Apple Exec Comes Out in Support of ENDA
As the Senate is scheduled on Monday to vote on the Employee Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), a legislation that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination across the country, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is voicing his opinion and is urging the government pass the bill, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Cook wrote an online opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal on Sunday and discussed Apple’s anti-discrimination policy, which protects LGBT workers.
"As we see it, embracing people’s individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights," Cook wrote. "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 then called on Congress to pass ENDA, saying, "If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves."
Apple has been a long time backer of LGBT rights and supported the Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
"Apple strongly supports marriage equality, and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today," Apple officials said in a statement.
Though Cook has never commented on his sexuality, there have been rumors that the businessman is gay. In 2012, Out magazine put Cook at the top of its annual "50 Most Powerful Gays" list.
The Senate is expected to approve ENDA as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has the 60 votes to avoid a Republican filibuster. Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller announced Monday morning that he supports the measure, making him one of the crucial votes needed for ENDA to pass the Senate. Though it’s likely the Senate will pass the legislation, House Speaker John Boehner made it clear it would not leave the House.
"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said in a statement.