Russian memorial to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dismantled after CEO Tim Cook announces he’s gay

“A memorial to Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs has been dismantled in the Russian city of St Petersburg after the man who succeeded him at the helm of the company, Tim Cook, came out as gay,” Katya Golubkova reports for Reuters. “The two-metre (more than six-feet) high monument, in the shape of an iPhone, was erected outside a St Petersburg college in January 2013 by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS. Citing the need to abide by a law combating ‘gay propaganda,’ ZEFS said in a statement on Monday that the memorial had been removed on Friday — the day after Apple CEO Cook had announced he was homosexual. ‘In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,’ ZEFS said… ‘After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.'”

“Promoting ‘traditional values,’ President Vladimir Putin last year signed a law prohibiting the spread of ‘gay propaganda’ among minors,” Golubkova reports. “Putin says there is no discrimination against gay people in Russia and the law was needed only to protect young people, although members of the gay community say its passage has increased problems for them… Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, was not gay.”

Steve Jobs memorial (now dismantled) was at St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
Steve Jobs memorial (now dismantled) was at St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics


“Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS who ordered the removal of the monument, expressed opposition to personal sanctions in Monday’s statement, but supported the ‘protection of traditional values’ by law,” Golubkova reports. “‘Sin should not become the norm. There is nothing to do in Russia for whose who intend to violate our laws,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Steve Jobs memorial unveiled in St. Petersburg, Russia – January 10, 2013

Apple investors don’t care that Tim Cook is gay – October 31, 2014\
Goldman Sachs CEO: Apple’s Tim Cook coming out as gay ‘will resonate powerfully’ – October 31, 2014
Human Rights Campaign: Tim Cook’s announcement that he is gay will save countless lives – October 30, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me’ – October 30, 2014
Apple joins Gay Pride parade in Austin, Texas – September 21, 2014
Apple releases video highlighting employee participation in San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Parade – July 8, 2014
Tim Cook, Apple employees march in LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco – June 30, 2014
Apple inviting employees to march in annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade – May 7, 2014


            1. Whilst there is a difference in the two languages used by the UK and the USA, if the intention is to excoriate your peers, please use “parse” rather than “pars”, unless that is an accepted American spelling. It does give you a greater degree of credibility if you can spell.

            1. j.eric,
              The great thing about America is that we have the right to believe what ever we want. The sad thing is that many think they have the right to FORCE OTHERS into following what they believe.
              If after lots of study and thought, you think President Obama is a bad President, cool.
              Of course, from the voting, it appears as if a lot of us think your head is in a dark, smelly place.
              Just saying. 🙂

            2. Again, I clearly understood what Kea was saying, and I’m English.
              Perhaps if you educated yourself about events in the wider world, instead of whatever happens in your local suburb, you might as well.
              However, having been to LA and read the LA Times, where news outside LA gets two pages out of dozens, I rather doubt it.

        1. Whatever your worst fantasy is about our Right-of-Eisenhauer president, it doesn’t begin to compare with the 100 million dead that Stalin was responsible for. Not in the same solar system.

            1. How about this for intelligent reasoning? Obama’s AG, Holder, has been accused of ordering violations of our federal firearms laws by ordering BATF agents to turn a blind eye to illegal delivery of firearms from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels. It’s alleged that the motive for doing so was to create the false impression that lax U.S. gun laws were creating problems in Mexico, thus justifying calls for more stringent gun laws in the U.S.

              When confronted with the evidence, Mr. Holder refused to cooperate with the investigation by congress. As a result he has been held to be in contempt of congress. To protect his minion, and presumably himself, Obama has invoked executive privilege when he clearly has no legal grounds to do so, and is currently stonewalling congress. These actions are preventing progress in a congressional investigation that could implicate Obama’s administration in the murders of several Mexican citizens and at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent. This from the supposedly most open and honest administration of all time.

        2. If, as it appears, you wanted someone other than Obama as President of the United States, then you should have worked with your political party to nominate someone who could beat him in an election. Instead, Obama won twice.

          That does not make him great, or even good. But it should be instructive to you that the majority of the people in this country liked Obama and his platform better than yours. If you don’t like that, then examine your positions regarding science, immigration, women, health care, etc. and try to figure out why many people do not agree with your viewpoint.

