Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and the CEOs of 12 other tech companies have called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to not pass “discriminatory legislation,” as state lawmakers continue to debate a so-called “bathroom bill” that would affect transgender students.
In a letter to Abbot dated May 27th, the executives said the “passage of any discriminatory legislation” in Texas would be “bad for our employees and bad for business.” The letter, as first reported by The Dallas Morning News, was also signed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, among others.
The proposed law would require transgender students to use restrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificates. Abbot, a Republican, has said he wants to pass the bill before the Texas legislature adjourns at the end of May, but the legislation has faced opposition from LGBT groups and business organizations who describe it as discriminatory.
"As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas' reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families," the tech CEOs wrote in their letter to Abbot. "Our ability to attract, recruit and retain top talent, encourage new business relocations, expansions and investment, and maintain our economic competitiveness would all be negatively affected.”
“Discrimination is wrong and it has no place in Texas or anywhere in our country,” the letter continues. “Our perspective is grounded in our values and our long-held commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
More than 80 tech executives spoke out against a similar bill in North Carolina last year, in a letter to then-Governor Pat McCrory. That bill was partially repealed in March, under Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.