Alabama's LGBT anti-discrimination bill to be named after Apple's Tim Cook
It's only a few weeks since Tim Cook announced that he is gay and the impact is already starting to be felt. The Apple CEO wrote in Bloomberg Business that "I'm proud to be gay", and his coming out has proved to be inspirational, even in the short time between then and now. Now an anti-discrimination bill in Alabama is to be named after him.
Alabama is in the process of passing a bill that will make it illegal for state employers to discriminate against workers on the basis of their sexuality. Democratic state Representative Patricia Todd is the Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker and she proposed the billing, mentioning Tim Cook's name "in jest".
But it seems that others thought that the Tim Cook association was a good idea, although Todd did hear from Apple who expressed reservations to start with. However, the technology firm then backpedalled and said Cook would be happy to lend his name to the bill. Apple's initial concern stemmed from the "politically sensitive" nature of the bill, but a follow-up call from the company's general counsel, Bruce Sewell, means that the Tim Cook bill is a goer.
Apple issued a statement to Reuters:
Tim was honored to hear that State Rep. Todd wanted to name an anti-discrimination 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.
There is likely to be Republican opposition to the bill, but Todd hopes that Tim Cook will be able to find the time to come and speak about it, and hopefully sway opinion.