Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

More than 50 companies, many of them tech firms, have signed a letter opposing any effort by the Trump Administration to roll back transgender rights. The list includes Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft as well as non-tech firms including Nike, Dow Chemical, JP Morgan Chase, Levi Strauss, MGM Resorts and Sodexo.

Why it matters: A leaked memo, reported last month by the New York Times, suggests the administration may be looking to rigidly define sex as binary and determined at birth.

Such a move could have a broad impact on the lives of transgender Americans, as well as those who identify as outside traditional binary gender and those who are born with any of a number of intersex conditions.

The letter states:

"We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex."

What they're saying:

  • Cisco Chief People Officer Francine Katsoudas: "We must protect and advocate for the equality of transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive people inside and outside the workplace."
  • Levi Strauss Chief Human Resources Officer Elizabeth Wood: “Equality is not a right for some, but for all. Executive actions and laws that allow discrimination erode our ability to foster vibrant, competitive workforces, which halts growth, creativity, and innovation."
  • IBM Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tia Silas: "We believe no one should be discriminated against for being who they are. That’s why we’re proud to stand in support of the transgender and entire LGBT+ communities, and it’s why we will continue advocating for Congress to pass the Equality Act and ensure transgender individuals are treated equally under the law.”

Our thought bubble: In the past, when states have passed laws limiting gay or transgender rights, some companies have declined to do business there. It's less clear what U.S. companies can do to fight such moves when they come at the federal level.

Go deeper: A timeline of Trump's plan to eliminate transgender rights (Broadly)

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

What the 2020 election means for science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 presidential election presents two stark paths for the direction of future-focused scientific research.

Why it matters: Science is a long game, with today's breakthroughs often stemming from research carried out decades ago, often with government help. That means the person who occupies the White House over the next four years will help shape the state of technology for decades into the future.

Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, makes landfall on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta, classified as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.