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  • Cook Calling for Action against Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" Laws


    In a recent editorial published by The Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook came down hard on US legislation he believes enables discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. Cook previously posted a series of tweets on Friday talking against the controversial laws in Indiana and Arkansas protecting “religious freedom,” which he felt were “designed to enshrine discrimination in a state law.” He wrote the following in an editorial condemning such legislation:

    Something very dangerous happening in states across the country.
    What Cook was specifically taking issue to was the recent bill that institutionalizes the right to penalize homosexuals based on established “religious freedoms.” The laws, as applied to Arkansas, Indiana and multiple other states, are openly biased.

    Cook claims that faith played an important role in his development, mentioning that he was baptized in a Baptist church, adding that he continues to be a proponent of religious freedom. That being said, he states that he was never taught that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate. Issues regarding discrimination go back to Cook’s early life in Alabama during the 1960s and 1970s when America’s struggle with racial equality reached its boiling point. Cook wrote the following regarding the matter:

    Discrimination isn't something that's easy to oppose. It doesn't always stare you in the face. It moves in the shadows. And sometimes it shrouds itself within the very laws meant to protect us.
    As one might expect, Cook has considerable outreach as he is the CEO of the world’s largest company. He ended up writing the following on behalf of Apple when it came to condemning discriminatory legislation:

    Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.
    He hopes that others will stand up against similar legislation as bills that are currently under consideration will hamper job growth according to him.

    How do you feel about the whole situation? Share your thoughts below!

    Source: The Washington Post
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cook Calling for Action against Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" Laws started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      First off it's NOT discrimination, SECOND..there's 19 OTHER state with similar Laws...3rd did anyone actually READ the law, 4th...it can't be USED to Shield discrimination as there Where a few cases where this was used to try an Circumvent the Law. It's Stupid to all..or this...Since as before mentioned...19 other states have similar Laws with Connecticut having the strongest.
    1. turdsmoka's Avatar
      turdsmoka -
      Quote Originally Posted by AKCHRIS View Post
      First off it's NOT discrimination, SECOND..there's 19 OTHER state with similar Laws...3rd did anyone actually READ the law, 4th...it can't be USED to Shield discrimination as there Where a few cases where this was used to try an Circumvent the Law. It's Stupid to all..or this...Since as before mentioned...19 other states have similar Laws with Connecticut having the strongest.
      I have read the law and I am clearly smarter than you are. This law is different than the other laws in that it allows protections against discrimination by private organizations rather than just public institutions like churches. So in the other 19 states, if a church was sued for not serving someone that opposed their dogma, they would be protected. This bill says that any company, public or private can make a decision to not server people because they decide they have a 'religious' objection to them.

      This is a reaction to a photographer in New Mexico refusing to photograph a wedding at the last minute and realizing it was a gay couple. The gay couple sued for damages and won because their photographer didnt perform the work and they were out of luck. The gay couple won damages and Indiana now wants this practice to be perfectly legal. Imagine, a caterer refusing you service, or a restaurant that wont allow you service or a childrens birthday party that is cancelled because two of the people in attendance are gay. This is legalized discrimination.

      If you don't oppose this bill, you are essentially returning the citizens of Indiana to a time when people could be refused service at a lunch counter based on the color of their skin.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Thought we didn't mix church and state? Ya right.
    1. dogum99's Avatar
      dogum99 -
      You should have the right to serve who and what you want. This is a free country. If they dont like it im sure there are 19 other businesses down the road willing to serve them. If everyone wasnt so sue happy maybe we wouldnt need this in the first place. Its weird that my coins say In God we trust. JS.... The likelyhood of this changing anything that takes place is slim. With social media around it would be business suicide to turn away any business for discrimatory reasons. Once the majority of the states have adopted this law then what? It is already a federal law and has been for 23 years. I'm so tired of hearing about this damn law.
    1. rashad1's Avatar
      rashad1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dogum99 View Post
      You should have the right to serve who and what you want. This is a free country. If they dont like it im sure there are 19 other businesses down the road willing to serve them. If everyone wasnt so sue happy maybe we wouldnt need this in the first place. Its weird that my coins say In God we trust. JS.... The likelyhood of this changing anything that takes place is slim. With social media around it would be business suicide to turn away any business for discrimatory reasons. Once the majority of the states have adopted this law then what? It is already a federal law and has been for 23 years. I'm so tired of hearing about this damn law.
      You have the right to refuse service to individuals, but you can't refuse service based on certain grounds (race, gender, sex, sexuality, disability, etc) and you can't discriminate against giants swaths of the general population. Also, religion should not be legally protected outside of the home. Forcing others to follow your religious beliefs is an infringement on their freedom. Imagine if there were 500 different sects of a religion and everyone had to adjust their public lives to meet all of their standards. The the law should not grant exclusive rights or special treatments to religion or religious beliefs and all should be treated neutrally.
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      <IRONY>My religion requires me to routinely enter banks, or other establishments that have large amounts of cash on the premises, while carrying a sawn-off shotgun, and to pass a note to the teller, demanding they fill some bags with large amounts of unmarked bank notes, and then slaying a few infidels and unbelievers during my getaway. It would be outrageous for local or federal government to not allow me the freedom to practice these firmly-held religious beliefs.</IRONY>

      Good job for Tim Cook having the balls to speak up on this. Sometimes I think the US isn't that far from Islamic State - other than just reading from a slightly-different book.
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      Quote Originally Posted by turdsmoka View Post
      I have read the law and I am clearly smarter than you are. This law is different than the other laws in that it allows protections against discrimination by private organizations rather than just public institutions like churches. So in the other 19 states, if a church was sued for not serving someone that opposed their dogma, they would be protected. This bill says that any company, public or private can make a decision to not server people because they decide they have a 'religious' objection to them.

