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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Congress Should Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal urging Congress to pass ENDA.

CookAfter highlighting Apple's non-discrimination policy and emphasizing that it is great for business, Cook writes, in part:

We urge senators to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and we challenge the House of Representatives to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Protections that promote equality and diversity should not be conditional on someone's sexual orientation. For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace.

Those who have suffered discrimination have paid the greatest price for this lack of legal protection. But ultimately we all pay a price. If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves. When that happens, we undermine people's potential and deny ourselves and our society the full benefits of those individuals' talents.

So long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them.

Congress should seize the opportunity to strike a blow against such intolerance by approving the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.

Cook, who is famously private about his personal life, was called "the most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley" by Gawker at the time he was named CEO shortly before Steve Jobs' death. He has not spoken about that publicly.


Apple CEO Tim Cook to Sit with Michelle Obama at Tonight's 'State of the Union'

Apple CEO Tim Cook will sit next to Michelle Obama at tonight's State of the Union address, Mashable reports:

CookAccording to The Mercury News, Cook will be seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama in the First Lady's Box. Cook will be joined by Bobak Ferdowsi, a.k.a. NASA's "Mohawk Guy," a member of the Mars Curiosity rover team at NASA and Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The First Lady's guests last year included Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs's widow; and Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger. In addition, President Obama mentioned Steve Jobs during last year's address: "You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who's willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs."

As I reported last night, joining FLOTUS as well will be Tracey Hepner, the wife of Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general in the military. So, if previous reports are to be believed, with the addition of Cook, there will be at least two LGBT folks in the First Lady's Box.


Apple CEO Tim Cook's First TV Interview: VIDEO

Cook

Tim Cook gave his first full TV interview last night to Brian Williams on Rock Center, and his first since the death of Steve Jobs. Cook talked about problems that the company has faced since then — the Maps application, controversy over its factories in China — and what plans the company might have for the future, including, possibly, an Apple-branded TV.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Though the interview talked about the many ways that Apple is now trying to be transparent, that doesn't extend to Cook's personal life, since he's still not saying much about life at home, aside from the fact that he' a very private individual, and works out and visits National Parks to de-stress.

Wrote Gawker in August of last year:

After Cook was profiled as a "lifelong bachelor" and "intensely private" elsewhere, we wondered if he might be gay. We've since heard from two well-placed sources that this is indeed the case, and it sounds like Cook's sexual orientation has been the topic of at least some discussion within the company. One tech executive who has spoken to multiple Apple management veterans about Cook was told executives there would support Cook if he publicly acknowledged his orientation, and even would encourage him to do so as he steps up his leadership role, but that they also had concerns about whether his coming out would impact the perception of the Apple brand.

Wrote Felix Salmon in a powerful piece for Reuters:

But surely this is something we can and should be celebrating, if only in the name of diversity — that a company which by some measures the largest and most important in the world is now being run by a gay man....

None of that came up in the interview so it rings slightly false when Williams proclaims, "This is kind of your television coming out."

We'll be waiting for that. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about this? Would Cook's coming out impact the perception of Apple? In what ways would it make a difference? Would a similar interview with the heads of Google or Amazon mention their lives at home with their wives and children?

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Apple CEO Tim Cook's First TV Interview: VIDEO" »


News: Tim Cook, Nick Gruber, Nevada, 279

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today defended Ambassador Rice from GOP-led attacks and again pushed aside speculation that she'll run for the White House in 2016. "I'm frankly looking forward to returning to living a life that enjoys a lot of simple pleasures and gives me time for family and friends and other pursuits," she said.

AppleTim Cook, Apple's gay CEO, told NBC News' Brian Williams that the tech giant will start manufacturing a few of his products here in the States. "We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States," he said. But don't expect a deluge of jobs, because Cook tells Businessweek the work done in the USA will be minimal: "Next year we’re going to bring some production to the U.S... This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people and we’ll be investing our money.”

Janee Harteau has been sworn in as the first female and first openly gay police chief of Minneapolis. "Thank you to my life-partner and better half, Holly. And for those of you who know us both, she's truly the better half," she said at the swearing in ceremony.

Lindsay Lohan is everywhere The Wanted want to be - and she takes the bus there.

Congratulations to Steve Elmendorf: the political strategist has just been voted in as chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

VanityFairJudd Apatow guest edited the latest edition of Vanity Fair. Yes, there is a Freaks and Geeks reunion, of sorts.

Rejoice! Morning sickness-stricken Duchess Kate has been released from the hospital.

Glee actor Matthew Morrison likes his pants tight.

Here's Terry Miller's shot of him and Dan Savage getting their marriage license.

Get your Game of Thrones on.

Nick Gruber, famous for being designer Calvin Klein's former boyfriend, sat down for an interview with the New York Post's Page Six magazine and claims to be straight, that he presented a military sergeant with a bisexual porn he did to get out of service and that Klein hooked him up to a lie detector test to see if he was cheating.

The U.S. Senate today advanced the nomination of lesbian Judge Pamela Ki Mai Chen, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If she wins the seat, Judge Chen will be the first out Asian-American on the federal bench.

Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow have both been nominated for Best Spoken Word Grammy Awards, DeGeneres for her book Seriously… I’m Kidding and Maddow for Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military Power.

MarylandLicensesLike Washington State, Maryland has started distributing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "I started tearing up when I saw the marriage license; all of a sudden, it's right there in front of you," 34-year old Alli Harper, who plans to marry girlfriend Jennifer Monti, told the Herald Mail.

279 marriage licenses were given to same-sex couples during the first six hours of legality today.

The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage in Nevada is asking the Supreme Court to hear their case against equality, thereby bypassing an appeals court and perhaps intentionally delaying SCOTUS' consideration of same-sex nuptials. "In the past this year, it has appeared that the court held off on considering any of the petitions until all of them were fully briefed. And, with the court scheduled to discuss the 10 petitions at its conference on Friday, this petition could be a last-ditch effort to hold off a decision on which of those to hear," writes Chris Geidner.

A clue for the Doctor Who Christmas special?


Steve Jobs Resigns at Apple; Company Names Tim Cook New CEO

Steve Jobs, who took an extended leave of absence from the company he helped found in the wake of treatment for pancreatic cancer, has resigned as CEO of Apple:

Jobs To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Cook, Apple's COO, was written up by Gawker in January:

If the CEO doesn't return from his third, indefinite medical leave, COO Tim Cook will succeed him, marking a new era not only for Apple but for gay progress.

Cook, who is running Apple in Jobs' absence, has been as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation as he has his prowess in overseeing the company supply chain. But as Jobs fades back, and as his absences grow more prolonged and uncertain, Cook will become, by necessity, a public figure.

According to Business Wire, Apple has named Cook the new CEO.


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