23andMe joined over 100 other companies, to stand up for equity and against state legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community. The Human Rights Campaign released a statement condemning this harmful state legislation for companies to sign. The legislation efforts in question bar transgender people from participating in sports, having their gender identity reflected on IDs, and receiving necessary healthcare. Other bills limit LGBTQ+ couples from starting a family via adoption or foster care.
“Pride month is a time to celebrate the love that’s in all our DNA, regardless of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. But even though we are all 99.5 percent genetically identical, we still aren’t treated 100 percent equally,” wrote Jey McCreight, PhD, Science Communication Sr. Program Manager at 23andMe.
23andMe has set specific objectives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion focused on building a more inclusive and accessible product for everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community. Customer reports separate biological sex from gender identity. In addition, the research team is examining how genetics can impact gender identity and same-sex sexual behavior. Customer surveys always use inclusive language. This strong support of the LGBTQ+ community is not only drawn from the company value of “we’re in this together,” but the value of trusting science.
“People who fear or distrust trans people often use ‘biology’ as a justification for attacking this community. But the reality is that the biology of sex and gender is more complicated than a simple binary,” explained Dr. McCreight. “Regardless of what science says, everyone should still treat trans people with respect because it’s just the right thing to do. But if you want to claim you ‘trust the science’ in order to attack trans people, then sorry – the science says that trans rights are human rights.”
As a company committed to uplifting LGBTQ+ employees and customers and leading with science, 23andMe signed the Human Rights Campaign’s business statement this June in opposition to these unjust anti-LGBTQ+ state laws.
The statement reads:
The companies joining this statement do business, create jobs, and serve customers throughout the United States. Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves. Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve. What’s more, these values also matter to our bottom lines. Inclusive business practices lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction; and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.
We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LBGTQ population.
These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace.
As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions. America’s business community has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness, and state and national economies.
As business leaders dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all – as well as to improving the financial and investment climate across the country – we call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans.
To learn more about these proposed bills and take a stand alongside 23andMe, visit the Human Rights Campaign site.