Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook penned an op-ed for the Washington Post where he asked corporations to oppose bills like the so-called religious freedom laws signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The measures essentially allow residents to discriminate against others based of their religious beliefs.
“There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country,” Cook began. “A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. 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.”
“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,” Cook said.
Cook wrote such bills would hinder jobs, growth and the economy. As a Baptist, the Apple CEO was taught not to judge and that religion should not be “used as an excuse to discriminate.”
The Silicon Valley tech giant will not stand for discrimination. “This isn’t a political issue. It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings,” he said. “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.”
The Human Rights Campaign commended Cook’s essay in a press release Sunday evening. The Indiana law has prompted a national outrage and even gotten the attention of pop star Miley Cyrus. She was not as eloquent as Cook, instead asking her millions of followers to call Pence an a--hole.
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