Apple CEO Tim Cook to be namesake of Alabama anti-discrimination bill

in General Discussion edited December 2014
Following initial hesitation on the part of Apple, an Alabama state representative will name a proposed anti-discrimination bill after CEO Tim Cook after receiving full support from the company this week.

The only openly gay legislator in Alabama, state Representative Patricia Todd, is planning to name a years-old bill after Cook introduced to ban discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) teachers and state employees, reports Reuters. Todd has brought the issue to the floor multiple times and will do so again next March.

Todd said the idea was hatched after Cook, an Alabama native, was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. During his acceptance speech, Cook called for action on rights for the LGBT community, likening his home state's slow progress to the country's long struggle with racial and gender equality.

Just three days later, in an essay published by Bloomberg, Cook publicly announced that he is "proud to be gay."

At first, it seemed Apple was not completely on board with Todd's plan, as a company representative reached out to express concern over attaching Cook's name to the controversial bill. Todd agreed to drop Cook's name, but was ultimately given the green light this week.

"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. We have a long history of support for LGBT rights and we hope every state will embrace workplace equality for all," Apple said in a prepared statement.

Local publication separately reported that Apple legal chief Bruce Sewell made the call himself.

"He apologized profusely and said there was an employee that was trying to protect Apple from controversy," Todd said. "He said 'I'm here to assure you we support this 100 percent."
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