“It has been extraordinary watching how Apple CEO Tim Cook has emerged as a leader on the issue of gay rights,” Michelle Quinn writes for SiliconBeat. “From coming out in Bloomberg as a gay man in October, Cook continues to define what his — and his company’s — brand stands for when it comes to gay rights. I am struggling to think of another CEO of a major, consumer-facing company doing anything close.”

“In the latest instance, Cook’s op-ed in the Washington Post aligns both his point of view with Apple’s business as being against anti-gay measures disguised as religious freedom proposals,” Quinn writes. “Steve Jobs, the prior CEO, always appeared reluctant to talk about social issues publicly. Rather, he chose to keep the focus on Apple’s products and services.”

“Cook is putting the Apple brand in the middle of the debate. And that must come with some risks, such as reduced sales by supporters of such measures,” Quinn writes. “After all, state political leaders, who are pursuing these bills, are often quite responsive to their electorate, who may support their efforts.”

Read more in the full article here.

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