          1. I voted for Obama twice. After his first term I was willing to give him a chance to improve his performance. But immediately after I voted for him the second time he abandoned any moderation on several important positions, not the least of which was gun control. I judge that to be intentional dishonesty. Also, the Fast and Furious gun running scandal didn’t come to light until he was re-elected.

            1. Read much? Fast and furious was initiated under Bush and Cheney; it was terminated under Obama. Hate who you want, just get the facts straight.

            2. Under Bush the guns had tracking devices and the Mexican government was cooperating to find the drug cartel members with those tracking devices. When the tracking devices were found and destroyed Bush stopped the program. Obama revived it for a completely different purpose, to create crime in Mexico to justify new gun laws here in the US. The murders occurred on Obama’s watch, not Bush’s.

          2. Exactly. Many people feel they are voting for the lesser of two evils.

            You can’t blame people for a bad president if your party keeps putting forward candidates with views that are not palatable even to independents. That twice-made-mistake was a greater factor in getting Obama elected than any individual votes.

      1. ElderNorm… do you even know who Stalin was? Or are you a product of the current American education system? Even suggesting that a man responsible for millions of deaths should be brought back is not at all respectful for the countless families still living who lost people under Stalin. And do you somehow feel Stalin would be supporting Gayness? Pick another option next time.

  1. That’s what America would look like if rightwing tea party loons had full control over the country. Thankfully Hillary Clinton will ensure they don’t get the White House in 2016.

      1. This is the infamous “First 2010, Then 2012″ (otherwise known as Fwhatever: The First Generation” calling out someone else?! As if *you* can boast of a track record that would support your derision of R2!

        Please be bold enough to identify your preferred POTUS candidate(s) for 2016, Fwhatever.

      1. Instead she’ll be behind the Resolute Desk, ready to continue Obama’s work remaking the federal judiciary, enshrining the Affordable Care Act as a permanent fixture of American law and possibly tilting the Supreme Court more leftward over her eight year tenure. God bless America.

        1. Without the Senate, there’s no way a Democratic president can get progressive, or even moderate, judges appointed to the judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

          The Republican agenda of effectively refusing to passing any laws over the pass four years has now convinced the electorate that divided government is not working, so they’ll likely hand the reins back to the Republicans tomorrow. Then, they’ll spend the next two years blaming the president for not signing the new laws they’ll be passing attempting to further cut back government services and benefits. This will make those government agencies even more ineffective, setting the stage to try to elect a president to sign those regressive laws in 2016.

          Assuming this effort is as successful as the refusal to compromise and pass laws over the past four years has been, America will then begin to see, once again what Republican leadership driven by ultra conservative politicians from gerrymandered districts can do. I don’t think it will be pretty.

          Until Americans start taking non-presidential elections seriously, the 30% ultra conservative activists will be controlling the state legislatures, and now the Congress, to change the laws to make it harder for more moderate, or even progressive, citizens to vote.

          The American voter should stop blaming the politicians, and take a look in the mirror. They elected these people by not researching them, believing their word salad, and voting for them.

          I find it very sad, since I believe government can help people, maintain and grow public infrastructure, and protect us from those who would harm us, when led by people of integrity, and not just opportunists. But, that requires an engaged electorate taking every election seriously.

          That’s not what we have today. Until we do, we’ll continue to sow what we reap.

          1. The voters have very little power compared to the power which is highly consolidated in backrooms of the two-party system.

            I would suggest party term limits and seat limits, to break the two-party lock on political power, but that is a pipe dream. We are already deeply locked into a two party system and so the power to make a change like that does not exist.

      1. I don’t know… The economy is doing better, unemployment has gone from 10% to less than 6%, the stock market is at an all-time high, the deficit has been cut by two-thirds, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over (as far as we are concerned), fewer Americans are uninsured.

        Yeah, I see your point. America is falling to pieces. Clearly.

        1. you are dull in mind in mind if you believe any or all of the false statements you made about the economy, the debt etc.

          the fall i referred to was a moral/spiritual one, but i’m not surprised it eluded your discernment. i wish i could feel sympathy for you; sadly, pity is all i have to offer.

        2. Yet the highest record number of people on welfare?
          Unemployment numbers are skewed. They only way they get those numbers are by calculating how many people apply for unemployment benefits. When they run out – it’s not counted for.

    1. I “judge” (i.e. approve/disapprove) the actions, culture and values of Americans all the time.

      I’ll “judge” Russian actions, culture and values just as readily.

