Tim Cook issues open letter saying Apple won’t adhere to discriminatory laws

30 Mar 2015

In response to a series of laws being passed across the US allowing people of religion to discriminate based off their own beliefs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an open letter describing this as ‘dangerous’.

Most recently, the state of Indiana has found itself under the spotlight due to the enactment of this law last week by the state’s governor, Mike Pence, which would allow, for example, a merchant who is a person of a particular faith refuse to serve a gay person because they disagree with their sexual orientation.

Now however, in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, Cook has spoken out, as a gay man himself, against the law which he says does nothing but ‘rationalise injustice’.

Speaking of nearly 100 similar laws due to be pushed through legislation in the near future, Cook cited examples throughout the US’s history where, in particular, racist laws and ideologies suppressed freedom of expression and why it is an affront to many for following this path once again.

Must not return to US’s segregated history

“Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality,” said Cook. “We owe it to them, to each other and to our future to continue to fight with our words and our actions to make sure we protect those ideals. “

He continued, “The days of segregation and discrimination marked by ‘whites only’ signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past. We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone.”

Speaking of Apple’s place within states that enact such laws, Cook said that the company simply won’t stand by any government that issues such laws that allows for discrimination based on religious grounds and will, in fact, not adhere to them.

“Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open,” he said. “Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.”

Tim Cook image via Mike Deerkoski/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic