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8th July 2021

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Gearbox, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple oppose Texas anti-trans law

Borderlands developer even suggests it would expand out of the state if law is passed

Several games and tech companies are among those fighting back against proposed legislation in Texas that the group argues is discriminatory.

The law at the heart of this is the Fair Sports for Women and Girls Act, or Texas Senate Bill 29, which passed in the state's senate last week. If passed, transgender public school students would only be allowed to participate in athletic competitions with those who match the biological sex on their birth certificate.

Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Borderlands studio Gearbox Entertainment are among more than 40 companies who signed an open letter voicing concerns over the bill, with one member of Gearbox even stating the company would consider relocating if it is passed.

The group -- all of which have Texas-based businesses and staff -- decried the "resurgence of efforts to exclude transgender youth from full participation in their communities" adding that it will "continue to oppose any unnecessary, divisive measures that would... make our customers, our visitors, and our employees and their families feel unwelcome and unsafe."

"We urge policymakers to continue to focus their good work on fostering a state that works for everyone and welcomes everyone," the letter concludes.

PC Gamer reports that David Najjab, Gearbox Software's director of institutional partnerships, was among those who gave testimony during a recent hearing before the Texas House of Representatives, saying the company could consider taking future investments out-of-state.

"Our game company is in competition worldwide," he said. "We sell more to Asia than we do in the United States. We bring a lot of money into this state, we're headquartered here. Don't drive us to where we have to start expanding outside of Texas and outside the country."

Najjab also compared the proposal to previous legislation that would have seen trans people only allowed to use bathrooms open to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Speaking to US news outlet NCBDFW, he said: "Make no mistake about it, we are risking a return to the bathroom bill days of 2017. Just like the bathroom bill, we are presented with solutions that are looking for problems."

Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry

8th July 2021

Submit your company

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