Does Apple risk blowback over Tim Cook’s gay rights activism?

“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.

Related articles:
Apple CEO Tim Cook says ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous – March 30, 2015
Tim Cook: Apple ‘deeply disappointed’ with Indiana’s new religious-objections law – March 27, 2015

202 Comments

  1. The Religious Restoration Act of 1993 was introduced by Charles Schumer (D-NY). It was passed by a unanimous Democrat House of Representatives and a near unanimous Democrat Senate, and none other than Bill Clinton signed it into law — and that law that is practically identical to the one in Indiana.source

    Where was Tim Cook in 1993 or since then as 25 other U.S. states passed similar laws?

      1. As a private citizen TC can, and should, support causes he considers important. However, he has become the face of Apple, and this has bearing on what announcements he makes. Apple products are sold in countries whose behavior towards gays, women, and others is nothing short of atrocious (an example is Apple’s recent agreement with Jarir Bookstore). This makes TC appear to be a raging hypocrite.

        1. I’m an Apple stock holder and a practicing Quaker. Tim Cook and Apple don’t owe anything to anyone. If you like Apple products then buy them. If you don’t want to buy them then don’t. There’s no integrity in hiding what you believe in order to maximize profits. I’ll keep investing in a company whose leader speaks the truth about what he believes.

          I’m also very tired of Bible thumpers who have no idea what it actually says. They simply regurgitate what they’ve been taught by those trying to control them.

          Christ didn’t address homosexuality. He did, on more than one occasion, say that loving one’s neighbor took precedence over the law. Anything else is a construct of the various church leaders down through the ages.

          1. We all know the Levitical Law against homosexual behaviour.

            Jesus did too. So did the entire Jewish population. Funny thing, in his teachings he never redefined marriage or said gay sex was now great and God blessed, as part of his revolutionary teachings.

            In fact, He said “”Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”

            and

            “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

            1. The law against homosexual “behaviour” also was accompanied by things like adultery and premarital sex. They were treat in the same way. It’s not the person that’s discriminated against, it’s always been the act.

              Unfortunately, some hold an intolerant double standard and treat homosexual acts to be a gross sin while not holding premarital or extra-marital acts in the same light.

              The bible admonishes that people shun these acts, just like it condemns rage (although many feel that some are genetically predisposed to anger). Is that standard unfair because some are predisposed towards violence?

              There are millions who employ self-control despite any temptations they might face. These include those who are single with little prospect of marriage and many who are married to someone disabled partner who is unable to function sexually. They are able to live happily without fulfilling their sexual urges.

              The BIBLE doesn’t comment on the biology of homosexuals, and it condemns homophobic acts which go against the principles of showing love and kindness to one another. It’s human dogma that are at the root of those things.

              My view on homosexuality is the same as of smoking. I don’t condone smoking, but I don’t hate smokers.

            2. “Unfortunately, some hold an intolerant double standard and treat homosexual acts to be a gross sin while not holding premarital or extra-marital acts in the same light.”

              When people start having Adultery Pride Days, and start offering Adultery cirriculum to children, and saythen you might have a case. Right now, you sound like the worst kind of apologist.

            3. I’m not making a statement on how homosexuals are treated. Of course, they’re discriminated against and have been persecuted. And as for adultery, it’s very tolerated. The majority of Christendom doesn’t bat an eyelid at a couple who are dating and having sex, though the book they claim to follow clearly does not condone that. And they DO offer this kind of curriculum, in the form of educating teenagers about safe sex. They’re certainly not talking about safe sex within a marriage.

              Besides, all that isn’t required to make a case for hypocrisy. That’s just a matter of fact.

              All I’m saying is that people blame the bible for “gay hate” but in reality, it’s the so-called adherents. You can hate the act, but not the person, just like you can hate smoking without hating smokers.

            4. Leviticus also forbids touching the skin of a pig, which, if you believe in the anti-homosexual interpretation, also means that anyone who plays football is as sinful as any homosexual. Should we vilify Peyton Manning? Is any kid playing touch football in the back yard indulging in sin?

              I’m just so sick of the hate, vilification, and violence perpetrated in the name of religion, and all the self righteousness encompassed by such behavior.

            5. It forbids eating pork, it doesn’t forbid touching pigskin, as far as I know. Pigs were considered an unclean animal. The Mosaic law code was a temporary measure designed in part to keep the Israelites separate from surrounding nations – Galatians 3:24. Christ ended the law. Galatians 3:25, Romans 10:4.

