53 Companies Join Fight For Transgender Rights Heading Towards Supreme Court


The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy group, announced today that 53 U.S. companies have joined their amicus brief in support of transgender student Gavin Grimm in the SCOTUS case G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board.

Grimm alleges the school board denied him use of the boys bathroom, which would be a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which elicits that students cannot be discriminated against or excluded from events on the basis of sex.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the case could have a wide-spread impact on all current and future transgender rights cases, as well as consequences for transgender students across the nation.

“These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender children and their families that America’s leading businesses have their backs,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isn’t just shameful — it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. 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.”

The companies, representing a total of 1.3 million employees and about $613 billion in revenue, that signed the brief are:

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.

One of the nation’s largest law firms, BakerHostetler, penned the brief.

Following Trump’s rescinding of an Obama-era guidance regarding trans students rights, it is uncertain if the Supreme Court will reach a major ruling.  The court could very well send the case back to the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided in favor of Grimm in April of 2016.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court’s decision could very well face reconsideration after the Trump administration’s actions.

Currently, the uncertainty that is felt by transgender students and court systems alike is too large to ignore.  Choosing to join the HRC’s brief in support of Grimm sends an immutable message to the entire transgender community: that major companies see the struggle and are fighting alongside the community to create a more inclusive, accepting atmosphere both within the companies themselves and within the administration.

As hopeful as this may be, the future of trans rights within the court system seems to be standing on shaky ground.