Last month, Apple CEO Tim Coook came out publicly as gay, saying that he decided to speak up hoping that he can bring “comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality”. Today, Cook is lending his name to legislation to bar discrimination against state employees on the basis of their sexual orientation in his native Alabama, Reuters reports.
Alabama’s sole openly gay lawmaker Patricia Todd revealed that Apple was initially hesitant about having Cook’s name on her bill, but eventually embraced the idea. Soon after Cook disclosed that he was gay, Todd says she had decided to put his name on a bill to bar discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender school teachers and other state employees. She also said that she hoped Cook could come to the legislature and speak on the bill’s behalf, particularly its value in attracting business and talent to the state.
“Todd said she was initially speaking in jest about using Cook’s name, but her comments were published and came to the attention of Apple. Todd said she received a call early last month from a company official who expressed concern over Cook’s name being attached to such a politically sensitive measure.
Todd said she told the official she would not name the bill after Cook. But after that conversation was reported by BuzzFeed earlier this week, Todd received a call from the company’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, who told her Cook would be delighted to have the bill named after him, she said.”
In an official statement to the publication, Apple has said that Cook was honoured to hear that Todd wanted to name an anti-discrimination bill after him, and that they were sorry if there was any miscommunication about it.