Apple in Full Support of Naming Alabama Anti-Discrimination Bill After Tim Cook

timcook.pngAlabama Representative Patricia Todd is introducing a new anti-discrimination bill that will share a name with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Called the Tim Cook Economic Development Act, the forthcoming bill aims to put an end to work-place discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Todd was inspired to name the bill in honor of Tim Cook after he condemned discrimination against LGBT employees in Alabama in October after being inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. "As a state, we took too long to step toward equality," Cook said during his acceptance speech. "We were too slow on equality for African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage, and we are still too slow on equality for the LGBT community."

Just days after giving that speech in Alabama, Tim Cook came out as gay himself in an inspiring letter published by Bloomberg Businessweek. In the announcement, Cook said that publicly sharing his sexuality was done in an effort to "bring comfort to anyone who feels alone" and to "inspire people who insist on their equality."

Earlier this week, a report from BuzzFeed suggested Apple was initially hesitant to have Tim Cook's name associated with the bill. Todd originally announced her plan to add Tim Cook's moniker to the act just days after he came out as gay, but after a phone call from an Apple employee who "expressed concern" over the usage of Cook's name, she agreed not to use the Apple CEO's name after all.

"I did get a call from Apple asking me not to name it the Tim Cook bill," she told BuzzFeed News. "They don't want their corporation tied up in the political battle. I understand where they are coming from. I quickly said I would not name it after him."

After BuzzFeed published details on Todd's conversation with Apple, the company reversed course and released a statement saying Cook was "honored" to hear about the bill being named after him.

Tim was honored to hear that State Rep. Todd wanted to name an antidiscrimination bill after him, and we're sorry if there was any miscommunication about it," Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet wrote in an email. "We have a long history of support for LGBT rights and we hope every state will embrace workplace equality for all.

Todd also reportedly received a call from Apple's legal head Bruce Sewell, who "apologized profusely" and said there had been an Apple representative trying to protect the company from controversy. He went on to tell Todd "I'm here to assure you we support this 100 percent," and he said Cook was glad to see his speech in Alabama had inspired action.

Even before coming out as gay, Tim Cook has had a long history of supporting equality. In 2013, he lectured on equality at his alma mater Auburn University, and during that same year, both he and Apple publicly supported the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and released a statement in support of Supreme Court gay marriage rulings. Earlier this year, Cook and Apple marched in support of the LGBT community during the 44th annual Pride parade in San Francisco, and the company has a dedicated section about diversity on its website highlighting its deep commitment to equality and human rights.

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Top Rated Comments

Arcady Avatar
122 months ago
I can only imagine what kind of bills/laws they would have named after Steve Jobs.

New gun legislation could be called the Steve Jobs "You're Holding It Wrong" bill...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cartaphilus Avatar
122 months ago
It's not OK to attack, abuse, or deny rights to people who are homosexual. Never has been. Never will be.

Yet it seems completely acceptable to attack people who have concerns about homosexual behavior; just having those concerns makes you free game for labels like "bigot" or "homophobe." Not sure when free speech became the right of everyone but social conservatives, but it looks like it's happened.

(If you don't believe it, watch the reaction to this post or similar ones.)

Social conservatives are absolutely entitled to free speech--only most of them, like O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Palin, charge a fortune for it. What social conservatives don't have, though, is respect. Most reasonable people regard such mutterings about having "concerns about homosexual behavior" as ample evidence of ignorance, prejudice, and a desire to impose their own moral code on other people. And, of course, if you are an employer accused of denying legally-mandated equal rights to homosexual applicants or employees, comments about your "concerns" may well be presented as evidence that you have unlawfully discriminated against homosexuals in your hiring or employment practices that a jury will have to consider.

But, mostly, you see, it's just that social conservatives are and always have been on the wrong side of history You would have loved the 1950's, but time has passed social conservatives by, and as time goes on, as the demographics of the country change, as people get used to accepting homosexuals in their communities and seeing that their presence doesn't destroy anyone else's marriage and that their children haven't been molested, you'll see social conservatives being more and more ostracized. You must remember that at one time George Wallace, a sterling social conservative, expressed views that were embraced by a goodly number of Americans. Today, a half-century later, those openly denigrating black people because they are, you know, black, are virtually universally condemned, just as anti-homosexuals will be very soon, if not already.

On the other hand, look on the bright side--I hear social conservatives are doing a helluva job battling that vicious War Against Christmas.

So the government isn't going to jail social conservatives for being idiotically wrong on abortion, contraception, long hair, hip-hop music, evolution, prayer in schools, the gold standard, or intolerance of government deficit spending to recover from a demand shock at the lower bound. You needn't worry about being fined or thrown in jail. You just might want to buy a good pair of ear plugs because there is nothing in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Mayflower Compact that is going to save anyone from the criticism of his fellow citizens.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TsunamiTheClown Avatar
122 months ago
Am I missing something here? Tim Cook tells other corporations 'Don't discriminate against gays and lesbians and fill-in-the-blank' and he gets legislation named after him.?.?.

Has he been the subject of this kind of employment discrimination himself? Or is he just the hypothetical 'potential discrimination' case because he has said that he is gay?

If he has a history of overcoming this kind of discrimination then fine, honor the guy, otherwise i think this is a touch silly as any other bglt employer or employee could also be the recipient of such a vacuous honor.

For the record Tsunami is going on the record saying 'Don't discriminate against clowns.'
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoEw Avatar
122 months ago
Buzzfeed is a news source now?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
j26 Avatar
122 months ago
I just do not understand why a piece of legislation is named after a person at all.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chown33 Avatar
122 months ago
I can only imagine what kind of bills/laws they would have named after Steve Jobs.
American Jobs Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jobs_Act)
JOBS Act of 2012 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumpstart_Our_Business_Startups_Act)

I support this, but I don't care what the Bill is called.
As long as it's not called Bill Gates amirite.

Add smilies or sarc tags to taste.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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