      This is a reaction to a photographer in New Mexico refusing to photograph a wedding at the last minute and realizing it was a gay couple. The gay couple sued for damages and won because their photographer didnt perform the work and they were out of luck. The gay couple won damages and Indiana now wants this practice to be perfectly legal. Imagine, a caterer refusing you service, or a restaurant that wont allow you service or a childrens birthday party that is cancelled because two of the people in attendance are gay. This is legalized discrimination.

      If you don't oppose this bill, you are essentially returning the citizens of Indiana to a time when people could be refused service at a lunch counter based on the color of their skin.
      It's sad you think you're smarter than anyone. You're opinion is valid, but so are those who religiously don't believe in homosexual marriage. I myself feel neither here no there on the topic but if I open a business then I decided what type of events I will do. In none of the circumstances in court were any of the individuals refused service strictly on their sexual choices. It was the weddings, which people have a right to disagree with, that were the case. Not one "birthday party" "funeral" or and other event was denied. The homosexual customers for the most part had been customers for years and not once were kicked out because of their sexual choices.

      You clearly need to study some history and honestly an argument like that is a slap in the face to African Americans who really had to deal with issues. Oh no, someone doesn't agree with you marrying someone of the same sex! You have hundreds of other places to go. Try not being allowed to drink from the same drinking fountains! And you seriously compare the two?!!

      Keep listening to the media, keep spouting the same crap they do. By going against this law, you my friend are just as if not more of a hypocrite than those not supporting working homosexual marriages. You want to force and entire religion to believe the way you do and discriminate against their religious rights. In their own private business. Sad little man trying to put down others not realizing just how ignorant you're being.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      This actually protects everyone's freedom.

      How about the doctor who is being forced to perform abortions, even though it goes against their religion AND there are plenty of other facilities that will perform the abortion, so there is no compelling state reason to do so.

      How about the pharmacist who is being forced to cary the morning after pill?

      Or the caterer that is being forced to cater to a same sex wedding? Yes, this actually falls into a substantially different category legally than say going to McDonald's does, due to the "intimate nature of the services being performed".

      What about the caterer who believes that only same sex weddings are allowed and is being forced to cater something against their beliefs?

      How about employers being forced to pay for abortions, even though their religious beliefs are to in no way support abortions?

      Also, would you really want services from someone who is being forced to provide them by law? Do you honestly believe you will get quality services from such a situation? Of course not, people should have the freedom to choose who they do business with and if that isn't you, you shouldn't get all bent out of shape about it, just move on to the next person. The only time where this may be an issue is if there isn't a next person to move on to, but even under this law, the company could be forced to provide services in this scenario.

      Also, please show me where in the constitution is says you have a right to freedom FROM religion, it simply states you have freedom OF religion, which means you are free to practice what you believe, it does not mean that you are free from seeing others practice what they believe. It also means that they can't force you into believing the same way, it doesn't mean they can't say I won't provide services because I disagree with what you are doing on religious grounds.

      So, I say Kudos to every state that is working to promote religious freedom, especially as it is defined in the constitution, which is exactly what the law that sparked all of this does. It really protects everyone, it protects those that don't want to provide services based on religious grounds and protects those that would receive shoddy service if businesses were forced to do so.

      Really, the law does not allow for discrimination, it allows people to stand up for what they believe in without risking jail time, etc.

      The keywords in the law are the state cannot force someone to do something with out a compelling state reason. No alternatives are a compelling state reason, I want to use Caterer A over Caterer B is nota compelling state reason.
    1. Pizentu's Avatar
      Pizentu -
      Tim Cook the Hypocrite. Has an apple store in Tehran, Iran where they kill you for your sexual preference. All this is is a political attack.

      Rashad1 says
      Also, religion should not be legally protected outside of the home.
      Sorry bud. Thats not how it works in America. We have freedom of religion. In your home and out of your home.

      I find it funny how hypocritical most people are on this. Their cry and scream bigotry while being bigoted themselves. Wanting to force people who have a strong moral/religious objection to abortion or gay marriage to participate and fund them is wrong. You cannot force acceptance. You will only make people like you less.

      Mindless drones repeating the segregation nonsense, learn to think for yourself. Its the same law in many other states and the same one as signed by Bill Clinton When President. Also signed by Obama in Illinois. It has not been successfully used to discriminate and wont be anytime soon. Stop listening to the BS propaganda used to divide us all.