Republicans nationwide are preparing to outlaw abortion while also targeting transgender youth and their families with laws criminalizing gender-affirming care. But one video game development company is offering to help employees move away from such restrictive states.
The CEO of Certain Affinity — an Austin, Texas-based video game studio that has helped develop several best-selling military combat games like Call of Duty, Halo and the 2016 version of the demon-slaying classic Doom — recently told his employees that his company would help relocate anyone residing in a state that outlaws abortion or trans-related medical care.
“If the state or province you live in restricts access to what a majority of medical experts consider essential care, and this makes remaining there untenable for you and your family, we will cover the pre-approved, documented, reasonable out-of-pocket costs of your relocation to another, safer state or province that we operate in,” Certain Affinity CEO Max Hoberman said in a recent letter to all employees.
Certain Affinity has an approximate number of over 250 employees working in offices in Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario as well as remote workers in other U.S. states and provinces.
Various states’ trans youth healthcare bans and the recent leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn reproductive healthcare rights — including access to birth control medication — have put people’s medical decision-making and privacy protections “under attack,” he added.
Hoberman wrote that he found it “appalling” that states are interfering in “personal healthy and privacy matters.”
“Gross intrusions on the rights and dignity of transgender youth [are] putting politics over the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of a vulnerable population, and threatening their families, friends, doctors, and other supporters,” he wrote.
Furthermore, these laws are making it difficult for the Texas-based studio to attract and hire top talent.
As a business leader it's exceptionally difficult to navigate highly politicized issues like transgender and abortion rights. But I'm not content to sit back and say or do nothing. Here's a message that I was thrilled to share with all @CertainAffinity full-time staff today. pic.twitter.com/zTJvaTm9Il
— Max Hoberman (@MaxHoberman) May 18, 2022
Texas is investigating families for “child abuse” if they help their trans kids access medical care. The state also has a “bounty hunting” law encouraging people to report anyone who assists someone in getting an abortion.
In related news, 14 Republican state representatives want to forbid companies from doing business in the state if their healthcare plans cover abortion. The effort is being led by state Rep. Brisco Cain (R) who supports so-called ex-gay conversion therapy and thinks anti-trans violence is just “dudes in skirts getting beat up.”
The law would basically try and force Apple, Amazon, DoorDash, Levi, Lyft, Microsoft, Starbucks and Tesla out of the state. Yeah, good luck with that.