Apple CEO, Tim Cook, condemned anti-gay legislation across the United States in a new op-ed piece he penned for ‘The Washington Post’.
Writing about a wave of both enacted and proposed ‘religious freedom’ laws in several states, which would allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT people, the openly gay CEO said:
“A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbours. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.”
Cook, who came out as gay in October 2014, clarified that people should be entitled to their religious freedom as long as it is not used to discriminate.
“I have great reverence for religious freedom. As a child, I was baptised in a Baptist church, and faith has always been an important part of my life. I was never taught, nor do I believe, that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate.”
Cook went on the say that a lack of inclusive and embracing diversity is not good for economic growth.
“America’s business community recognised a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers’ lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair.
“That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement. From North Carolina to Nevada, these bills under consideration truly will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country where a 21st-century economy was once welcomed with open arms.”
Cook was appointed CEO of Apple following the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. After Cook came out publicly, he was quoted as saying, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
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