It's great to see Apple continuing to support civil rights, through Tim Cook's leadership. I remember that Steve Jobs was quite progressively-minded in terms of having a social conscience, and it's good to see that Tim Cook continues that philosophy.
Some in this thread have suggested that Tim Cook somehow lacks "class" by being involved in this parade - I'm not sure exactly how being a champion for civil rights equates to a lack of "class". Perhaps those who were associated with the civil rights movement in the early 1960's were also considered to "lack class" due to an outward support for such rights.
More broadly, this is interesting because I think it runs very counter to the anti-Apple narrative, which suggest that Apple is becoming a monolithic, "evil corporation" in a similar vein to Microsoft at the height of its power. You often hear people complaining about Apple as if it's some kind of evil overlord.
But really, if you look at the huge investments Apple has made in things like renewable energy and recyclable materials (not to mention their support for civil rights and their increasing focus on improving working conditions within their supply chain); it becomes very difficult to genuinely label Apple as an organisation without a social conscience.
In the modern age, I tend to think that social conscience means a lot to people - both trade partners and consumers alike. That is, people want great products, sure, but they also want to know that they are buying products from "the good guy" - or at least, from a company that behaves as a "good corporate citizen".
I think Apple clearly ticks these boxes, and then some. Other large corporations could learn a great deal from Tim Cook when it comes to this issue.
I am not saying apple employees cant support whatever causes they want to... Just don't do it on the shareholder's dime. Maybe pick causes that benefit everyone in the human race, not just a few people whose brains are wired a certain way.
The thing is, improved civil rights indirectly benefit everyone - we all have an interest in a fairer society, whether we actively know it or not. Good corporate citizens should be on the side of greater freedoms and rights, especially when those same corporations routinely argue for greater freedoms in other areas (such as net neutrality and so on).