Apple CEO Tim Cook is an Alabama native from Baldwin County. Cook has been inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, which recognizes Alabamians who have great accomplishments. In a speech at the state capitol where he accepted the induction, Cook called out Alabama for being to slow to recognize the rights of the LGBT community.
Cook compared the state’s current stance on LGBT rights to the state’s stance on civil rights for African Americans in the 1960s. He said the state had been too slow to guarantee rights in the 1960s, and it was making the same mistake today.
Cook lamented that in Alabama, citizens could be fired from their jobs over their sexual orientation. Same sex marriage is also not legal in Alabama.
It has long been rumored that Cook is gay himself, though he has never stated so publicly.
LGBT rights have come a long way in the US over the past decade. The court system has overturned bans on gay marriage in numerous states. Even President Obama has reversed course and come out in support of gay marriage. What was once a strong wedge issue for Republicans (who opposed gay marriage) has turned into a political liability that has largely been abandoned.