It appears that Tim Cook has been holding onto a secret for a long time. One which has haunted him for a while.
Sure, many of the religious freedom bills that are out there need some serious pruning and temperance before I would call them helpful or ideal. The Utah law does a much better job at trying to balance anti-discrimination with religious freedom. I think a religious freedom law needs to have explicit instructions for how to navigate the anti-discrimination space.
But the Indiana law he mentions has nothing to do with LGBT individuals, per se, (and neither do most issues that are under the umbrella of the Free Exercise clause), but simply forces courts to truly consider the limits of the First Amendment more carefully as they make their rulings. Being the CEO of a tech company, I would think he would have easy access to level-headed commentary of that law.
Of course, it is easy to say “Apple is open…” because Apple is about making money from as many people as possible.
In other words: “No matter where you come from or what you look like, Apple will gladly take your money in large sums and integrate your whole life into our system.”
I agree that it does take courage to oppose discrimination. But it also takes courage to depart from the current en vogue politics of faux outrage over issues you know little about (exhibit A below) and to assume the best in people of opposing views.
In the current political climate of polarization and tribal philosophies, being able to assume someone across the way doesn’t have your unhappiness as their goal takes more courage than following the enclaves around you who assume they do.
It certainly would take courage for someone of faith to be temperate and critical of the Texas bill. Would it not take courage for Tim Cook to say about the Indiana bill, “I get it?”
While I understand Cook’s hesitance and concern for some of the bills being proposed, generalizations help no one, especially when information is readily available. He is not speaking as someone who is truly respecting religious freedom because he hasn’t invested the time to understand at least one of the laws he is criticizing. He is also not speaking as Tim Cook, citizen of the United States. He is speaking as Tim Cook, CEO of Apple on behalf of Apple.
So when he says that the Indiana law is discriminatory and dangerous, I’m only left with one impression:
Apple can’t read either.