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Apple CEO Cook throws weight behind work anti-discrimination act

updated 09:28 am EST, Mon November 4, 2013

Rare political statement by Apple executive

In a Sunday editorial for the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook asked US senators to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a cloture vote scheduled to take place on Monday. ENDA is meant to prevent businesses from discriminating based on gender or sexual orientation. Although the Act has the backing of President Obama and 59 senators, it's one senator short of the 60 needed to defeat any Republican filibuster attempt. That makes it critical for ENDA's backers to swing any moderate Republicans, if possible.

"At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don't have to check their identity at the door," part of Cook's editorial reads. "We're committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.

"As we see it, embracing people's individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives."

Cook has a vested interest in supporting the legislation. He himself is gay, and Apple has maintained its LGBT-friendly policies for decades. Expressing support for ENDA may help reinforce Apple's public image.

Should the Act pass the Senate, it will still have to make it through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. That may be difficult, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may not want to bring the legislation to vote, given the anti-gay views of some Republican politicians and voters. At the same time, the party has expressed a desire to shed its image as out-of-touch with modern society. ENDA was brought to the Senate in 1996, but defeated in a 49-50 vote.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. crandall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-13

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. What a slanted, fact starved, opinionated, & partisan article. I don't blame the "journalist" that wrote that drivel doesn't want to put his or her name on it. Electronista/MacNN should be ashamed.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    Crandall, have a cup of "tea" and relax.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-14-11

    "As we see it, embracing people's individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights...
    We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives."

    I guess he's not including the people that work in slave-like conditions fabricating Apple's devices.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Did Tim Cook ever publicly announce that he is gay? I don't hear anyone talks about it.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    @mac_in_tosh, are these the same slave-like conditions where people line up in hopes to work there? Are these the same slave_like conditions where workers complained when their overtime was cut?

    I'm guessing your perspective of people who make Apple devices is a bit lacking.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-14-11

    hayesk - I'm guessing your perspective is a bit skewed. Just because people are so desperate that they will line up for jobs where they will be mistreated only means that the alternatives to those jobs are worse.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Are the employees killed if they do not work? No.
    We're they forced to work there against their will? No.
    Are they beaten to "encourage" them work harder? No.

    They are not slave-like conditions. Period.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-14-11

    hayesk: You fail to grasp the difference between "slave conditions" and "slave-like conditions."

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