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Apple CEO Tim Cook Writes Op-Ed in Support of U.S. Employment Nondiscrimination Act

tim_cook_time_photoApple CEO Tim Cook has publicly spoken out in support of the pending Employment Nondiscrimination Act in the form of an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, stating the company's feelings toward the current issue of workplace equality in the United States. The legislation would prohibit many civilian, nonreligious employers in the United States from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for the purposes of hiring or other employment practices.

Cook explains in his article that Apple has made it a point to create "a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation", while also elaborating on employee rights to express identity in a working environment.
Apple's antidiscrimination policy goes beyond the legal protections U.S. workers currently enjoy under federal law, most notably because we prohibit discrimination against Apple's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. A bill now before the U.S. Senate would update those employment laws, at long last, to protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We urge senators to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and we challenge the House of Representatives to bring it to the floor for a vote.
A U.S. Senate vote on the act is currently scheduled for November 4, 2013.

Note: Due to the potentially controversial nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago

I've employed hundreds of people since 2001, and know countless business owners that do as well. I've never personally witnessed this "inequality" that people "witness" these days. I know this existed at one time, but I haven't seen it in the years I've been in business. On one hand you have people say that business owners/managers are "evil" and are only looking after their bottom line. On the other hand you have people saying these "evil" business owners/managers are discriminating against people. Well, which is it? If they're really only looking for their bottom line, wouldn't they employ the very best person for the job? It just doesn't make sense.

You have some that want to see an approximate split of 50/50 men/women, and if it's not approaching that there's discrimination. Many of these people don't take into account that certain jobs attract men and certain jobs attract more women. How many women aspire to shovel coal into a coal fired train? Or work in coal mines? How many men aspire to work in the textile industry? More men go into computer science than women, and therefore less women are applying for computer science related jobs. It doesn't mean employers are discriminating.


What a completely un-nuanced view of how things work. Could it be that some businesses don't discriminate, and some do? This may come as a shock, but your experiences don't necessarily translate to the rest of the world...
Rating: 39 Votes
12 months ago
I love it when people in positions of power speak out. Because usually it can help change things. Even if only a little.
Rating: 35 Votes
12 months ago

I've employed hundreds of people since 2001, and know countless business owners that do as well. I've never personally witnessed this "inequality" that people "witness" these days. I know this existed at one time, but I haven't seen it in the years I've been in business. On one hand you have people say that business owners/managers are "evil" and are only looking after their bottom line. On the other hand you have people saying these "evil" business owners/managers are discriminating against people. Well, which is it? If they're really only looking for their bottom line, wouldn't they employ the very best person for the job? It just doesn't make sense.

You have some that want to see an approximate split of 50/50 men/women, and if it's not approaching that there's discrimination. Many of these people don't take into account that certain jobs attract men and certain jobs attract more women. How many women aspire to shovel coal into a coal fired train? Or work in coal mines? How many men aspire to work in the textile industry? More men go into computer science than women, and therefore less women are applying for computer science related jobs. It doesn't mean employers are discriminating.


Ah yes, gotta love the "if I haven't seen it, then that must mean it doesn't exist" type of logic. Bravo!

That's wonderful if you are an employer and have never (consciously) committed in this sort of behavior. But this country and workforce is much larger than just your own personal area.
Rating: 35 Votes
12 months ago
I've employed hundreds of people since 2001, and know countless business owners that do as well. I've never personally witnessed this "inequality" that people "witness" these days. I know this existed at one time, but I haven't seen it in the years I've been in business. On one hand you have people say that business owners/managers are "evil" and are only looking after their bottom line. On the other hand you have people saying these "evil" business owners/managers are discriminating against people. Well, which is it? If they're really only looking for their bottom line, wouldn't they employ the very best person for the job? It just doesn't make sense.

You have some that want to see an approximate split of 50/50 men/women, and if it's not approaching that there's discrimination. Many of these people don't take into account that certain jobs attract men and certain jobs attract more women. How many women aspire to shovel coal into a coal fired train? Or work in coal mines? How many men aspire to work in the textile industry? More men go into computer science than women, and therefore less women are applying for computer science related jobs. It doesn't mean employers are discriminating.
Rating: 31 Votes
12 months ago

That picture of Tim Cook is so ominous looking. Stop using it! :eek:


I think it's a great picture. It makes him look fresh. :)

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I've employed hundreds of people since 2001, and know countless business owners that do as well. I've never personally witnessed this "inequality" that people "witness" these days. I know this existed at one time, but I haven't seen it in the years I've been in business. On one hand you have people say that business owners/managers are "evil" and are only looking after their bottom line. On the other hand you have people saying these "evil" business owners/managers are discriminating against people. Well, which is it? If they're really only looking for their bottom line, wouldn't they employ the very best person for the job? It just doesn't make sense.

You have some that want to see an approximate split of 50/50 men/women, and if it's not approaching that there's discrimination. Many of these people don't take into account that certain jobs attract men and certain jobs attract more women. How many women aspire to shovel coal into a coal fired train? Or work in coal mines? How many men aspire to work in the textile industry? More men go into computer science than women, and therefore less women are applying for computer science related jobs. It doesn't mean employers are discriminating.


wow! so just because you've never witnessed discrimination it doesn't exist? oh my. :rolleyes:
Rating: 22 Votes
12 months ago
Hey, wow, I just noticed that after 7 years I finally have enough posts to contribute to the politics threads.