    2. I don’t think it is their culture and values, I think it’s Putin imposing his values on the people of Russia. There have been many people very outspoken about this law and intentionally violating it to bring awareness, and they have been forcefully shut down. The Russians relented on enforcement during the Sochi Olympics, but once foreigners left, resumed their oppressive tactics.

      1. I live in Russia and I know that Putin is NOT responsible for this. After all, 84% of the population support his position, they elected him, and they do not protest against his actions. Just like in every other country, the people is the ultimate decision-maker. I know that these people don’t want to think and are LITERALLY afraid of making any decisions on their own. It is the greatest shame that nothing has changed here for the last 1000 years in terms of people’s participation in the fate of the country.

        1. Putin and his cronies are exerting an increasing hold over the country’s media. If people only hear Putin’s side of the story constantly why are you surprised that most people agree with him? That’s like going into a mosque during their fourth prayer of the day and asking people if they believe in Krishna.

            1. Not even close. I work with media organisations that have channels in Russia, and believe me the walls are closing in. They are seriously wondering whether to cut their losses and close up shop.

              Meanwhile, in the USA, Fox is still on air, unfettered and free to broadcast whatever it wants. In your scenario it would have been shut down years ago.

    3. If you were one of the Russians who are gay, or falsely perceived to be gay, you might feel differently. Everyone, everywhere, should have the right to live free from coercive assholes. Gay people there do not have that right. Since Scott Lively, NOM and other organizations started their campaign a few years ago in Russia, the Russian Orthodox church and their cronies in parliament have successfully sought to put into law all kinds of anti-gay crap, and in addition have violently attacked and even killed gay teens in particular. A culture doesn’t have rights, individuals do.

      1. True, but at the same time, I don’t want sex ciricciulum designed by gay advocates. I really don’t see the point in teaching seventh graders about anal sex, oral sex, and fisting. Scott Lively and NOM are against this and should be commended.

        1. What does “teaching seventh graders about anal sex, oral sex, and fisting.” have to do with being critical of Russia’s anti-gay laws and persecution? This is the same illogical reasoning going on in Russia to justify homophobic bigotry.

          You mention, “live and let live”, but really our outrage is based on not being willing to accept “live and let die”

    4. Russia has shitty culture and values. If we like or don’t like them we can voice our opinions. Because it is their supposed “culture and values” doesn’t make it off limits.

      Next I’m sure you would say we should not Judge North Korea and is “culture and values” Let them starve or generations of families being sent to labor camps for doing nothing wrong.

      Or you would say we should not have judged nazi Germany’s “culture and values” and leave them alone and let them live. imprisoning and killing Jews and other undesirables was just part of the culture at the time.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

      1. I love the quote of E. Burke. The only trouble is that we have a tendency to shirk the responsibility of defining evil. More and more things are seen as grey with no black or white.

      2. “Russia has shitty culture and values”

        You can not say it about whole country since ignorance on LGBT matter is now whole culture and not whole values. USA have their own problems, including in this regard, but it does not make it right to say “USA have shitty culture and values”.

    5. Who?…Well, me for one.
      The Russian state and legislature, definitively equating ‘gayness’ with child molester crimes, is akin to a Sex Offenders Charter which officially condones underage sex crimes and sounds more than a little familiar…for those with a historical perspective and…not withstanding – Godwin’s Law.
      Lynch mob mentality that pits the uninformed populace against itself. Divide and rule much?
      Besides, is anyone really fooled by those ridiculous Putin macho selfies?

    1. If crazy demagogues were consistent, Russia would now ban the import of all Apple products to that nation. They probably won’t do this, but following their twisted logic, the current Apple catalog is overseen by Tim Cook. Steve Jobs, who was straight, died over three years ago. So which is it, Russia?

  2. You get all upset when gay’s are treated this way, without any thought of the others whose rights and belief’s get trampled by a group of people whose sole claim to fame is their “sexual preference” something that they have a choice over.. you an argue about it all you want,but they were not born that way. Its not like they were born like black, asian, or any other ethnicity.

    There is no genetic link that’s been proven, they make their choice, and some do it merely because they think that gives them special rights, which I think can be argued, they do not deserve.

    Tim Cook chose to be gay, just like he chose to make a big deal out of it.. he didn’t have to say anything. he could have lived his life, and led Apple all without making a big deal out of his “sexual preference”.

    1. So if I declare your religion to be satanic and declare that you should be punished. That’s fine with you.
      You chose your religion and I declare it to be wrong.
      Glad to hear that you aware fine with that.