            6. Religious nutcases were ignorant then, and they remain ignorant today.

              But that doesn’t mean that as an Apple shareholder we should accept the CEO spending company time and resources on his private convictions. That is wrong. Just as wrong as laws offering corporations status as humans without any of the requirements of actually being human.

              Stated another way, I’d be more inclined to believe that a corporation could be given the right of free speech ONLY if that corporation (or its governing officials en masse) was also subject to the same personal income tax rates, sales tax rates, littering laws, military draft laws, incarceration for capital offenses, and so forth that the individual citizen endures.

              What Cook is doing is using his position of power to broadcast personal beliefs, and the Apple investor should not be pleased if and when Cook’s personal convictions contradict the interests of Apple’s owners, the investors. I would be more impressed with Cook if he stopped Apple operations in communist and oppressive nations with pathetically low human rights standards instead of using his bully pulpit in an attempt to stir political debate in the USA, a nation that allows as much personal freedom as practically any other nation on the planet.

            7. Please see Jeremiah 31:33. Then look up in your favorite synoptic gospel where Christ was challenged by the Pharisees for healing a crippled hand on the sabbath. See what he says about the law versus kindness.

            8. I’ll do you one better. Look at how Jesus handled the adulterous woman. According to the Law, she deserved capital sentencing which Jesus did not deny. What he did was challenge people who had no sin to start throwing stones to her. Of course no one did because no one was without sin. Was it because her sin wasn’t worthy of capital punishment? No, it is because dead people can’t repent. And Jesus wants to give her and everyone as much chance to repent in this life, because what happens in the next life is permanent. And in the end what does Jesus do? He admonishes her to “sin no more”. As He admonishes all of us. Including homosexuals.

              Your “kindness” is one that will lead people to damnation. You sacrifice the good, in order to be nice.

              Romans….”not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

              You really should watch the video.

          2. From my own studies “The” Bible appears to be a standardized collection of ancient scrolls from different authors written centuries after the events depicted, some of it apocryphal, and subject to occasional gross mistranslations resulting in a twisting of original meanings. Despite all these raw edges, the sublime shines through somehow, a sign of great literature and illuminating truth. You sound like a believer who is in touch with that essence, very different from literal readers who can’t resist exploiting it for politically-motivitated intimidation. Your comment is a breath of fresh air in a crypt of stale platitudes.

          3. I’m a an atheistic hetrosexual male. I’ve never felt the need to comment here even though I’ve read this site regularly for years. Anyway;

            My hat goes off to you Zeke! If all religious (and other) men and women were as open and clear thinking as you we’d all live in a so much better world.

      1. For a time, the federal Free Exercise Clause (part of the First Amendment) required religious exemptions unless the government had a compelling interest in enforcing its regulation. Then in 1990, the Supreme Court changed that rule, and basically said that the free exercise of religion is protected only against discrimination.

        Congress responded with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993, creating a statutory right to practice your religion, free of government regulation except where necessary to serve a compelling government interest. That law passed unanimously in the House, and 97-3 in the Senate; Bill Clinton praised it and signed it.

        But in 1997, the Supreme Court said that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act could not constitutionally be applied to the states. If states wanted to protect religious practice subject to the compelling interest test, they would have to do it themselves. This is the background to why states began enacting their own Religious Freedom Restoration ActsDouglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School

        I invite those of you who are interested in the truth vs. Tim Cook-style knee-jerk disinformation and nonsense propaganda to read more here: UVA Law Prof Who Supports Gay Marriage Explains Why He Supports Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

          1. And again, we see more and more from the Progressive Left not wanting to engage – like superchief50 – in rational debate, Rather, they turn to childish name calling, or go off on emotional rants, vs rational discussion and debate.

            1. How do the words “rational debate” show up in a discussion about “believers” using their religion to discriminate against someone they don’t like? Nothing about this rational, that requires facts on both sides. Religion as a weapon to punish and isolate people we do not like or agree with…like that worked out well in the past.

            2. There is a whole fallacy underlying this argument and that is this: just because I don’t want to support your lifestyle choices does not mean I hate you.

              This is a completely false and absurd notion and it clouds the issue.

              Most Christians are not hateful or spiteful towards the gay community and their choice to not photograph a gay wedding or bake a cake for them has nothing to do with hate or being discriminatory. They believe that doing so participates in breaking down God’s design for marriage and enabling the breaking of a moral code.

              You may not like that moral code and live by your own. That is up to you. But if you hate someone and denigrate them because their moral code is different than yours, are you not discriminatory yourself?

