Probably-gay Apple CEO Tim Cook popped by the Old House Chamber at the Alabama State Capitol this week, and took the opportunity to politely remind everyone that Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley, is part of the problem.
Cook was in town to receive an award from the Alabama Academy of Honor (he grew up in Alabama), and in his remarks, he criticized the state for its homophobia.
“As a state, we took too long to take steps toward equality,” he said. “We were too slow on equality for African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LGBT community.”
Governor Bentley was standing nearby during the remarks. When he was campaigning for governor, Bentley said, “I will ensure that Alabama does not follow the trend of allowing gay marriages or civil unions, and I will protect our state’s right to define marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Bentley’s also done some pretty cowardly punting on the issue of marriage, saying, “The people of Alabama voted 81 percent to have the ban on same-sex marriage, and it’s in our constitution. Whatever the people vote on, I support. I believe in the people’s right to vote and this is how they feel, so I support the people.”
Oh, right, of course, it’s the people’s fault! Not the governor’s! Nothing he can do, hands are tied, has to defend a bigoted and unconstitutional law, oh well.
Cook has also pushed federal officials to pass workplace nondiscrimination laws, which should be happening aaaaaaany day now.
Bentley is currently running for re-election, and he’s pretty much guaranteed to win, so life is probably going to be continue to be difficult for Alabaman LGBTs. That is, unless some generous benefactor, someone with deep pockets and roots in the state, comes along and donates a ton of money to queer Alabama causes. But what magical fairy could possibly do that?
Alabama? Third World state. Is there a fourth world?
We should really give these inbred cesspools what they want and stop sending federal dollars to these backwards states.
I applaud Mr. Cook’s implicit message in his speech. As the CEO of one of the most innovative companies in the United States, the implicit message I’m hearing is why his company and many other companies will not be heavily investing in Alabama. There are real, significant economic consequences to having an inherently intolerant culture.
I agree that these nasty states should not be rescued from their relative under-development by the federal government, UNLESS they repent and become tolerant. I remember reading that the USA demanded that primitive (sorry for the word) African countries change their policies regarding LGBTs before receiving financial aid. It is the same logic here.
As a lesbian living in Alabama I resent your assumption that we are all intolerant and that my home is a cesspool. Yes, many, many people in Alabama are idiots but we are working to change that from the inside. Change takes time and we aren’t all lucky enough to live in a liberal state.
Let me remember: oh yes, the HRC opposed the lawsuit that ended Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. And Barry Goldwater, whose grandson is/was gay, thought the government has no business getting involved in people’s private lives. So remind me about how liberal organizations have a monopoly on enlightenment.
Billy Budd and Ottoman, you do realize how many LGBT southerners, and their families, and their other allies, whose lives you would happily, smugly make even worse, right? Fun fact: Mississippi has the nation’s highest poverty rate. It also has the highest percentage of families headed by same-sex couples (30%). So, you wanna leave those families without federal assistance? Really? Like Bluesky39, I live in the South, and I resent your presumptuousness and ignorance. Next time, try thinking before you post.
@Bluesky39: Alabama didn’t remove it’s interracial marriage ban until 2000. I resent your assertion that there is any hope for your state.
Remember that time the U.S. had slavery because the majority of Americans thought Black people weren’t deserving of freedom or basic treatment as humans? Just because the majority believes something, doesn’t always make it right.
Reads for filth? (Just wondering since the headline uses black gay vernacular.)
Very good points. And it wasn’t just slavery (which a majority of the country voted in 1860 to banish by electing Abraham Lincoln; it was only a majority of the white population of what became the Confederate states, which were smaller in size, wealth and population than the Union states, that supported slavery in 1860) but legalized segregation/Jim Crow lawas, and other forms of discrimination against African Americans, that continued well into the 20th century. Racism and discrimination didn’t end with the end of slavery, just as homophobia hasn’t ended with the passage of LBTIQ civil protections in many but not all states, with Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, or with the increasing number of states allow same-sex marriage.
Do the math, the majority of Americans are heterosexual and back in the day when they voted they knew very little about us. They should not have put it to a vote back then. Today, more heterosexuals are learning to support marriage equality as shown by the advancement to 32 states and climbing. Alabama is my mother’s home state and the people must stop listening to the homophobes and support marriage equality because it is coming to all 50 U.S. States regardless of the ignorance of some of the state governors and attorneys.
I live in the south. It’s essential to get the message out, like my governor did, that being against SSM and employment protection is bad for business. Companies don’t just set-up business on where it’s the cheapest, but also where they can draw on and recruit the best employees. Attracting the best people from around the country and the world is easier and more enticing to the prospective employee, if the state in which the company is based affords equality for all people. It’s a no brainier. When conservatives say they promote business and simultaneously fight SSM, they are hypocrites and liars. They are hostile to business, and turning it away.
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