    2. There are a lot of things everyone could live their lives life without making public too, like a preference that women be allowed to vote, or that dogs not be abused and subjected to dog fighting rings, or that children should not be sold as sex slaves, or that worshipping a deity whose only existence is in a thousands-year old book and what a preacher tells you is evidence of something.

      None of those things were born into people, yet every day people make arguments along those lines. So we should just ignore Russia’s oppression of a certain group of people just because they have beliefs, religious, sexist, or otherwise, that you don’t agree with? What about the ones you do agree with? Should we fight for those and go to war with Russia over those beliefs?

    3. This statement could have been argued over some 60 years ago, but today, it is just absurdly ridiculous and simply incorrect.

      That homosexuality is NOT a choice is a fact that has even been accepted by the most rabid religious fanatics, simply because it has been scientifically proven. Besides, even if you are one of those who flat-out distrusts any and all science that doesn’t conform with your personal beliefs, very common sense would tell you that no man (or woman) would choose to become gay, when such life will literally guarantee you discrimination throughout the most of your adult life, not to mention a very real threat of physical violence against you.

      Left-handedness is also not directly inherited from a parent (and may apparently be caused by the position of fetus during pregnancy), and it is NOT a choice either.

      Declaring publicly sexual orientation (and not “sexual preference”, as you seem to call it) was something that very many people have hoped Cook would do. These types of declarations always carry risks for the person involved, but bring enormous benefits for the rest of the society. It is not exaggeration to state that his public disclosure saved many lives. Because of heavy discrimination, threat of violence and stigma around homosexuality that still exists in many parts of the world, large percentage of gays end up forced into depression and suicide (bullies everywhere are especially fond of gay bashing). When the highest-profile executive in the world declares that he is one of them, it will certainly help some of them in their battle against the social stigma over what they are and who they love.

            1. As I said, just google it. First twenty results will be links to scientific research.

              The way you respond sounds like you are one of two things: either faking complete ignorance, or actually have been living under a rock for the past 60 years and are positively clueless.

    4. What if you beliefs and another persons beliefs differ?
      Whose is right whose is wrong?
      Does a Christians beliefs outweigh those of a Muslim?
      Does a Catholics beliefs outweigh a Protestants?
      What happens when someones beliefs change?
      Don’t people choose beliefs?

      1. There are beliefs and then there are facts. You can choose your beliefs, but you can’t choose your facts. And I say that as a practicing Christian. It takes effort and intellect to reconcile scripture with scientific fact. The error that most Christians make is in believing they understand what the bible says. John Wycliffe, who first translated the bible into english said that the bible could not be properly understood without considering:

        “Not only what is spoken or written,
        But of whom,
        And to whom,
        With what words,
        At what time,
        And to what intent,
        With what circumstances,
        Considering what goeth before.”

        So when Paul exhorts the Corinthians to avoid homosexual acts, he’s talking to heterosexual married people who are surrounded by a Roman culture where recreational and religious homosexuality is wide spread, with temple prostitutes, including homosexual prostitutes, plying their trade in the streets and intercourse with one of them is considered a pagan religious ritual. And yet we’ve always been taught that Paul hated homosexuals. Permanent homosexual orientation was not even a recognized concept until about 1890. Before that, all homosexual behavior was universally considered to be entirely a voluntary choice.

    5. Being gay is not a choice. No one going through puberty would actively choose to be publicly ostracized just for fun. What joy, being beaten in school and tossed in dumpsters! Our hormonal proclivities are hard wired.

      This choice argument is just empty, an easy way to alienate another group of people who are not like you. Time to get over it, and move on.

  3. I think the most interesting thing about this article is MDN did not opine.

    Selling and using products made by a company who’s leader now promotes sodomy is different than a honoring someone/something via monument. Plus dismantling a monument sends a message without inconveniencing anyone.

    Good for Russia for protecting it’s society and at the same time not discrimination against law abiding gay people.

    1. Exactly WHERE did you read that Mr. Cook promotes sodomy? You do realise that large percentage of gay men do NOT practice sodomy in their bedroom (not that this is anyone’s business but theirs)? Did Cook EVER elaborate how he practices sex with his partner(s)?

      All Cook did was declare that he was gay. The rest was your (obviously quite wild, and some might say, perverted) imagination.