            3. We probably wouldn’t ask a caterer who is vegan (for moral reasons) to serve a bacon-wrapped beef dish, even if that caterer was the only one in town. WE certainly wouldn’t ask the law to force said caterer to do so.

              And veganism, for most, isn’t even a religious conviction. America was partly built on religious freedom. It would be a shame to throw that all away.

            4. Sorry, but you have that backwards; religion is the “lifestyle choice” in this equation, not color, gender, orientation, or whatever reason that choice is used to justify discrimination. Providing a service is not tacit support of anything; not providing a service because your lifestyle choice declares it so, is bigotry. Hiding behind that same choice is the same deflection used by every hate group since the invention of religion. Yes, it does mean you hate them, you just get to blame a book you obviously do not fully understand. Freedom of religion also means protection from religion; which is actually more important than the freedom to choose one.

            5. Bollocks!

              If you are denigrating religious people, you are denigrating a great many people who are more tolerant of you, than you are of them.

              The Constitution provides freedom of religion. This is a right of all.

              I’m not religious, but I think the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case was sound. The Indiana law that has aroused so much hysterical furor because it is misinterpred as condoning discrimination does not condone discrimination. Such a law would not allow an Oregon baker to refuse service to customers because of their race, religion or sexual preference. In that case, if you are familiar with it, the baker had provided services to gays, with one exception, provision of a wedding cake, because of religious conviction. Rather than accept that, the gay couple sought to ruin the baker. In my view, the gay couple acted as bigots. Tolerance goes two ways. Those who expect tolerance should be prepared to extend it to others with whom they disagree, except in cases where there is harm, or the public good is impaired. Those who demand rights should respect the rights of others.

              The Indiana law, like the similar federal law and those in 19 other states, does not condone discrimination. A person or business that discriminates against any person or class on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual preference and so on would not be “saved” by these laws. Except: the law provides a court means to consider balance of injury in some.instances of conflicting rights and values.

              I think that’s important in a civil society where mutual respect of rights and obligation is so necessary.

        1. I am so sick of your right wing bu11shit on this website. Go F@ck yourself and Jesus. You have brought nothing but inhumanity among humans. Stick to Mac topics. Gonna get a watch?

            1. Holy Christ on a bicycle, usually I am lambasted for being too “politically correct?” Now I have gone too far? It seems strange that fascist religious ideology has suddenly become popular under an administration that though, imperfect, has pushed for greater decency among our species. As Mark Twain reminded us, If Jesus was to visit us, he certainly would not be a Chrisitan. I don’t give a f@ck where you THINK you are going while both our worm riddled corpses rot in the ground, I just want to discuss the Apple Watch and Macs on this web site. So please take your self-serving excrement and stick to the topis at hand. Gonna get an Apple watch? I am and happen to very excited for April 10th. Just hoping the “Rapture” happens before them so the preordering on apple.com is less crowded by fairytale-guided twits wasting electrons.

            2. You have to remember that Jesus was send to the Jews. The Jewish leaders were hypocritical and leading the people badly. Doesn’t mean that Jewish people were bad. Same rules apply to Christians.

      2. Nonsense. What you’re saying is untrue.
        ‘There here we have it. Indiana, as well as Arizona’s RFRAs are very similar to the Federal RFRA. In contrast, Mississippi’s RFRA, which only requires a “burden,” not a “substantial” one, deviates significantly from the federal statute.’

        http://joshblackman.com/blog/2015/03/26/comparing-the-federal-rfra-and-the-indiana-rfra/

        It’s clear to me after following the comments on this topic, most people, including Tim Cook, have no idea about this bill or its intended effects, due to incredibly sloppy and dishonest reporting. Let’s talk about factual information instead of debating media spin and demonizing other people.
        Currently, 19 states have a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (AL, CT, FL, ID, IN, IL, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NM, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, and VA). Ten other states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar (strict scrutiny) level of protection (AK, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, OH, WA, and WI). With some exceptions (such as Mississippi), the state versions are almost exactly the same as the federal version.
        As law professor Josh Blackman explains, the “RFRA does not provide immunity [to discriminate]. It only allows a defendant to raise a defense, which a finder of fact must consider, like any other defense that can be raised under Title VII or the ADA. RFRA is *not* a blank check to discriminate.”
        People talk about the law being used to discriminate against self-identified gays, or even other religious groups or races. If what you say is true, why hasn’t those scenarios happened, in the last twenty years those other states’ law were in effect? You need to look at the exact intention and wording of the law.
        None of the RFRA’s even mention homosexuals, nor are they about discrimination. As University of Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett explains, regarding the Indiana law:
        [T]he act is a moderate measure that tracks a well-established federal law and the laws of several dozen other states. Contrary to what some critics have suggested, it does not give anyone a “license to discriminate,” it would not undermine our important civil-rights commitments, and it would not impose excessive burdens on Indiana’s courts.
        Again, this whole thing amounts to incredibly sloppy and dishonest reporting being used to create conflict where there is none and demo using people whose convictions differ from others. If you want to boycott Indiana, are you willing to boycott the other 29 states as well?

        1. If you seriously believe that the intent of the people behind these laws is not to use them to discriminate you are either lying, or very very naive.

          1. If you don’t understand how the checks and balances work within the RFRA (see: “strict scrutiny”) then perhaps you should do a little more research, and less time painting fear-based scenarios. But then I can’t blame you, but again, the reporting on this issue has been for the most part horrible and not fact-based

            1. I think:

              To ensure businesses that want to support any event they choose can continue to do so without being punished or fined.

              Also

              To ensure businesses that choose not to support any event they don’t want can continue to do so without being punished or fined.

      1. Most states that have had referendums defining marriage to the union of a man and woman, including California, have had these initiatives pass by majorities of 60-70%. So, Tim Cook is now displaying Apple hate against the very good people of more than 30 states who voted that marriage is what civilization has defined it to be for 2000 years. But Tim Cook and you are much smarter than all these people, who may or may not be future customers but who Tim Cook has now branded as not welcome at Apple. Of course, just six years ago Barack Obama came out against homosexual marriage. I don’t remember him being derided as a “hater”. But of course we now know he is a liar.

        1. Complete hogwash. California’s was just barest majority. With millions of dollars spent by the Mormon and Catholic churches to lie about this bill and get their followers to vote against it, and it still just barely passed. If it were a referendum now, it would lose by a large margin. Even if you are right, it’s a stupid idea that the rights of people are subject to the voting whims of the public. That’s why we’re a republic that protects minorities from the majority.

          1. Your comment is utter hogwash. No one was ever told how to vote in either of those denominations Your comment is absolutely not based in any kind of fact.

            1. You and others of your ilk make much of facts. However, this wiki article reveals you are the one speaking without the facts at hand. Further, Prop 8 passed by 52/48 6 years ago, not cent’s 60/70% majority. I doubt the outcome of the proposition would have the same result today.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8_%282008%29#Campaign_funding_and_spending
              Religious organizations
              The Roman Catholic Church,[62] as well as a Roman Catholic lay fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus,[63] firmly supported the measure. The bishops of the California Catholic Conference released a statement supporting the proposition,[64] a position met with mixed reactions among church members, including clergy.[65][66]

              George Hugh Niederauer as Archbishop of San Francisco campaigned in 2008 in favor of the Proposition, and claimed to have been instrumental in forging alliances between Catholics and Mormons to support the measure.[67] His successor, Salvatore Cordileone was regarded as instrumental in devising the initiative. Campaign finance records show he personally gave at least $6,000 to back the voter-approved ban[68] and was instrumental in raising $1.5 million to put the proposition on the ballot.[69]

    1. You Americans need to understand something. This is YOUR problem, not the rest of the world’s so to speak. Yes, it’s an important issue, but it’s endemic to the US. Tim Cook is putting an international company in this. Us folks in Canada, those in Russia, Germany, France, India, Africa, etc. don’t really care as much about this as you do.

      It’s not our specific political problem so to speak. And let’s not forget the countries that are very anti-gay like Russia who are customers of Apple. Apple must stay NEUTRAL, like it or not.

      This is precisely why Tim Cook needs to shut up about politics. Apple isn’t just an American company. It’s a completely international one that relies on sales internationally for its sustainability and arguably to to keep it as a going concern.

      Let others speak out about it and deal with it. Cook/Apple can secretly fund initiatives, etc. but he needs to shut up already.

      It’s a weird point, but ApplePay is kinda similar in that you Americans get all crazy over it. Yet, it’s not available really anywhere else in the world! It’s not a selling feature. Apple needs to focus on the fact that it’s an international company and it needs to do and say things that apply to all of us. As it is, gay rights and religious stuff in America, ApplePay, and the like, it’s your thing, not the rest of the world’s. These are NOT selling features for us.

      1. Neutral. Exactly.

        Tim Cook the *person* I have no problem with him saying whatever he wants, but do NOT drag Apple the company into the issue.

        He has to answer to shareholders and the boardroom. *they* can knee jerk vote to remove Tim Cook if they chose to… Which could REALLY hurt apple.

        Look up Michael Jordan. He’s a leftist, but you don’t see him tossing his name behind left leaning causes. Why? He knows that the politically right also buys Nike. (Butchered quote from MJ)

      2. Change this law to be against blacks, moslems, catholics, mormons, or any other group, and see if your stance would make sense then. It would not. It’s funny how people like you never think about that.

        1. Again with the stupid remark. If you actually read what this law says you would see that it is “not against anyone”. Like was said above it does not give anyone the right to discriminate unlike what you propose in your comments.

    2. Yes, Tim should stay as far away from all political issues as is possible in his position as Apple’s leader. FACT: Any issue today—ANY ISSUE—will be supported by 50% of the electorate and rejected by the other 50%. Period. Should Monday always follow Sunday? Yes: 50%. No: 50%. Any position a business leader takes—right or wrong—runs the risk of pissing off half his customers. Stay low, stay quiet, work the back channels for your cause, Tim, but STFU.

    3. the guy is really starting to turn me off. I used to brag about being an apple fan, but the more he pushes his gay agenda and the more he kicks religious people to the curb, the less I’ll be a fan.

    4. it’s “practically identical” in the same way that a Yugo was practically identical to a Fiat. It’s a copy, and a bad one, at that. Its definition of what qualifies as an “exercise of religion” that can serve as grounds for discrimination is incredibly broad and requires no tie to any recognized religion. It “…includes any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” Got that? And there’s more. It gets worse. it’s a Bad Law, and should never have been passed.

    5. First of all, Rush LIMPaugh, is not a source of veracity.

      Second, there is no such thing in America as a Democrat House or Senate. There have been Democratic majority Houses and Senates. Only the wingnuts use Democrat in that way- you know you members of the Republic Party.

    6. Apple’s Tim Cook: Indiana’s RFRA is “very dangerous.” Also, you can pick up an iPhone in Saudi Arabia today.

      Read the law, Tim, or stop lying about it in order to push your agenda. You look silly. And you’re a hypocrite.

      And, BTW, not every Apple employee agrees with you. Not by a long shot. So, you can stop speaking for them. Speak for yourself if you’re so compelled, not for Apple.

  2. No blowback from anyone who matters.

    States are STARVING for $$$ Do you think any state would tell Apple “We don’t want you, your rich customers, or your gay clientele in our state”.

  3. I am suprised how backward some laws are in the US!!! We have had anti discrimination laws against race, sexuality and disability here in the U.K and EU for over 20 years. Its actually very shocking the US does not have laws in place to protect people

    1. Religious freedom is in our Bill of Rights.
      This law helps to protect that.

      Which part do you not understand?
      (I know, it’s the part the media leaves out for the knee jerks to have fits over)

        1. Wrong question – you should be asking if it is ok for a Christian to force a Muslim restaurant to serve pork.

          It isn’t – nor is it ok for a gay couple to force a bakery
          to make a cake for their wedding – even if there is no
          other bakery around – they can make it themselves or
          have friends do it for them.

          1. Those comparisons aren’t even close. Baking a cake for a wedding between two people of the same sex is not at all like forcing them to cook something they don’t serve.
            The difference is that the bakery already makes cakes, that they sell to the public. This isn’t about a couple going into a bakery and getting upset because they don’t serve soup. It’s about one couple being able to buy a cake, and another couple not being able to buy a cake.

            1. Ginger,
              They could have bought a cake – any cake that was already made in the store. The issue was the same sex couple wanted her to make them a custom cake celebrating their “marriage” – the 70 year old bakery owner hugged him and told him she would be happy to make him a cake anytime – but that she was a Christian and it was counter to her religious beliefs. Do a little research on things – it is amazing what you can learn. BTW – the 70 year old woman had to close her business.

            2. I am familiar with the Sweet Cakes bakery discrimination case in 2013, and the fact is the bakery flat-out refused to serve the couple ANY cake at all before they could even get into a discussion about the type of cake they wanted. The bakery was found GUILTY of discrimination and was charged a fine of $150,000 ($75,000 per individual that they discriminated against). The bakery’s actions drove them into bankruptcy.

            3. Except u forgot to mention that the refusal to make a cake happened when the baker asked for the names of the bride and groom. When he was told there were two brides he told them that they may have wasted their time.

              The country I want to live in wants the two women to have their cake – from a bakery that is proud of serving them – and believe me having lived in Oregon they are not hard to find. This is about punishing a couple – the owners of Sweet Cakes and “making them suffer” – hope the two ladies are happy with what they did – and you are happy that justice was served.

            4. No, the couple isn’t happy at all that asking for a cake caused some asshole religious zealot to discriminate against them. Neither is the state of Oregon, which is why the bakers were found guilty and charged $150,000 for their wrongdoing. And yes, I am glad justice was served.

            5. Your are dense aren’t you – asking for the CAKE was not the problem – insisting that a Christian couple who OPPOSE gay marriage make a cake for a lesbian couple is idiotic – and WHY IN HELL would anyone want a cake from someone who did not support what they were about to do THERE ARE TONS OF BAKERIES IN THE PORTLAND AREA who would have gladly made the couple there cake. As I said – there are clearly two different Americas emerging – mine and the one you endorse that has no problem with Muslims stoning gays and crucifying Christians but thinks it is a good idea to fine a working couple enough to put them in bankruptcy. SMH…

            6. Actually, it was the state that insisted that the bakery obey the law that prevents assholes from discriminating. You want to blame the victims instead. It seems you are so devoid of love, that the very idea of two complete strangers loving one another causes you to become upset. You are so busy trying to control other people’s lives that you have forgotten about your own. That’s sad. You don’t get to call yourself Christian in my book without displaying Christ-like attributes. Jesus tried to teach us all to love and embrace each another, which is the exact opposite of what you and your ilk are doing these days with all your rejection and political wrangling in order to exclude others as much as possible from your lives, and remove their freedoms. I haven’t endorsed anything but loving our neighbors and practicing the religion you supposedly support. All of the false prophet control freaks in the world can ignore the teachings of Jesus all they want if they wish. For their own sake, I sure hope they have a good answer prepared for when their final judgement day comes. Meanwhile, I’ll be offering my love to all of my fellow men and women, because I know it’s the right thing to do.

            7. Get over the cake, already. It’s the principle that matters.

              “No, you can’t stay in my hotel, because you gay, muslim, black, whatever.”

              “No, you can’t come to our sporting event, because you gay, muslim, black.”

              But even more on the “principle” level… “I don’t have to be bound by this particular law because of my religious belief.” I see no logical reason at all why that does not directly lead to, “We will stone this adulteress to death. It is my sincere religious belief that is my duty before god.”

              And some right-wingers think executing gays is what god wants. Why not? Go for it… as long as your religious belief is sincere.

              No – personal religious beliefs are NO excuse for not following the laws of the land.

            8. That is NOT true. The bakery would sell anything off the shelf but it is not an off the shelf process to make a wedding cake. A wedding cake is a work of art, a personal effort. The baker stated they had no problem selling to gays. They just could not support a gay wedding. You are obfuscating the case.

            9. This world (of the USA) is really crazy. A woman has the right to choose to kill her unborn baby, and and is protected by law. But when someone chooses to refuse service based on their personal religious beliefs, they are not protected by law.

              Stupid is as stupid does.

          2. Please do yourself a favour and read what the law says and what its effects are.

            The scenario you painted doesn’t apply and doesn’t even related to the law.

        2. And if I’m Protestant, and I find Catholics really offensive, I can ban them from my store? How about Jews? They killed baby jebus, you know. I don’t want to have to pump gas for them. What about Wisconsin fans? I mean, Badgers are really foul creatures, I don’t want to have to bag their groceries. And people with lisps, god, they really disgust me, let’s send them to the gas chamber.

          1. And certainly a black restauranteur would be in the BBQ business. And of course advocating white supremacy, anti-Semitism, racism, anti-Catholicism, homophobia, and nativism accompanied by a history murder and other violent acts is exactly the same as someone seeking to order food for a wedding or event. What makes sense is not always independent of where one sits.

      1. This has nothing to do with religious freedom. It has more to do with religious fanatics. These so called christians have far more in common with the Taliban than any other group. Despicable.

      2. The 1990 Supreme Court had it right. Religious freedom means the right to worship as you will without discrimination. But the Constitution does not and should not give religious people freedom to do whatever they want in the name of religion such as murder people or discriminate against people.

        If I ruled the land religions would not be given tax exemptions. So many churches these days such as the Mormon church abuse their tax exemptions and spend that text exempt money to influence elections and ballot measures. I say worship whatever you want without discrimination, but otherwise a churchgoer is just another citizen and their church should have no special deals over other citizens.

        I find religious agendas abhorrent. Fuck religion, pay your taxes, and keep your church out of politics!

        1. Would you do the same for Unions and community organizations that are fronts for liberals?

          How about for abortion clinics?

