Microsoft, EA, And Gearbox Sign Letter Opposing Anti-Trans Bill In Texas

The three gaming giants are among 65 businesses to express their opposition to Texas Governor Greg Abbott's "anti-LGBTQ+ efforts.”

Earlier today, 65 companies--including gaming giants Electronic Arts, Gearbox Software, and Microsoft--signed a letter opposing Texas Governor Greg Abbott's recent "anti-LGBTQ+ efforts.” Published in The Dallas Morning News, the letter calls for "public leaders in Texas and across the country to abandon their efforts to write discrimination into law and policy." The plea comes shortly after the Texas governor issued an order for child protective services to begin investigating the families of transgender children receiving gender-affirming healthcare, likening it to child abuse.

Organized by the LGBTQ organization the Human Rights Campaign, the letter begins with a simple proclamation--"Discrimination is bad for business"--before further elaborating on how Abbott's policies impact Texan workers.

"The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies," the letter states. "This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children, who might now be faced with choosing to provide the best possible medical care for their children but risk having those children removed by child protective services for doing so."

As pointed out by Kotaku, many of the tech and gaming companies who signed the open letter, such as EA, Microsoft, and Gearbox, are members of Texas Competes, a pro-LGBTQ business network. Texas Competes Managing Director Jessica Shortall told the outlet that "many Texas businesses are partially motivated by talent retention." Shortall then explained that the labor market is "tight" right now, and policies such as Abbott's most recent could lead to potential employees turning down job offers rather than relocating to Texas.

As such, this isn't the first time many of these companies have taken a stance against discriminatory policies. Just last year, Gearbox was considering a "shift from Texas" following the passage of Texas Senate Bill 29, which required public school students to take part in athletic competitions based on their assigned gender at birth.

When reached out for comment, an EA spokesperson told GameSpot, “We are committed to building a culture of inclusion for our employees, players, and community. We’re proud to join the Human Rights Campaign, along with others in the business community, to stand against discriminatory laws and policies being introduced in Texas, Florida and other states across the country.” Microsoft and Gearbox have yet to offer any additional remarks.

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