WASHINGTON – Today, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, decried Indiana’s new anti-LGBT law allowing individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities while calling on Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto a similar bill being sent to his desk.
“Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228.”
“Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same — regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love.”
Earlier today, HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement after the Senate passed the anti-LGBT bill: “This bill is a poison pill for jobs and investment in the state of Arkansas, and Governor Hutchinson has a duty to veto it. If he does not, his reputation will be forever stained and the people of the state of Arkansas will suffer for his willingness to cater to a small political faction whose sole intent is to discriminate against their fellow Arkansans.”
The bill has been opposed by Wal-Mart, Apple, and the Arkansas Municipal League for weeks. Yesterday, following the enactment of a similar bill in Indiana, a wave of high-tech companies like Yelp and Salesforce—precisely the kinds of investment Governor Hutchinson has said he hopes to attract to the state—have condemned this kind of legislation.
Additionally, civil rights legend Julian Bond issued a statement late yesterday explicitly condemning the Arkansas legislation:
"H.B. 1228 in Arkansas opens the door to a hateful past that some had thought this country had left behind. This legislation cloaks discrimination in the guise of religion--and it will mark people of color, LGBT Arkansans, religious minorities and women as second class citizens. Governor Hutchinson has a duty and a moral obligation to veto this legislation or the ghosts of the past will haunt his legacy."
At a press conference in Little Rock yesterday, HRC announced that the organization will run a full-page ad in the San Jose Mercury News spotlighting pending legislation in Arkansas targeting LGBT people and religious minorities. The ad will run Sunday, noting if Governor Hutchinson allows the bill to become law, he will be ignoring the opposition of employers like Apple, Wal-Mart and other companies who opposed the legislation. A digital version of the ad will also begin running today on various tech websites and will soon start running on the digital properties of the Wall Street Journal.
In addition, Griffin delivered a formal invitation to Governor Hutchinson to travel with him to New York City next Tuesday to attend a gathering of more than 250 C-suite executives of Fortune 500 companies and other major businesses—corporations whose investment potential collectively totals in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Each of these companies has scored a 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI)—demonstrating their core commitment to treating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees fairly and equally under the law.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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