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Tech firms stand up for transgender rights in Supreme Court brief

Apple is among the companies signing a document to be filed as part of a case the high court is hearing next month.

Several tech companies are signing a brief to the US Supreme Court supporting transgender rights, including those of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia teen who is legally challenging to use the boys' restroom at his high school. His case is expected to be heard by the high court in March.
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Apple is among several tech companies expected to sign a brief supporting transgender rights in a case scheduled to be heard by the US Supreme Court next month.

The tech giant confirmed Friday that it will sign the document created by the LGBT organization, Human Rights Campaign, that's due to arrive at the Supreme Court on March 2. Other companies signing the brief include Microsoft, eBay, IBM, Salesforce, PayPal, Slack and GitHub, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The brief will be submitted with a case filed by Gavin Grimm, a Virginia transgender high school student who's opposing his school board for access to use the restroom matching his gender identity. Grimm's case, expected to be heard on March 28, marks the first time the high court will hear a case involving transgender rights.

This is tech's second human rights-related court brief. Earlier this month, the industry showed its anger over President Donald Trump's immigration ban as many of Silicon Valley's biggest companies filed a brief challenging the president's order. On Feb. 10, a federal appeals court refused to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban.

The resistance was a seminal moment in tech's hostility with Trump, who before he was sworn in as president invited 13 tech execs to meet with him at Trump Tower in New York to discuss topics ranging from investment to immigration policy.

The tech companies' expected signings Friday supporting transgenders came two days after heavyweights, including Apple, Alphabet and Facebook, released statements in response to a Trump administration move on bathroom rights. Trump rolled back President Barack Obama's 2016 decision allowing transgender students to use restrooms in schools based on their current gender identity, even if it's different from their birth gender.

Thousands of people took to the streets across the US on Wednesday to protest the reversal of guidelines. Grimm tearfully told protesters in Washington, DC, that transgendered people will not be "beaten" down by the Trump leadership.

"No one -- not even the government -- can defeat a community so full of life, color, diversity and, most importantly, love," he said to cheers.

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