Apple CEO Tim Cook calls on Alabama to move on LGBT equality

By |
October 28, 2014

At a speech before Alabama state officials on October 27, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the need for Alabama to better lead on LGBT equality and called for an LGBT anti-discrimination law:

"As a state, we took too long to take steps toward equality. We were too slow on equality on African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LBGT community."  To bring "meaningful change to Alabama," Cook said Alabamians needed to have difficult conversations, "conversations that lead to actions."

Tim Cook has been long known for his advocacy for human rights, dignity, and justice for the LGBT advocacy. Growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama, he recalled memories of discrimination against people who were different. On the other hand, he sees the South as a place where compassion and inspiration can be found, and he serves as a great example.  

Tim Cook often connects the values that guide him personally with the ethical principles guiding Apple. Apple's antidiscrimination policy goes beyond the legal protections U.S. workers currently enjoy under federal law. It prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and it stresses the importance of people being the true themselves at a workplace:

"If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves. When that happens, we undermine people's potential and deny ourselves and our society the full benefits of those individuals' talents."


Apart from Apple's friendly environment for LGBT employees, the company made contributions to an effort to stop an amendment banning same-sex marriage in California, and along with other major corporations successfully stand against the Senate Bill 1062, which would have given Arizona business owners license to discriminate against LGBT people.

Tim Cook believes that other corporations will follow Apple's example and ultimately the join efforts will result in the full equality for the LGBT people.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the appeals to the law barring federal recognition of marriage equality this October and made same-sex marriage legal in additional states, Alabama remains one of the 18 states without marriage equality. The State also does not address discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity or sexual orientation, with the only exception of the city of Montgomery. As of today, there are no state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in 29 states, and in 32 states that do so based on gender identity.  As a result, LGBT people face serious discrimination in employment.