Metro Weekly

HRC to honor Tim Cook at National Dinner

Apple CEO to receive organization's Visibility Award for his company's advocacy on behalf of LGBT equality

Tim Cook, after Macworld Expo 2009 keynote

Cook (Photo: Valery Marchive (LeMagIT), via Wikimedia Commons).

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced that Apple CEO Tim Cook will receive HRC’s Visibility Award at its 19th annual HRC National Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The dinner, which will feature a keynote speech from Vice President Joe Biden, will feature various musical performances and speeches from prominent LGBT figures. Also honored at the dinner will be Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen Page, who will receive HRC’s National Vanguard Award.

Cook, who is himself openly gay, has helped promote LGBT equality using his public profile and through his company’s various policies and practices. Since earning a perfect score of 100 on HRC’s first Corporate Equality Index in 2002 for its LGBT-inclusive policies, Apple has continued to maintain a perfect score in each subsequent annual edition of the Corporate Equality Index. 

Cook has used his position as a prominent CEO of a Fortune 500 company to call for and foster greater support for LGBT equality in corporate America. He has spoken out against anti-LGBT legislation, including so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), in both Arkansas and Indiana. He was previously a vocal supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and, under his leadership, Apple became one of the first major corporations to publicly back the Equality Act, which would extend ENDA-like protections to the areas of housing, credit and public accommodations. 

“Tim Cook is a visionary whose leadership of Apple has been nothing short of remarkable,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “His willingness to bravely and directly speak his truth has not only given hope to countless people around the world, it has saved lives. Through his example and Apple’s commitment to equality, LGBT young people in particular can look to Tim Cook’s incredible career and know that there is nothing holding them back. They can dream as big as their minds allow them to, even if they want to be the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies.”

The HRC National Dinner will take place on Oct. 3 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. For more information, visit hrcnationaldinner.org.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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