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Apple urges Arizona governor to veto anti-gay bill

updated 12:26 am EST, Tue February 25, 2014

Company owns facility in AZ for future sapphire-making plant

Apple, which owns a manufacturing facility in Arizona to be used in the future for a key component-making factory, has voiced its opposition to the "turn away the gay" bill that has passed the Arizona legislature. The state -- long known for its inflammatory laws and actions against minorities -- passed a measure late last week that would legalize discrimination against gay people, provided the person or business owners had "strong religious views."

Apple has a history of opposing discrimination of all sorts, and of extending equal benefits and rights to gay employees -- both under the tenure of previous CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has not yet signed the bill, and vetoed a similar bill last year -- but has not signalled an indication of her intent one way or the other. Business leaders, Democrats and even some Republicans (including AZ Senator John McCain) have come out against the measure, fearing a backlash from corporations and tourists who come from less backward states.

This is the same state that has run afoul of the Justice Department on numerous occasions, from the racial profiling antics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the state's defiant battle not to honor the federal Dr. Martin Luther King holiday (it finally capitulated in 1992). The legislature's Judiciary Committee in 2011 passed a bill allowing employers to refuse heath insurance for women using contraceptives.

The bill, if signed into law, would not only allow people with "sincerely held religious beliefs" to openly discriminate against gay people, but could also be interpreted to allow discrimination against anyone at all who in any way offends those beliefs -- including members of other religions, women who are unwed mothers or have had an abortion, mixed-race persons, Jews, Muslims and others. Late-night comics, civil rights organizations, gay groups and various leaders have all heaped scorn on the measure, which will likely be challenged in court even if signed. Even three Republicans that signed the legislation originally have reconsidered and asked Governor Brewer not to sign it, saying the bill is doing "irreparable harm" to the state's image.

Apple confirmed that it had contacted Governor Brewer and urged her to veto the bill, which was pushed through the Republican-dominant state legislature by GOP lawmakers and conservative lobbyist group the Center for Arizona Policy. Star Trek actor and Internet celebrity George Takei, with over 13 million followers on Facebook and a million on Twitter, pointed out in an open letter that Arizona's previous discrimination against minorities cost it the Super Bowl in 1989, losing the state $500 million, and promised a widely-publicized boycott if the measure passes.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    Dear Arizona, Welcome to the fourth century. Who's next? :0/

  1. fmaxwell

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-15-09

    It's about time that we stop letting people in Arizona elect their own legislators and law enforcement. There are simply too many ignorant, bigoted voters there to trust the state with self-governance.

  1. snagglepuss

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-16-11

    Read something like the following somewhere on the 'Net, "I support the right of a gay baker in Arizona not to provide a cake to the Westboro Baptist Church."

  1. pottymouth

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-19-03

    fmaxwell, even if the _entire_ state was in support of a law that was discriminatory to one single person, we should all be offended.

    We're aiming for a civilized, decent society here. If you're neighbor's being a douche, politely let him know.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 09-06-01

    please don't crap on all of us here, it's a nice state (especially this time of year) but the voters keep sending the loons to the capitol. Too many cranky old people here who make sure to vote all the time!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Why should my business be required to sell services to sexual perverts just because their deviant lifestyle is considered normal by society?

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    "Why should my business be required to sell services to sexual perverts just because their deviant lifestyle is considered normal by society?"

    For the same reason everyone else has to provide business for a bigot like you!

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    Contrary to the beliefs of the Christians who lead the in fomenting such laws, "religious freedom" only extends folks not being discriminated against as they practice their particular religion.

    Although they are free to create a "hell" and indoctrinate their babies into believing that all folks who do not ascribe to their particular Prophet-beliefs will go to that hell they created, they are NOT free to themselves actively discriminate against others who fail their religious litmus test.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by apostleView Post

    Dear Arizona, Welcome to the fourth century. Who's next? :0/



    Actually, I think Kansas was before them.

    And if you all think that Arizona is bad, Kansas is about 10x worse.


    -Allow business owners (and government employees) to legally discriminate like Arizona
    -Legalize spanking children to the point of bruising
    -Opt IN/consent to learn sexual education in public schools
    -Make surrogacy contracts illegal
    -Require local governments to notify citizens that fluoridating water can reduce I.Q. levels in children

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Although I can't comment on Kansas directly, having never lived there and only having read the book "What's the Matter with Kansas?", I can say that their version of the "turn away the gay" bill passed the house, but did not clear the Senate. http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/02/21/kansas_anti_gay_segregation_bill_was_the_discrimination_law_a_ploy_by_gov.html

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Yes, it almost passed in Kansas. But this is the heartburn it created: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/24/3308962/group-urges-kansans-to-thank-lawmakers.html

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    What the hell does this have to do with tech news?

    This should be in socio/politics.

    Meanwhile, the state (er, I mean country) of Arizona seems perfectly fine with getting high on mushrooms, which is illegal.

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