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Russian Steve Jobs Memorial Taken Down After Tim Cook Came Out Will Now Be Auctioned Off

Statue

In 2013 the Western European Financial Union ZEFS erected a 6’6’’ iPhone-shaped memorial to Steve Jobs in St. Petersberg. The memorial stood for about a year in the courtyard of a local IT university campus before being taken down after Apple’s CEO Tim Cook came out as being gay. The Moscow Times is now reporting that ZEFS has chosen to auction off the interactive statue after a forum of the Union’s members overwhelmingly voted against reinstalling it. Bidding for the statue begins at 5 million rubles, or about $94,000.

The memorial was originally taken down the day after Tim Cook’s announcement and ZEFS chairman Maxim Dolgopolov was frank in his reasoning behind removing the interactive statue. In addition to concerns of American spying raised by Edward Snowden’s revelations, ZEFS found Apple’s support of its CEO, and its explicit support of gay rights, in clear violation of Russia’s homophobic “LGBT-propaganda” laws.

"After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values," ZEFS said in a statement to Reuters.

In other news, the iPhone is selling quite well in Russia.


Apple Goes (RED) In Support of World AIDS Day

Screenshot 2014-12-01 10.16.07

Apple has begun to illuminate its iconic logo in red to highlight its participation in Product (RED) in time for World AIDS Day. The Cupertino-based company began its show of support in its Sydney flagship store yesterday, with stores across the world in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Europe, and the U.S. soon to follow suit. Founded by Bono and Shriver in 2006, (RED) is a licensed brand meant to raise awareness and financial support for HIV/AIDS awareness prevention program in Africa. Proceeds from the sale of Product (RED) branded goods contribute to the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which finances independent programs targeting those diseases.

The official number that Apple reports to have raised for Product (RED) is around $75 million dollars, but earlier this year Bono lashed out against Apple for being notoriously coy about its sales figures. Though Apple has participated in Product (RED) since 2006, this marks the second year that the computing giant has rolled out a fully-fledged campaign coordinated with the initiative.

Cook"This year, we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores,” recently out Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort, as well.”

In addition to special editions of iPods, iPads, and accessories, Apple is rolling out Product (RED) applications that, while non-physical, will contribute to the campaign in the same way.

“For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments, which are having a profoundly positive impact, "Cook said. “Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give.”


Procter & Gamble Comes Out In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

P&G_brands

For the first time in its history, Cincinnati-based consumer products group Procter & Gamble (P&G) is openly supporting same-sex marriage, reports Cincinnati.com.

This may not be great news for right wing anti-gay zealots. Tony Perkins, the leader of listed hate group Family Research Council, last week hinted at a possible boycott of Apple after CEO Tim Cook came out.

Procter & Gamble says that it has embraced LGBT employees for more than 20 years and same-sex marriage has become an important enough issue to its workers that it is taking a public stand.

Deborah P. Majoras, P&G's chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE, the company's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group, said:

"We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized.”

William Gipson, P&G's chief global diversity officer, added that being LGBT-inclusive is “not a political statement, but a statement of support for our employees."

P&G’s announcement of its support for same-sex marriage comes a week after the city of Cincinnati won top score for inclusion by Human Rights Campaign (HRC). P&G also received a perfect score this year from HRC for its inclusion policies.

Terry Kelly, principal and investment adviser at Cincinnati-based investment management firm Bartlett, said that although P&G's latest stand could anger some consumers, the company has already weighed those risks.

Back in 2007, P&G supported the first kiss between two same-sex teenagers on soap As The World Turnswhich you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

Back in August, advocacy group the Bilerico Project called on people to boycott P&G, the biggest television advertiser in Russia. P&G was also a Worldwide Olympic Partner and a sponsor of the controversial 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Continue reading "Procter & Gamble Comes Out In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO" »


Elton John Lambasts Russia's Anti-Gay 'Propaganda' Ban During St. Petersburg Concert

In the middle of his St. Petersburg performance last weekend, the ever vocal Elton John took the opportunity to take potshots at Russia's anti-gay policies and agenda again reports The Moscow Times. While performing a song, John addressed the crowd asking, "Is Tchaikovsky's beautiful music 'sexually perverting?" bringing up the famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky who is widely believed to be gay.