          And, BTW, the point of the law (and the Constitution) is to keep politics out of religion, not the other way around.

          But, as a liberal, I’m sure you like things backwards….

          1. “And, BTW, the point of the law (and the Constititution) is to keep politics out of the religion, not the other way around”

            WRONG.

            The point of the law and the Constitution is maintain a separation of church and state.

            If I had it backwards, then the 1990 Supreme Court had it backwards.

            So you have to resort to name-calling/labeling to try to validate your misinformed point. Well okay, let’s both do it: What a self-righteous, bible thumping, tea party, fact-twisting bloviator you are. You call me a liberal as if it were a curse word. Amusing.

            Anyway, unions, and, heaven forbid, insidious COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS (which of course are fronts for evil liberals and are never organized by real Amerkans) are not trying to pervertedly subject the rest of us to medieval-level restrictions and persecutions based on ridiculous fantasy notions.

    2. Hss1, please don’t speak about things you know nothing. We have federal the Civil Rights Act, the Constitution (which was prepared specifically to avoid abuses that your former king foisted upon us), and a plethora of other such legislation. Which really is why this law is mostly unnecessary.

  4. I’ve been behind Tim Cook through his initial period of leadership, but this shit is over the top. If he wants to be a big supporter of this then do he should do it on his own time and keep Apple out of it. This country was founded on religious freedom, not the freedom to promote a deviant lifestyle.

    1. Do you drink alcohol, Coca-Cola or take prescription medications? Do you use contraception? Do you eat surf and turf? These activities and many more are deemed “deviant” behaviors by some religions. Should we ban these activities or discriminate against the folks that participate in these activities?

      Leaders in Indiana were quoted saying this law was meant to protect businesses that refused to serve Gays and Lesbians. This is a slippery slope. What group will be banned next? First it will be Muslims, next the Jews, then Mexicans, blacks, women, people over six foot three, people under five foot ten, people that don’t wear collared shirts, people that wear hats, people that have facial hair, etc.

      Over the last few days Tim and other national/world business leaders stood up and said this is not the path to freedom. Today, I read that businesses that operate in Indiana are threatening to leave that state, and two Republican politicians said they will soon be “clarifying” the law to make sure no businesses are allowed to discriminate. Bravo.

    2. Tim Cook does this for several variations of the same reason.

      1. Himself
      2. Employees
      3. Customers

      because each person is deserving of certain basic human courtesy.

      The Indiana Law is a reincarnation of pre-Christian prejudices.

      1. TC is for this because he is homosexual. Period.

        As bias as any Christian in his vendetta to normalize his difference in the 98% of the human sexuality sphere.

        He chooses to live that lifestyle.

        I choose to call that lifestyle aberrant.

        Still, I could care less how he lives his life – as long as he doesn’t force upon me or others acceptance ads normal of his ‘lifestyle.’

        1. What really pisses me off about this is that all of the principled gay leaders and folks wanting to boycott Indiana are silent on what happens to gays in arab countries. How women are treated as bad or worse than blacks were treated in South Africa during Apartheid in arab countries. How women in India are raped – and then convicted of adultery. Folks – their is a LOT of really low hanging stuff we should fix BEFORE we worry about a law that is essentially the same one the parton saint of progressivism proudly signed over twenty years ago. All of you – Tim Cook need to get real and put this in context. Women are being mutilated every day in Africa for no good reason. Gays risk their lives in every muslim country. And you are worried about how a silly little law might make it possible for someone to not provide flowers or a cake for a gay wedding.

          1. Nothing like making stuff up and reacting to it. What you say is not even remotely close to true. You simply don’t see what is being done to support gays and women in other countries because you aren’t doing anything about it yourself.

            But anyway – so what? We should allow discrimination here and not say anything about it because there is worse discrimination elsewhere? Yeh, sure. That’s logical.

            1. Please enlighten me – what did I “make up”. And you have no idea what we have done to try and stop the abuse of women and gays in Muslim countries – what exactly have YOU done.

