under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook. Cook has consistently supported inclusion and diversity, which Apple refers to as its “greatest strength” on its website.