53 Major Companies Voice Support For Transgender Teen Ahead Of Supreme Court Case

Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen in Virginia, just wanted to use the restroom at his school like any other student.

Instead, hell be fighting for that right later this month, when his case against the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia is set to go in front of the Supreme Court. And 53 major U.S. companies which together constitute $613 billion in revenue and 1.3 million employees will have his back, according to an amicus brief filedThursday.

The brief, which was filed by large companies including Amazon, Apple, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, argues that diversity and inclusion in the workplace is both a practical matter and the right thing to do.

As the brief explains:

Notably, all [the companies]have nondiscrimination policies or practices that permit transgender individuals to use the company facilities consistent with their gender identitypolicies that amici adopted out of respect for the dignity, autonomy, and privacy of their transgender employees and/or customers and also because [they]know that diversity and inclusion are good for business.

None of these policies has resulted in an increase in sexual assaults or incidents of the kind invoked by the Board and supporters of the Policy. To the contrary, [the companies]find that their policies contribute to a work environment that promotes collaboration, creativity and productivity.

The Washington Post via Getty Images
Gavin Grimm, 17, is photographed at his home in Gloucester, Virginia, on Sunday, August 21, 2016.

Grimm used the boys restroom for seven weeks, with the support of school administrators. But several parents of other students and a number of Gloucester County residents whodidnt have school-aged kids complained about him to the school board.

The school said Grimm had to use a single-stall restroom in the nurses office a solution the teen called humiliating.

Its humiliating, its ostracizing and I dont want to take that walk of shame to the unisex bathroom and know that everyone who saw me go in there knows why Im in there because Im different, and Ive been marked different by my school and publicly, Grimm told The Associated Press in 2015. Im not comfortable with it whatsoever. Im not an other and Im not unisex, Im a boy.

The board enacted a policy that overruled the decision of school administrators and categorically barred transgender students from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, according to a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Unionfiled against the board on behalf of Grimm in 2015.

The suit argues that the policy violates Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination by schools.

Im not an other and Im not unisex, Im a boy. Gavin Grimm

Having so many major corporations show support for Grimm is important,Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a release applauding the brief.

These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that Americas leading businesses have their backs,Grimm said.

Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isnt just shameful it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk, he added. Transgender students like Gavin are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in the classroom and beyond.

Heres the full list of the 53 companies included in the brief filed Thursday:

Affirm, Inc., Airbnb, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Apple, Asana, Inc., Box, Inc., Codecademy, Credo Mobile, Inc., Dropbox, Inc., eBay Inc., Etsy, Fastly, Inc., Flipboard, Inc., Gap Inc., General Assembly, GitHub, Inc., IBM, Intel Corporation, Kickstarter, PBC, Knotel, Inc., LinkedIn, Lyft, M Booth, MAC Cosmetics Inc., Mapbox, Inc., Marin Software Incorporated, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Microsoft Corporation, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, MongoDB Inc., NetApp, Inc., Next Fifteen Communications Corporation, Nextdoor, Pandora Media, Inc., PayPal Holdings, Inc., Postmates Inc., Replacements, Ltd., RetailMeNot, Inc., Salesforce, Shutterstock, Inc., Slack Technologies, Inc., Spotify, The OutCast Agency, The WhiteWave Foods Company, Tumblr, Inc., Twilio Inc., Twitter Inc., Udacity, Inc., Warby Parker, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., Yelp Inc., Zendesk, Inc.

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