The Equality Act is a Direct Attack on Women and Girls

Today, legislators reintroduced the federal Equality Act in the House of Representatives, and a long list of major US businesses have made it clear that they have no qualms with the Act’s disregard for women and children. The 161 corporations making a show of political force over the gender identity provisions of the Equality Act demonstrate reckless disregard for the safety of their female employees, and women and girls across the country. This echoes the unprecedented $3.76 billion corporate boycott against the state of North Carolina over legislators’ attempt to protect the safety of women and girls, and the privacy of all users of single-sex public accommodations. 

In the era of #MeToo, it’s hard to understand why these companies are willing to endanger women and girls by acting so deliberately to undermine the nation’s indecent exposure and voyeurism restrictions, in what are supposed to be single-sex accommodations. Is it any wonder that many of them have recently faced significant sexual harassment allegations, or had large bias or sexual harassment claims brought against them?

The recent case of a physical education teacher disciplined by his school district for refusing to supervise a middle school girl who demanded to change in the boys’ locker room, with no notice to parents or students, should be a red flag. It serves as a cautionary tale about the sort of future that irresponsible, corporate libertines, and the so-called charities who do their tax deductible public image consulting, want to dictate without allowing us a chance to think about the consequences, let alone have a conversation about how to serve the needs of all people.

Their key demand so far: that there is to be “no debate” about their rights to push through these changes.

When society establishes healthy boundaries around bodily privacy, women and girls are safer. It’s true in refugee camps, and in schools around the world. It’s true in the executive offices of global corporations, and human rights charities, alike.

Yet in Wales, where mixed sex toilets were recently installed in schools in Cardiff, [4] girls are already missing school because boys are shaming them over their periods and they fear sexual harassment. This is no different than what happens in developing nations when menstruating girls have inadequate toilet facilities, or facilities that they must share with boys. To think that this wouldn’t occur in developed nations smacks of chauvinistic notions of progress that use per capita income as a proxy for moral development.

We ask that these major brands and multinational corporations, and the nonprofit virtue signalers who represent their interests, stand down this full-frontal assault on the privacy and dignity of women and girls. We ask that they act instead to encourage respect for everyone’s right to single-sex accommodations, as originally guaranteed in all previous civil rights laws recognizing the state’s interest in discouraging sex-based discrimination against women and girls.

Human Rights Campaign, March, 2019; employers that support the passage of the Equality Act:

  • A.T. Kearney Inc., Chicago, IL
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New Albany, OH
  • Accenture, New York, NY
  • Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, CA
  • ADP, Roseland, NJ
  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Sunnyvale, CA
  • Airbnb Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Alaska Airlines, Seattle, WA
  • Alcoa Inc., New York, NY
  • Ally Financial, Detroit, MI
  • Amazon.com Inc., Seattle, WA
  • American Airlines, Fort Worth, TX
  • American Eagle Outfitters, Pittsburgh, PA
  • American Express Global Business Travel, New York, NY
  • Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA
  • Arconic, New York, NY
  • Ascena Retail Group Inc., Mahwah, NJ
  • Aspen Skiing Company LLC Aspen, CO
  • AT&T Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Atlassian, San Francisco, CA
  • BBVA Compass, Birmingham, AL
  • Bain & Co. Inc., Boston, MA
  • Bank of America, Charlotte, NC
  • Bayer U.S. LLC, Whippany, NJ
  • Best Buy Co. Inc., Richfield, MN
  • Biogen, Cambridge, MA
  • Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp., Ridgefield, CT
  • Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, VA
  • Boston Scientific Corp., Marlborough, MA
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York, NY
  • Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., Lake Success, NY
  • Brown-Forman Corp., Louisville, KY
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp., Las Vegas, NV
  • Capital One Financial Corp., McLean, VA
  • Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, OH
  • Cargill Inc., Wayzata, MN
  • Chevron Corp., San Ramon, CA
  • Chobani, Norwich, NY
  • Choice Hotels International Inc., Rockville, MD
  • Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, CA
  • The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, GA
  • Corning Inc., Corning, NY
  • Cox Enterprises Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • CSAA Insurance Group, Walnut Creek, CA
  • Cummins Inc., Columbus, IN
  • CVS Health Corp., Woonsocket, RI
  • Danone North America LLC, White Plains, NY
  • Darden Restaurants Inc., Orlando, FL
  • Deloitte, New York, NY
  • Diageo North America, Norwalk, CT
  • The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI
  • Dropbox Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont), Wilmington, DE
  • Eastern Bank Corp., Boston, MA
  • eBay Inc., San Jose, CA
  • EMC Corp., Hopkinton, MA
  • Ernst & Young LLP, New York, NY
  • The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., New York, NY
  • Evolent Health Inc., Arlington, VA
  • Exelon Corp Chicago, IL
  • Expedia Group, Bellevue, WA
  • Facebook Inc., Menlo Park, CA
  • Food Lion, Salisbury, NC
  • Gap Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • General Electric Co., Boston, MA
  • General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, MN
  • General Motors Co., Detroit, MI
  • Glassdoor Inc., Mill Valley, CA
  • Google Inc., Mountain View, CA
  • The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, New York, NY
  • Gusto, San Francisco, CA
  • HERE North America LLC Chicago, IL
  • The Hershey Company, Hershey, PA
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Palo Alto, CA
  • Hilton Inc., McLean, VA
  • HP Inc., Palo Alto, CA
  • HSN Inc., Saint Petersburg, FL
  • Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP New York, NY
  • Hyatt Hotels Corp., Chicago, IL
  • IBM Corp., Armonk, NY
  • IHS Markit Ltd., New York, NY
  • IKEA Holding US Inc., Conshohocken, PA
  • Insight Enterprises, Tempe, AZ
  • Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA
  • InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, Atlanta, GA
  • Iron Mountain Inc., Boston, MA
  • John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, MA
  • Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co., New York, NY
  • Juniper Networks Inc., Sunnyvale, CA
  • Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA
  • Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, MI
  • Kenneth Cole Productions, New York, NY
  • KPMG LLP New York, NY
  • Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, CA
  • Lendlease Americas Inc., New York, NY
  • Linden Research Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Wilmington, NC
  • Lyft Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Macy’s Inc., Cincinnati, OH
  • Marriott International Inc., Bethesda, MD
  • MassMutual, Springfield, MA
  • MasterCard Inc., Purchase, NY
  • Merck, Kenilworth, NJ
  • MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, NV
  • Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA
  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Taylorsville, NC
  • Moody’s Corp., New York, NY
  • Nationwide, Columbus, OH
  • Navient, Wilmington, DE
  • Navigant Consulting Inc. Chicago, IL
  • Netflix Inc., Los Gatos, CA
  • Nike Inc., Beaverton, OR
  • Northrop Grumman Corp., Falls Church, VA
  • Nuance Communications- Burlington, MA
  • Office Depot Inc., Boca Raton, FL
  • Oracle Corp., Redwood City, CA
  • Patreon Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Paul Hastings LLP, Los Angeles, CA
  • PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, NY
  • Pfizer Inc., New York, NY
  • Pinterest Inc, San Francisco, CA
  • PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
  • Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, OH
  • Pure Storage Inc., Mountain View, CA
  • Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Realogy Holdings Corp., Madison, NJ
  • Replacements Ltd., McLeansville, NC
  • S&P Global Inc., New York, NY
  • Salesforce, San Francisco, CA
  • SAP America Inc., Newtown Square, PA
  • Shire PLC, Lexington, MA
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City, MO
  • Shutterstock, New York, NY
  • Sodexo Inc., Gaithersburg, MD
  • Spotify USA Inc., New York, NY
  • Square Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Symantec Corp., Mountain View, CA
  • Synchrony Financial, Stamford, CT
  • T-Mobile USA Inc., Bellevue, WA
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Deerfield, IL
  • Target Corp., Minneapolis, MN
  • Tech Data Corp., Clearwater, FL
  • TIAA, New York, NY
  • TPG Global LLC, Fort Worth, TX
  • TransUnion, Chicago, IL
  • Turner Construction Co., New York, NY
  • Twitter Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis, MN
  • Uber Technologies Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Ultimate Software Group Inc., Weston, FL
  • Under Armour Inc., Baltimore, MD
  • Unilever, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
  • Univision Communications Inc., New York, NY
  • Visa, Foster City, CA
  • Warby Parker, New York, NY
  • Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco, CA
  • WeddingWire Inc., Chevy Chase, MD
  • Whirlpool Corp. Benton Harbor, MI
  • Williams-Sonoma Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Workday Inc., Pleasanton, CA
  • Xerox Corp., Norwalk, CT
  • Yelp Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Zillow Group, Seattle, WA

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