      2. I think it is important to see that many other corporate executives are speaking out on this issue. As of Monday afternoon, the CEOs of eight of the largest employers in Indiana had delivered a letter to the governor and legislature demanding that the religious freedom law be repealed or revised. These guys are not liberal Democrats – virtually all of them are conservative Republicans. So for the trash-talkers about Tim Cook here – who, by the way, was born and raised in Alabama, and is a practicing Baptist – it appears he is in good corporate company:

        – Tom Linebarger, CEO of Cummins Inc.
        – John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY)
        – Tim Hassinger, CEO of Dow AgroSciences
        – Bill Oesterle, CEO of Angie’s List
        – Joseph Swedish, CEO of Anthem Inc. (ANTM)
        – Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications Corp. (EMMS)
        – Dan Evans, CEO of Indiana University Health
        – Jack Phillips, CEO of Roche Diagnostics
        – Jim Kittle, Jr.. Chairman of Kittle’s Furniture

  5. Doesn’t the bill push laws onto people who don’t believe in those religions? I’m not gay and not religious and don’t care what either does, but when laws are made to push either then that isn’t fair either.

  6. Steve Jobs was a liberal in his personal views. However, as a very smart businessman he did not use his publicly owned company as a platform from which to broadcast his personal political views. Tim Cook is demonstrating that he has nowhere near the wisdom of Steve Jobs in running a public company.

    1. I disagree.

      Steve Jobs did not stand up for what he believed publicly.

      Cannot a person do that and run a business ? See Donald Trump (a poor businessman and clumsy and politics). Trump does it. That guy who ran Chrysler. The Bush Oil Barons, The Bush Baseball team.

      People have a right to speak that goes beyond business. The responsibility is to speak well, not like The Blonde Mop of Atlantic City.

      1. In fact, it is almost COMPULSORY, in this day and age, for a corporation to be seen as supporting various causes. Cook doing so publicly is nothing exceptional in the corporate world… except you don’t like what he’s speaking out about.

  7. Here’s how I look at it.

    If you’re selling a commodity – that is, something where your personal creativity is not involved, something that you don’t make uniquely to the situation (and that doesn’t mean how you take your eggs or steak) – then you should have to make that available to anyone for the posted price.

    But if you’re offering a service that’s creative, then that’s a commission, and you should be free to accept or decline such a commission for any reason or none. No one should be able to compel your service; a little thing called the 13th Amendment prohibits involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime.

    Even though I support people’s religious rights, this particular situation doesn’t need to involve religious rights – this issue is purely whether the government can compel one’s involuntary servitude, and the Constitution says it can’t.

      1. No, I’m saying that ordering something off a menu which has fixed prices, even if it’s individually made, is a commodity for the purposes of this viewpoint. However, hiring a chef to make a custom dinner – or a caterer who does custom food rather than a menu of selections – would be creative, and therefore covered by the “creativity” exemption.

  8. Apple will get a backlash and should… Not everyone, religious or not, want to support the gay agenda… I’d say the majority do not and many are scared to speak out for fear of being labelled a bigot. Companies should stay out of politics and individual leaders of companies should separate their political or personal causes from the corporation.

      1. Tim has come out in the media as a proud gay man while commenting on political concerns that have relation to the gay agenda using Apple to get attention. No company should be involved in political issues. Since these are laws he is commenting on, it is a political issue. Religious freedom is a right. Being gay is a choice.

  9. A lot of people are positioning this law as anti-gay rights, or a license for business owners and others to discriminate against LGBTs.

    While I do think the law opens the door to possible discrimination based on perceived behaviors/beliefs, it is certainly not limited to being applied against LGBTs. It could be applied equally against a person from another religion, race, nationality, even people from the other side of town, all in the name of “religious freedom.”

    Indiana seems to have taken the federal law, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court to only affect how the federal government can require a person to act that could be in violation of that person’s religious beliefs, and made it significantly broader.

    The problem with broadening a law is you always risk a court throwing it out because it fails the appropriate constitutionality test. And based on the backlash focused on Indiana, I suspect there are many, many well funded groups scouring Indiana trying to find a case to use to challenge this law.

    The other problem is that, although Indiana and other states have basically copied the federal law (with changes), the federal law was implemented in 1993. As history has proven (see Jim Crowe laws, slavery, women’s suffrage, etc.), people’s minds and attitudes change, and what is considered acceptable behavior in the past is today’s outrageous insult.

    Today LGBTs are a well organized, well funded activist class which aggressively defends and fights for the rights of its members. I suspect the combination of economic boycotts plus the inevitable legal challenge will have this Indiana law either repealed or declared unconstitutional by a court.

    1. Thanks for a thoughtful, non ideological analysis, Bizlaw. The only thing I would add is that in other states their religious freedom laws are coupled with civil rights legislation that makes it clear that you cannot discriminate against certain classes of people, including LGBTs. In Indiana, there are no such protections. It was clearly the intent of the sponsors to take advantage of that “loophole” – and now, facing a huge backlash, they are having to close it.

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