Some big tech companies came out in support of trans rights and in opposition to the Trump Administration's latest attack on them, the directive issued Wednesday by the Departments of Justice and Education to rescind an earlier Obama directive with regard to allowing trans students to use the bathrooms of their gender. Apple, Uber, and Microsoft led the charge condemning the new directive, as Politico reports, but meanwhile Twitter appears to be helping silence trans people who speak out against the decision, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is busy touring the Deep South as part of his quest to visit all 50 states this year. Also, where's Trump's man Peter Thiel, who actually spoke out against this very bathroom issue from the Republican Convention stage?
Apple issued a statement via Axios late Wednesday saying, "Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination. We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections."
Uber issued a similar statement saying it was "proud of our longstanding opposition to harmful initiatives aimed at the LGBT community," and pledging to "continue to speak out against discriminatory actions and in favor of good policy that champions equality and inclusion for all." Competitor Lyft also said it "oppose[s] this action and, as always, [we] stand in support of the LGBTQ community."
Google said that the company was "deeply concerned to see a roll-back in transgender students' rights," and Microsoft's chief legal officer Brad Smith issued the tweet below, by way of comment, referencing the date of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Since Jan. 1, 1863, the federal government has played a vital role in protecting the rights of all Americans. Let’s not stop now. #LGBTQ— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 22, 2017
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff just quietly retweeted the ACLU on Wednesday, and spoke out himself.
We want trans students across the country and their parents to know the law is on your side and we at the ACLU won't stop fighting for you.— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 22, 2017
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was busy on a tour of Alabama and Mississippi the last couple days and has yet to speak out on the matter.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who's been very outspoken on the immigration issue, has been notably silent on this one so far, and as some trans advocates have pointed out, it appears that calling out Vice President Mike Pence on his tweet proclaiming that this all about God and making America great can get your account suspended.
And Trump supporter/gay American Peter Thiel may or may not comment on this particular LGBT issue, but he hasn't yet. Just as a reminder, when he took to the podium at the Republican National Convention last July, he said, and we quote, "When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?"
Lots other companies who've spoken publicly before about this remain silent. As does Thiel, who addressed it on convention stage. https://t.co/KrnkmSBN45— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) February 23, 2017