Apple, Airbnb, Box sign up to back transgender student's court case

Apple, Airbnb and file-sharing company Box plan to sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the case of a 17-year-old transgender student in Virginia, the companies said. Several other tech firms are also expected to sign in the coming days.

"Box deeply supports upholding and protecting the rights of all people regardless of their gender identity. We strongly oppose the administration's decision to limit protections of transgender students, and we will continue to advocate for policies that provide equal treatment for everyone," said company co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie.

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A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 (HB2) that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use.

Gavin Grimm's legal battle to use the bathroom of his choice at school is slated to be heard before the Supreme Court next month.

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The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organization, is crafting the amicus brief. Multiple groups, both pro and con, are also weighing in.

The tech connection was first reported by tech news site Axios.

While the case itself involves a high school student's ability to use the bathrooms corresponding to his chosen gender, the issues it raises are broader and of interest to the tech community.

With deep roots in the liberal San Francisco Bay area, a bastion of the struggle for LGBT rights for decades, tech companies are largely supportive of gay and transgender employees.

Even as tech companies plan their support, the question of whether or not the high court will actually end up hearing the case has been raised.

On Wednesday, administration officials withdrew guidance issued under President Obama that instructed the nation's school districts to let transgender students use bathrooms of their choice. What that means for appeals in Grimm's case is not yet clear.

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