Executives from 14 companies such as Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Google have sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, asking him and the state legislature not to pass a bill that would block transgendered people from using bathrooms matching their gender identities.
"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 executives wrote in a May 27 letter seen by The Dallas Morning News. "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."
The letter was signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and leaders from Amazon, Cisco, Celanese, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, Silicon Labs, GSD&M, and Gearbox Software.
The Texas House and Senate have been battling over a proposed bathroom bill. On Friday, House Speaker Joe Straus refused to pass any such legislation. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, in charge of the Senate, then asked Abbott if he could keep lawmakers around until a bill is passed — the current session is scheduled to end on Tuesday. Abbott has pushed for a compromise.
Apple has been one of the more vocal opponents of "bathroom bills" in the U.S., most notably North Carolina's HB2. In February, the company complained about President Donald Trump's withdrawal of guidelines covering use of public school bathrooms by transgender students.
The company has a significant presence in Texas, including a major campus in Austin dedicated to AppleCare and various other operations.