apple's tim cook speaks out for lgbt rights
The Chief Executive of the most valuable company in the world criticises anti-lgbt laws in a piece for The Washington Post.
Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has written an op-ed for The Washington Post condemning a "dangerous" wave of legislation in the US that could allow citizens to avoid anti-discrimination laws by citing their personal religious beliefs.
Cook, who came out as gay last October, references the highly controversial bill passed in Indiana last Thursday (March 26) which allows the state's businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds. He also refers to a similar bill passed in Arkansas the following day. These bills, Cook writes, are two of "nearly 100" being put forward across the US which are designed to "enshrine discrimination in state law".
"These bills rationalise injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear," 54-year-old Cook argues. "They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."
Referring to his own personal faith and upbringing in the Baptist church in a Southern conservative state, Alabama, Cook insists: "I was never taught, nor do I believe, that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate."
After condemning this wave of legislation on moral grounds, Cook proceeds to argue that "discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business". He vows on Apple's behalf to "stand up" to this wave of legislation "wherever it emerges" and says he hopes to encourage many others to join him. Apple, he promises, is open to "everyone regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love". In January of this year, Apple posted the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company: $18 billion (£11.8 billion)
"This isn't a political issue. It isn't a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings." Cook concludes. "Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it's time for all of us to be courageous."
Text Nick Levine
Photography Mike Deerkoski