Apple Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook has slammed the new religious freedom laws that he blames would promote discrimination and erode equality. Cook wrote his views in an editorial published in Washington Post where he called the new laws “very dangerous.”
One of the most powerful people of the Tech World Cook said that the law which has already been passed in more than 20 states “would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors.”
"There's something very dangerous happening in states across the country," Cook wrote in the editorial.
His comments come in the wake of the law passed in Indiana which, according to the critics, would allow businesses to deny service to homosexuals on religious grounds. The law passed in Arkansas says that the individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law. Although, the law does not mention gays or lesbians, it is believed that these laws would be misused to refuse people from LGBT their rights on religious grounds.
Cook cites the law being considered in Texas that would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The laws in Kentucky and Tennessee also ban same-sex marriage. Cook, who has publicly acknowledged his homosexuality and has spoken on the issues of homosexuality and LGBT rights a number of times, says that the law would enable people to discriminate against LGBT community.
In his editorial, Cook writes, “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."
Cook says, “America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.”
Calling the people to join the movement against the law, Cook says, “on behalf of Apple, I'm standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I'm writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement.”
Cook, who was baptized as a child, said he has "great reverence for religious freedom," but said faith should not be used as a tool to discriminate.
Announcing that Apple would not allow any discrimination, Cook says, “Apple is open. 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."
“This isn't a political issue. It isn't a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it's time for all of us to be courageous,” Cook concluded.
Under Cook, who became chief executive of the firm in 2011, Apple has become a far more active campaigner on social issues. Shortly after becoming leader, Cook instituted the company's first charitable gift-matching programme (Famously, Steve Jobs, the company's co-founder and chief executive from 1996 until his death in 2011, had given the company's charitable efforts a low priority), while the company launched an advert supporting Pride last July.