Elton johnJohn also criticized the removal of a statue erected to honor Apple founder Steve Jobs from outside of a St. Petersburg technical college after Jobs successor, Tim Cook, disclosed to the public that he is gay. It's assumed that Russia still sells Apple products, which John recognized and called out the hypocrisy behind the statue's removal.

Said John:

"Can this be true? Steve's memory is rewritten because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay? Does that also make iPads 'gay propaganda'?"

This isn't the first time the singer spoke out during a concert in Russia; he dedicated a 2013 Moscow concert to 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovi who was raped and murdered after revealing he was gay. Fans and civils rights groups asked John not to perform in Russia, but John told the Moscow crowd why he continues to perform in the country.

Said John:

"You took me to your hearts all these years ago, and you've always welcomed me with warmth and open arms any time I've visited. You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia."

"In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. People have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come and I listened to them. I love coming here."

John invited Vladimir Putin to meet the country's LGBT youth to listen to their experiences, however the disillusioned leader has yet to respond to the singer's request. St. Petersburg is the epicenter of the nationwide ban on "gay propaganda," as it was the first city to pass an ordinance banning the so-called "propaganda." The nationwide federal legislation version is modeled after St. Petersburg's ordinance.


UK Reporter Responds to One Direction's Louis Tomlinson After 'Gay' Apple T-Shirt Squabble

Tomlinson

Jenn Selby, a reporter for the UK newspaper The Independent, has responded to One Direction's Louis Tomlinson after he lashed out at her over a recent story that was misinterpreted as implying he's gay. 

Earlier this week, Tomlinson was spotted wearing a t-shirt bearing Apple's "rainbow logo" and Selby wrote:

Days after Harry Styles’ comment about gender and sexuality became a viral talking point, his bandmate Louis Tomlinson seemingly showed his support for the recently out Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Tomlinson proceeded to fire off a series of angry tweets disputing the story and clarifying that he's "in fact straight."

Here's Selby's response, in part: 

Head over to Selby's Twitter page to read the full response. 

[photo via Instagram]


Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Attacks Tim Cook, Hints At Apple Boycott - LISTEN

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73d7033c4970d-200wiHomophobe Tony Perkins, the leader of listed hate group Family Research Council has taken umbrage with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s decision to come out, reports Good As You.

Last month, Perkins claimed that gay rights are part of a wider "anti-life" agenda to end humanity as we know it.  In February he attacked Disney for featuring a same-sex couple on ‘Good Luck Charlie.’

Although it goes without saying that Perkins and co. will jump on any anti-gay bandwagon, he is less than happy when business leaders take a pro-equality stance. Back in April for example, and with a complete lack of insight, Perkins weighed in on the Chick-Fil-A controversy by claiming that “tolerance is a one-way street for [people who seek equal rights]. What they want to do is force the rest of America not to just to tolerate but to celebrate what they're doing.”

With his finger firmly on the pulse, Perkins says that Cook's announcement has "upset the apple cart" and hints at a potential boycott:

"When companies get involved in cultural battles, every consumer is forced to take part. As conservatives we aren’t looking for businesses to take our side - we just want them to be neutral. Of course, Tim Cook has the right to express his views but consumers have rights too, including the right to respond. As Christians we’re called to be good stewards of god’s money...and apps like 2nd Vote and Faith-Driven Consumer help shoppers do exactly that. Let’s face it, money talks and corporate America is listening.”

Who wouldn't love to see Family Research Council boycott Apple for Christmas?

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Attacks Tim Cook, Hints At Apple Boycott - LISTEN" »


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