Apple CEO Cook ‘disappointed’ in ‘religious freedom’ law

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Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., has added his name to the list of business leaders who don’t like Indiana’s new “religious freedom restoration” law.

Cook, who topped Fortune’s recently released list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” posted two tweets Friday afternoon expressing his thoughts on the law.

“Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar HB1228,” Cook said in his first tweet, followed immediately by the second:

“Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same — regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love.”

Cook, who leads the world’s largest company in terms of market capitalization, isn’t a frequent tweeter. Friday’s messages were his first tweets in more than two weeks and only his sixth and seventh this month.     

The religious-freedom law, signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence, prohibits any state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs and has a definition of a person that includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Groups supporting the measure say it will prevent the government from compelling people to provide services such as catering or photography for same-sex weddings or other activities they find objectionable for religious reasons.

Opponents say the law could provide legal cover for discrimination against gay people.

The legislation has come under fire in recent days from groups ranging from the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to individuals including Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, GenCon CEO Adrian Swartout, chief Marc Benioff, Broadway star Audra McDonald and Star Trek actor and gay-rights activist George Takei.

Indiana is the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The bill is modeled after a federal religious freedom law Congress passed in 1993, and similar laws are on the books in 19 states.


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