In WSJ op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook argues for Employment Nondiscrimination Act


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Ironically, he can write an entire piece on LGBT equality and still not publicly state he’s gay in it, even though anyone who cares knows he is. Someone should tell Tim that he’d do more for LGBT equality to the WSJ readers by pointing that out.


Unlike their news coverage, WSJ op-eds are reflexively, intensely right-wing. This is huge news. It belongs on the front page of the WSJ.

I don’t follow your reasoning. Equality can, and should be championed by the gay, the straight, the I haven’t figured it out yet, the white, the black, the green with purple spots. His orientation has no bearing in this editorial.

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My reasoning is that Cook doesn’t have the courage of his convictions and has been roundly criticized for it for quite some time. He champions gay rights but isn’t willing to publicly come out of the closet (while not overtly hiding his longterm partner either). This is probably out of fear of alienating certain big business partners or the like.

To write an editorial piece on Apple’s support of LGBT folks and to still fail to public admit that he is, himself, queer, is kind of a slap in the face to the folks I know in tech who are queer and don’t have it quite as rosy as he does as CEO.

Ahh. OK, that is actually another line of reasoning I can’t follow. Orientation being one of the most personal things possible, I can’t see that anyone has an obligation to be public with it. The practice of “outing” people is absolutely abhorrent to me.

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No one is “outing” him. Everyone knows he’s gay. He’s regularly seen with his partner. He’s also the CEO of a major multinational corporation writing about that corporation’s stance on gay rights. It seems like hypocrisy to continually play “let’s pretend” in this instance.

Sorry, I should have said that better - I didn’t mean it like that. No accusation meant.

For people who oppose laws that forbid discrimination against LGBT people, would it really help to know that Cook is gay? It seems like their response would be “He is just trying to further his gay agenda!!! I am not going to listen to him!!!”

So you think that people who think that way would be convinced otherwise? Really?

It is entirely likely that Mr Cook has heard these arguments since they are decades old. It is also likely that he chooses not to wear his heart on his sleeve and entirely possible that he does not subscribe to the concept that the personal is publicly political. There are those on the Left and Right alike who see overly vocal identity politics as not being a good thing.

My take on the situation is that he is speaking as CEO of Apple rather than just as himself. As such, I can see why his own orientation is less relevant - assuming the LGBT friendly policies of Apple predate him (I don’t know enough of Apple’s history here to comment).

The issue here (and I’ve heard it from gay friends a few times) is that Cook is one of the most prominent gay business leaders in North America and he speaks about gay rights but only in the abstract. Sure, he could just be really private (though how private can the CEO of Apple really be) but it often looks more like doing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” to corporate America. You wanna help the LGBT community and show your support, Mr. Cook? Try mentioning your partner in public JUST ONCE.

The assumption seems to be that the goals of Cook as (gay-friendly) business leader and Cook as gay activist are congruent. That may not be the case. As CEO, Cook answers to shareholders, as an activist he answers only to himself.

Cook has helped by this op-ed (not that you’d know it from the complaints). Personally, I find the attitude that if you aren’t blasting out of the closet on the back of a flaming unicorn you are somehow betraying the LGBT community a bit much. Any forward motion on civil rights is forward motion - can’t we be happy for once?

Or he’s just ashamed of his partner or being gay and unwilling to admit it to business leaders.

What do you mean, “pretend”? Cook didn’t claim to be straight. He didn’t mention his personal life at all.

I can publicly support gay rights without talking about my personal life. Shouldn’t a gay person have the same privilege?

That Cook chooses to have some reserve about his orientation is only a black mark to those that seem to believe you should shove it down everyone’s throat at every opportunity.

Nobody has an obligation to be an activist, certainly nobody has an obligation to be the activist that others wish they were. That a gay man is CEO of Apple is good enough for me - being able to say to a gay kid “You could be a CEO of a huge company like Apple and nobody will give a damn about you being gay” is a more important message than most activists are delivering anyway. So many activists are so totally invested in the fight that they cannot see the virtue of a world in which orientation is irrelevant (ie. Tim Cook is gay. So what? Why should we care about that?).

I want to (and do) live in a world where being gay doesn’t matter, not where it is something exceptional. Tim Cook is a role model in that respect (to me, at least) in that he’s just getting on with his life without fuss. I like that. Why can’t you be gay and be just like everyone else?

When he’s the CEO of one of the most powerful corporations on the planet and discussing gay rights? No.

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