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Apple takes stand against Trump on transgender rights

Nick Duffy February 23, 2017
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Tim Cook

Tech giant Apple has hit out at President Trump’s decision to scale back protections for transgender children.

Yesterday the Trump administration confirmed it had reversed a policy put in place by the Obama administration that extended civil rights laws to cover transgender people.

Obama officials had extended Title IX provisions, which have outlawed discrimination based on sex since 1972, to also protect gender identity.

This week Trump scrapped the Obama administration guidance, with his Press Secretary Sean Spicer explaining “certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level” – giving a boost to states that want to pass anti-trans laws.

Apple, one of the biggest companies in the US, hit out at the decision.

A statement said: “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.”

It is not the first time that the company, headed by out CEO Tim Cook, has voiced its opposition to the Trump agenda, despite attempts to repair his relationships with Silicon Valley.

Slamming Trump’s previous order that targeted refugees and Muslim residents, Cook said: “In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future.

“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.

“I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.

“There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them.

“We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies.

“And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.

“As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger.

“And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another.

“It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit.

“I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.

“Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.

“In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.’”

With the exception of Mr Thiel, few major tech figures appeared welcoming towards the prospect of a Trump presidency during the campaign.

It was recently revealed that Hillary Clinton considered picking Mr Cook as her Vice Presidential running mate.

Related topics: Apple, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, howard schultz, Melinda Gates, Michael Bloomberg, tim cook, Tom Kaine, US, US Election 2016

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