Tim Cook Calls 'Religious Freedom' Legislation 'Very Dangerous'

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has called recent "religious freedom" legislation passed in Indiana and Arkansas "very dangerous" in a public op-ed letter published by The Washington Post. Cook argues that there are nearly 100 pro-discrimination bills in the United States that "go against the very principles" the country was founded on and "have the potential to undo decades of progress towards greater equality."

Cook's letter comes in response to Indiana governor Mike Pence passing the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, following intense opposition from opponents that believe the bill supports discrimination, particularly against gays and lesbians. The bill, based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, takes effect July 1st.
"America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business," said Cook. "At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers' lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That's why, on behalf of Apple, I'm standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation -- wherever it emerges. I'm writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement. From North Carolina to Nevada, these bills under consideration truly will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country where a 21st-century economy was once welcomed with open arms."
Cook believes that the recently passed legislation in Indiana and Arkansas, and similar bills being considered in other states, draw comparisons to the days of segregation in the United States, adding that Apple will never tolerate discrimination regardless of the laws passed. "This isn't a political issue. It isn't a religious issue," he said. "This is about how we treat each other as human beings."
"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."
Cook tweeted last week that Apple is "open for everyone" and "deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law," calling on Arkansas to veto its similar HB1228 bill. Indiana has received a lot of backlash for signing the bill, with several organizations and companies throughout the United States vowing to stop supporting the state.
Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same -- regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love. - Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2015
Cook has remained committed to equality in the workplace as chief executive at Apple. In November 2013, he publicly supported the U.S. Employment Nondiscrimination Act, legislation proposed to prohibit many civilian, nonreligious employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for the purposes of hiring or other employment practices.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Tim Cook Calls 'Religious Freedom' Legislation 'Very Dangerous'
 

aerok

macrumors 65816
Oct 29, 2011
1,491
139
Cook tweeted last week that Apple is "open for everyone
...with money.

But in all seriousness, good for him to come out against this bigoted legislation.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,390
3,834
Supposedly Indiana is already looking at legislation to "clarify" (i.e. walk back) the new law.
 

mrxak

macrumors 68000
I really don't have a problem with companies turning away any customers they want to. They're private businesses they can do what they want.

In the same vein, if there's a company that's run by bigots then customers are free to boycott and put those companies out of business.

Wouldn't we all rather know exactly where we stand with one another?
 

saha-med

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2012
193
5
That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges.
Good job using apple to promote your personal agendas.

Rainbow colored logo is next :D
 

AppleFan360

macrumors 68020
Jan 26, 2008
2,197
689
Oh geesh! Here we go again:

"That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges."

BAD BAD BAD idea to bring the company and it's shareholders into this controversy. If he doesn't do anything about it (like pulling Apple from states that support the legislation), it makes him look like a hypocrite.
 

technopimp

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
645
216
Good job using apple to promote your personal agendas.
And this is my problem with Cook. It's not "his" company. If I started tweeting stuff like this I would be fired. I don't begrude him any personal beliefs/etc., but he needs to stop speaking on behalf of an entire public company with those agendas.
 

SBlue1

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2008
1,605
1,842
I really don't have a problem with companies turning away any customers they want to. They're private businesses they can do what they want.
Next thing is they can turn away black people, then jews, then whoever is next... Sad to hear how things are working in the US.
 

MacrumoursUser

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2014
445
102
Denmark
I really don't have a problem with companies turning away any customers they want to. They're private businesses they can do what they want.

In the same vein, if there's a company that's run by bigots then customers are free to boycott and put those companies out of business.

Wouldn't we all rather know exactly where we stand with one another?
Exactly. Im all for this. At least you would know what or who you are dealing with. Now they make laws that tell one or the other when the people they are supposed to apply to think god knows what.
 

philipk

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2008
438
190
Good for Tim.

If you believe that Woolworth's had the right to refuse "Negros" the right to eat at their lunch counters then you would agree with Gov. Pence. Freedom of business trumps freedom of individuals.

If you believe it was wrong for Woolworth's to deny service based on skin color then you would agree with Tim Cook. Individual freedom trumps business freedom.

Janis Ian said it well when she said that her concerts in Indiana were in jeopardy. Ushers could refuse to work, caterers could refuse to work, security guards could refuse to work. Then there would be no concert.

Go, Tim, Go!
 

BigBeast

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2009
643
39
I'm so glad that I gave up religion a few years back. As a consequence, I'm free to be open to, and not discriminate against, others with different beliefs, sexual identities, etc. It really is freeing. :D
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,056
I really don't have a problem with companies turning away any customers they want to. They're private businesses they can do what they want.

In the same vein, if there's a company that's run by bigots then customers are free to boycott and put those companies out of business.

