Metro Weekly

Tim Cook donates “substantial” amount to HRC

“We hope Tim Cook’s substantial personal investment inspires others to support this vital and historic project.”

Tim Cook, after Macworld Expo 2009 keynote

Jason Rahlan, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in an email reported by Associated Press.

Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple — who came out earlier this year and is the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company — has donated an undisclosed sum to the HRC to support Project One America, the group’s PR effort to improve acceptance in Southern states of LGBT people. HRC president Chad Griffin calls it “our bold, comprehensive campaign to dramatically advance equality for LGBT Americans in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.”

Griffin thanked Cook for his donation, which Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet confirmed was a personal donation from Cook himself, stating that “his generous personal financial investment in the program” will “move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most.”

Cook’s donation carries personal weight with the Apple CEO, who comes from Alabama and has publicly condemned his home state’s attitudes towards LGBT people in the past. “As a state, we took too long to take steps toward equality,” Cook told a crowd gathered to see him and seven other individuals be indicted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, which recognizes natives of the state for their contributions to society. “We were too slow on equality for African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LGBT community.”

In the op-ed Cook wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek, he noted that “there are [still] laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. … Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.”

Image Credits: Valery Marchive / Flickr

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