So rather than making my first such post in the midst of yet another political controversy, it's great to be able to start here, and just say that this is a great development, and I'm glad Cook is speaking out about this. Good work!
Rating: 18 Votes
12 months ago

So what happened to separation between church and state? Oh, that's right- That only goes one-way these days.

So what IF a religious school doesn't want to hire gay teachers? Nobody's forcing anybody to go to that school. Members are free to leave the school and church if they want to a join another more "tolerant" church/school- Ah, the wonders of freedom of choice!

But I'm so glad that government is "protecting" us, though- I mean, the more laws the better, right? Maybe we can have a "straight anti-discrimination" law for businesses that mainly employ gay people? Yeah, that would really solve things! I mean a law with such noble intent could never have largely negative effects.

Folks, I know your hearts' are in the right place- but please stop being distracted by laws that won't have any real or positive effects. Discrimination will continue wherever it is, and no law will stop it. Frankly, businesses are free to hire who they choose and there's no way to prove why. This is a social issue and it has to be dealt with socially. Clamoring for more and more laws is the wrong way to go- it just makes the government bigger and hungrier.

I'm "Hispanic" and I don't car for Hispanic anti-discrimination laws. If a business doesn't hire me or serve me because of my ethnicity I just won't go there and my friends and I will boycott the damned place. I was once not hired for a job because I wasn't a "jock" and the employer didn't think I would "fit in to his team". I thought that was rather unfair. I was perfectly capable of doing the job and get along fine with many kinds of people. But I think passing a "non-jock anti-discrimination" law would be ridiculous and anti-productive.

The situation with blacks in this country was VERY different. Blacks were simply being denied entry to whole parts of society just because of their race. I have NEVER heard, read or seen of ANY situation on any kind of similar scale regarding gays. Does discrimination happen? All the time! With gays, with blacks, with women, with non-jocks, with blonds, etc. But you will ever get rid of that with laws.

The only time legal intervention may be necessary is with the type of whole-sale discrimination blacks experienced on so many levels, for so many years that it simply did not allow them to move up in society. And even then, they went the wrong way with affirmative action, which has actually weakened the black community instead of strengthening it (which perhaps was the plan all along, anyway)!

Meanwhile, as we are being distracted by the entertaining hand of the media, all our phone conversations and Internet activity is being scooped up and put into databases larger than anything the KGB dreamed of. ALL of us- Straight, gay, black, hispanic, are having our BASIC civil rights violated 24/7 with a President who said he would scale back or stop Bush's illegal surveillance programs. And yet we are cheering more useless laws that sound pretty but just add to the cost of legislation and the already bloated size of government.

Sorry, I won't be joining in this nonsense.


I almost chocked when I read this crap.

You say things were bad for black people .... Damn right they were and still are, most prisoners in the US the largest prison to population ratio in the world are young african american men.

Hispanics are heavily stereotypes and prejudiced, this is a well known problem that is cruel and needs to be worked and same as my previous post because you dont see the issue doesnt mean it's not there.

The biggest issue though is you say Youve never read or heard of the same scale of treatment towards gay people that affected black people. This leads me to think one of three things, either your homophobic, ignorant or been living under a rock for nearly 50 years.

The 70's America it was an horrific place to be gay, if you were beaten half to death on the streets it was probably by a cop, your homes, businesses, bars, restaurants were raided, attacked burned.

You would be sat in a bar only to have police with their badges covered come and savagely beat you and mock you and degrade you in the street just because you were gay. Families outcasted their once loved ones, church and state both gunning for oppression and segregation of gay people. Your not allowed on public transport or to be teachers or in shops...

thats why the Castro was such a well known place in the 70's where Gay people could retreat to and have one area where they could try and feel safe. However they werent many were beaten and killed here as it just made them easier to locate and terrorise, and when people tried to make it better it ended in tragedy with the death of politician Harvey Milk but this spurred on his friends and fellow activists to fight for equal rights.

Another issue with forcing the gay minority underground into an unspeakable sub-human state of living is they couldnt get the medical treatment they needed as you didnt dare go to a hospital, this lead to the spread of AIDS as without the proper education people just didnt know what it was.

This treatment of the LGBT community has persisted to this day and in parts of the world is worse than ever, generations young and old indoctrinated by american financed preachers and missionaries.

Every day I can read of people being savagely attacked and brutally murdered or locked away for life for just being gay, it is sick. Even if your not attacked or killed you face being outcasted by those that are meant to love you, the physical and emotional torment being LGBT is so great we are seeing massive levels of reported suicides predominantly by young people especially reported in the USA.

So just because you havent read or heard about it let me assure you it is very real and equality law to promote the fact we are all equal and must be treated with respect will always be a good thing and any one who thinks otherwise well I am sure you have your reasons.
Rating: 17 Votes
12 months ago
This act is a great step towards equality.
Rating: 16 Votes
12 months ago
Cook > Obama
Rating: 16 Votes
12 months ago
Good for Tim! I'm glad he embraces the idea of equality for all. Especially for the employees at Apple.

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Cook > Obama


Your comparing apples to oranges. Obama is the president, Cook is a CEO.
Rating: 15 Votes

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