Apple has voiced its displeasure at a new Mississippi law that lets government workers and some private citizens refuse to sell goods and services to LGBT citizens on the basis of their religious beliefs.
“We want Mississippians to know that our stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love,” said an Apple representative, arguing that the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act “empowers discrimination.”
The ruling is the latest of multiple bills designed to promote religious freedom in the American South. Other states which have passed similar laws include North Carolina and Georgia, while Tennessee and South Carolina are considering similar legislation.
Apple is far from alone in strongly disagreeing with the new Mississippi Law. Since it was signed into law earlier this week, five states (Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington) and three cities (including Santa Fe, Seattle, and tech hub San Francisco) have all banned their officials from nonessential trips to Mississippi funded by the state.
Tim Cook has long championed LGBT causes during his time as Apple CEO. Since coming out as gay in an eloquently-written editorial, he has become an important figurehead for the gay community — whether that means participating in San Francisco’s Gay Pride parade, or speaking out against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s similarly controversial religious freedom bill SB1062.
Last summer, Apple’s ResearchKit was announced as the platform for what will be the largest-ever national study of LGBT health, through the creation of an iPhone app called The Pride Study.
Source: Clarion Ledger