Wouldn't we all rather know exactly where we stand with one another?
Wrong. Companies arent always free to do what they want to -- for example, turn away blacks because they don't like blacks. Or Jews. Or women. Etc.. in the US we have certain rights that are "inalienable", which if you look it up means they are natural rights and not optional. The protected classes of the U.S. constitution defines which attributes are covered -- race, gender, religion, etc...meaning equal treatment is required based on those attributes alone. This is decades old case law here, little thing called the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
 

fenderbass146

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,102
574
Northwest Indiana
I'm sorry and I am sure I will get flamed for this, but religious freedom goes both ways. You shouldn't make a Christian photographer take photos for a same-sex wedding. IMO. This law isn't giving a free pass to anyone to deny service for the hell of it. There are more stipulations.
 
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,587
United Kingdom
Mr. Cook (and others) should take time to listen to Al Mohler's morning briefing and understand that he, and the media, has skewed what the actual law says.
The media has skewed nothing.

There is a provision in the Indiana law that enables private litigation participants to claim "religious freedom" defence for refusal of service. This extends to discriminating against classes of individuals, including gay people (which is not a protected class in Indiana).

Religious freedom is about preventing the Government from imposing restrictions on your beliefs, not letting you use it as a defence in a lawsuit between a bakery and a customer, for instance.
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,056
Oh geesh! Here we go again:

"That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges."

BAD BAD BAD idea to bring the company and it's shareholders into this controversy. If he doesn't do anything about it (like pulling Apple from states that support the legislation), it makes him look like a hypocrite.
I think Cook knows what's good or bad for the company better than you do. Since he, you know, has been running it into record success, growth, and profit for years.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,832
27,283
Wrong. Companies arent always free to do what they want to -- for example, turn away blacks because they don't like blacks. Or Jews. Or women. Etc.. in the US we have certain rights that are "inalienable", which if you look it up means they are natural rights and not optional. The protected classes of the U.S. constitution defines which attributes are covered -- race, gender, religion, etc...meaning equal treatment is required based on those attributes alone. This is decades old case law here, little thing called the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Is gay marriage (or any marriage for that matter) an "inalienable" right?
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,056
Good for Tim.

If you believe that Woolworth's had the right to refuse "Negros" the right to eat at their lunch counters then you would agree with Gov. Pence. Freedom of business trumps freedom of individuals.

If you believe it was wrong for Woolworth's to deny service based on skin color then you would agree with Tim Cook. Individual freedom trumps business freedom.

Janis Ian said it well when she said that her concerts in Indiana were in jeopardy. Ushers could refuse to work, caterers could refuse to work, security guards could refuse to work. Then there would be no concert.

Go, Tim, Go!
Funny - here in New Orleans the woolworths were the counter was was just torn down.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,406
2,665
Buffalo, NY
Good job using apple to promote your personal agendas.

Rainbow colored logo is next :D
Become rich and famous and you can do it too.

This is how the world works. The most intelligent people don't necessarily have their views heard - the people most in the public eye do. (Tim Cook is both to me, regardless)
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,056
Is gay marriage (or any marriage for that matter) an "inalienable" right?
My point was on the mistaken idea that a business is free to do whatever it wants. That is not the case in the US. you can wiki the protected classes yourself and see what's included.
 

Starflyer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2003
630
690
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACTS

Yesterday Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The action has drawn sharp criticism by people and politicians who directly oppose religious freedoms and by those who are simply unaware of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the federal model for Indiana’s new law.

Here is what you should know about these types of religious freedom legislation:

What is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is a federal law passed in 1993 which is intended to prevent other federal laws from substantially burdening a person’s free exercise of religion. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993 and passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with three dissenting votes. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

According to the text of the law, the purposes of the RFRA are:

(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened; and

(2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.
Currently, 19 states have a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (AL, CT, FL, ID, IN, IL, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NM, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, and VA). Ten other states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar (strict scrutiny) level of protection (AK, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, OH, WA, and WI). With some exceptions (such as Mississippi), the state versions are almost exactly the same as the federal version.

University of Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett:

The act is a moderate measure that tracks a well-established federal law and the laws of several dozen other states. Contrary to what some critics have suggested, it does not give anyone a "license to discriminate," it would not undermine our important civil-rights commitments, and it would not impose excessive burdens on Indiana’s courts. . . .

The act’s standard is applied in many jurisdictions across the land and it has long enjoyed support from across the political spectrum. This standard is not new; we have plenty of evidence about how it works. We know that courts have not applied it to require excessive accommodations or exemptions from anti-discrimination laws and civil-rights protections. Fighting invidious public discrimination is, American courts agree, a public interest of the highest order. Contrary to the concern quoted in the recent Tribune piece, a business owner or medical professional who invoked the act as a "license" to engage in such discrimination would and should lose. The act creates a balancing test, not a blank check.
Here are the remarks Al Gore and Bill Clinton made on signing the 1993 legislation

https://youtu.be/4YtyUXnBhXU
 
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