Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has made a substantial but undisclosed contribution to the Human Rights Campaign that targets Southern states, including Arkansas, with a campaign to improve outlooks on equality for LGBT people.
Cook is an Alabama native who’s publicly expressed pride that he is gay. He described his orientation as a gift from God, which wouldn’t likely sit well with the conservative churches that have been at the forefront of opposition to non-discrimination in the South, including the fight to repeal the Fayetteville civil rights ordinance.
Funny that I’d mentioned Cook recently in musing whether Apple would find Fayetteville a better place to do business after repeal of the civil rights ordinance. Steve Clark, the pardoned felon who heads the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, has insisted the ordinance was bad for business. Whose business? Discrimination is bad for people, which usually translates into business.
When Tim first learned about HRC’s Project One America – our bold, comprehensive campaign to dramatically advance equality for LGBT Americans in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi – he said, “I’m in.” Thanks to his generous personal financial investment in the program, together we will move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most.
In 2015, we’ll continue this work with greater urgency than ever before. And thanks to the deep, personal generosity of Tim Cook, and the support of our 1.5 million members and supporters across the country, we’ll keep making progress every day.