comscore Apple CEO Tim Cook donating to gay rights campaign in US
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Apple CEO Tim Cook donating to gay rights campaign in US

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states, organizer

  • Published: December 19, 2014 10:40 AM IST
Tim Cook - Rose 2014

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states, organizers said yesterday.The amount of Cook’s contribution to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign wasn’t disclosed, but the advocacy organization called it “substantial.”  Organizers said it would help fund a three-year, $8.5 million campaign launched in April in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. Called Project One America, the goal of the public relations effort is to build acceptance for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the states. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android

The campaign includes advertising on TV and elsewhere, direct-mail fliers and staff members hired in each state. “We hope Tim Cook’s substantial personal investment inspires others to support this vital and historic project,” Jason Rahlan, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said in an email. Human Rights Campaign announced the contribution in a blog post by President Chad Griffin, and Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the donation. “It’s a personal donation from Tim,” she said. Also Read - Epic Games vs Apple: Epic could pull a surprising victory after Tim Cook's testimony

Cook, who grew up in south Alabama near the Gulf Coast and attended Auburn University, made headlines in October by coming out as gay. His announcement came just days after Cook encouraged Alabama to be more accepting of gay rights during a speech there. Speaking at the state Capitol during his induction into a state hall of fame, Cook said Alabama was too slow to change during the civil rights movement and was still dragging its feet on LGBT rights. “Under the law, citizens of Alabama can still be fired based on their sexual orientation,” Cook said in October. “We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it and we can create a different future.” Also Read - Apple’s Craig Federighi admits the level of Mac malware is not acceptable, iOS fairs better

In a written statement, the Human Rights Campaign president said Cook expressed support for the three-state campaign when he first learned about it. “Thanks to his generous personal financial investment in the program, together we will move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most,” Griffin wrote in a blog post.

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  • Published Date: December 19, 2014 10:40 AM IST



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