        1. You seem to have just as wild (and some might say perverted) an imagination as hoffbegone. I can’t seem to find any mention by Mr. Cook of sucking c*ck either. It all seems to be in you head.

            1. C’mon botty, you are supposedly heterosexual and yet you have never touched a woman. Go out with a woman and get married. You will maybe get out of my basement and she can try to raise you.

          1. why is it perverted to suggest that cook engages in sodomy and/or fellatio? unless you think sodomy and fellatio are perverted. are you implying homos don’t engage in sodomy or fellatio? how about mutual masturbation?

            1. Sodomy and/or fellatio aren’t really any more specific to gays then they are to heterosexuals. Unlike popular conservative beliefs, American hetero couples seem to love anal and oral almost just as much as gays (difference is just a few percentage points).

            2. What is it about homosexuality that makes it a larger sin than any other?

              Is it the promiscuity involved with homosexual sex that must necessarily be outside marriage? If so, what do we do with heterosexual sex outside of marriage? I doubt there’s a pastor alive who hasn’t married a couple who was guilty of sex outside of marriage, and many gay couples would like to get married. So no, it isn’t the sex outside of marriage that is the difference.

              Is it the homosexual acts themselves that create the larger sin? No, it seems that just about every sexual behavior practiced by homosexual couples is practiced by heterosexual couples on occasion too.

              Is it the impossibility of procreation arising from those homosexual acts? No, we don’t have any problem with heterosexual couples using birth control, or being surgically or naturally sterile. We don’t call that a sin and we still marry them.

              Could it be coercive, violent, or perverted sex acts? Well, again, heterosexual people are guilty of those same things. So no, that’s not the difference.

              Is it the idea that homosexual orientation is a voluntary choice? Well, if that is the case when did we heterosexuals make the conscious decision to be attracted to the opposite sex, as opposed to the same sex? Obviously, we didn’t. So what makes us think that homosexuality is a choice?

              And only when we have a choice can we be held morally responsible for the choices we make. So to the extent that a homosexual act is a choice, I suppose we could call it a morally bad choice, or a sin. The problem lies in determining just when a homosexual act is a choice, and for whom, and whether it’s really a bad choice.

              It seems to me that there really isn’t much difference between a lifelong, committed, loving, non-violent, non-coercive, monogamous relationship between two homosexual people and two heterosexual people. When the relationship goes outside of those bounds it seems to me that it is equally sinful no matter the sexual orientation of the people involved. So let’s remove any special treatment of homosexual sin from our faith and practice. It’s the loving and kind thing to do. Remember what Jesus Christ Himself said about homosexuality………..absolutely nothing. Maybe we should too.

      1. Oh, I dunno. Maybe I read the article:

        ZEFS said… ‘After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.’”

          1. Apparently, at least in America, there is fresh new research that confirms that “buggery” (i.e. sodomy, also known as anal sex) is practiced almost equally by heterosexual couples and gay ones (about 35% vs 40%), especially among the younger population (under 40). It seems that straight people tend to do most of the things that gays do in bed almost as often.

            The old (and largely ignorance-manufactured) stereotypes are rather difficult to break down…

        1. In all fairness, it is the Russians who wrote that. Cook never said it himself.

          In that sense, I take it back — it wasn’t your imagination that was wild or perverted; it was the imagination of whoever translated the Russian news. You see, I actually took the time to find the original statement (in Russian). Dolgopolov is an idiot; hes main reason isn’t just the issue of “violation of the anti-gay propaganda laws”; he also claimed that Apple turns data over to NSA and therefore the monument that promotes Apple should be taken down, and the Russian population encouraged to switch to products that don’t send data to NSA and CIA (good luck with that!).

          But nowhere in the original Russian article (nor in other media coverage) did anyone mention sodomy. That was clearly someone’s imagination (probably for a stronger effect in the American media).

    1. I saw the same comment on the original Russian news site. A solid number of people (slight majority, by my count) on the Russian news sites and forums tend to react more-or-less the same way as people here (ridiculing the logic behind the reason for removal of the monument). Ordinary Russians aren’t that different from ordinary Americans. On the other hand, Russian politicians aren’t really that much wackier than the some American ones either (anyone remember “legitimate rape” comment?)…

      As much as many Americans here like to believe in Russia as the land of the demagogues who are clueless, their people aren’t much different from the rest of the developed world, which shouldn’t be surprising; they all have access to the internet, and they tend to use it to get their information.

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