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Jason Collins Praises Tim Cook for Coming Out, Calls Him 'a True Legend' - VIDEO

Collins

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, NBA player Jason Collins praised Apple CEO Tim Cook's decision to publicly come out as gay.

Said Collins:

"It's important for business leaders [and] all leaders in society to live their authentic life and encourage others to do the same...He's a true legend. He's a true leader. I have an Iphone, most everyone I know has an Apple product of some sort. And for the leader of that company, the CEO, come out and say that being gay is something he's very proud of...I'm very proud of him for doing that." 

Watch the full clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Financial Guru Suze Orman on Apple CEO Tim Cook and the Power of Coming Out: VIDEO

Orman

Suze Orman weighs in on the significance of Apple CEO Tim Cook bring the first leader of a Fortune 500 company to come out of the closet.

Says Orman:

"Tim Cook's coming out publicly will be the door opener for a lot of other people that so want to come out but they're just afraid to do so."

But more illuminating is when Orman talks about being pushed out of the closet publicly (in a 2007 interview)in the NYT:

"What was so sad about that interview that was done by Deborah Solomon is that was the time, and the interview was really supposed to be about my book that was coming out called Women and Money which was a really important book. Now she's announcing to everybody that I'm gay and what I didn't want was for people to think that I had staged that! I didn't want them to think that it was a marketing thing, and I never thought that I was in the closet. I've only ever been with a woman. Everybody at CNBC knew I was gay. I never hid it."

Adds Orman:

"But the truth of the matter is this. I was always afraid of that reporter asking me the question outright - are you gay? And then I would have to answer it because, how would I know how everybody would respond to that? So on some level she did me the biggest favor in my life because it was after that article came out that I was able to stand in my truth in my own power and I became even more successful than I had been prior to that...There was nothing negative that came from it, and the positive thing that came from it was me, and how I felt about myself. And I hope for Tim Cook as well - he's going to feel more powerful, a more powerful person is a better leader, a better leader makes a better company, and I hope it shows up one day in Apple's performance."

Watch the CNN segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ted Cruz Will Still Love His iPhone Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook Coming Out as Gay: VIDEO

Cruz

In a discussion on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning about the GOP and social conservatives, firebrand Texas Senator Ted Cruz was asked to weigh in on Tim Cook's newly minted status as Apple's openly gay CEO, The Hill reports

"Those are his personal choices. I’ll tell you, I love my iPhone," Cruz said.

"Listen, Tim Cook makes his personal decisions, and that is his life. My focus is on the constitutional question of who has the authority to make decisions," he later added. 

Cruz, who has led the charge against the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision earlier this month and Houston's subpoena of anti-gay pastors, was also asked by CNBC's Rebecca Quick to explain his anti-gay positions.

Watch a segment of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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St. Petersburg Lawmaker Says Openly Gay Apple CEO Tim Cook Should Be Banned From Russia 'For Life'

Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker behind the city's anti-gay "propaganda" ban and the disruptions at last month's Queerfest, is now calling for a lifetime travel ban on Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came out publicly as gay earlier this morning.

Buzzfeed reports:

Milonov“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” St. Petersburg city council member Vitaly Milonov told the FlashNord website on Thursday. “Ban him for life.” [...]

Milonov, an MP in St. Petersburg whose local “gay propaganda” ban became the basis for the controversial federal law passed last year, is an iPhone and iPad owner but recently declared that an iPhone 6 his “European homophobe friends” gave him was too vulnerable to U.S. spying for Russian officials to use.

Last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple's share of Russia's smartphone market was around the 8 percent mark, as the device is "too pricey for all but the wealthiest of the country's 143 million people"

Earlier this year, Apple was asked by Russian LGBT organizations to cut ties with Russian phone retailer Euroset following comments made by the company's creative director suggesting that gays deserved to be burned alive in furnaces


Barney Frank Praises Tim Cook for Announcing He's Gay: VIDEO

Frank

In an appearance on CNBC this morning following the news that Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, former Rep. Barney Frank (who also served as chair of the House Financial Services Committee) said he's "grateful" that Cook came out of the closet and explained that legal equality for LGBT people has only come about because people have been open about who they are and told friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.

Frank said the announcement would have wide implications:

"When the man who has been the leader for several years with great success of one of the most important and successful businesses in America, says, 'Oh by the way, you know those people about whom you have these negative feelings, well I'm one of them.' That does such an enormous amount to diminish the negative feelings."

Frank said that Cook was smart to not come out right away when he took over at Apple because it would have clouded perceptions about his performance. Now, of course, with the company's stock near all-time highs, it's very good timing, Frank added:

"Now, it's just indisputable that his sexual-orientation is important to him personally — but that's it's a wholly irrelevant factor economically, and I do believe that will encourage some other people to [come out]."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I Consider Being Gay Among The Greatest Gifts God Has Given Me'

Writing over at Bloomberg Businesweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook is speaking out publicly for the first time about his sexual orientation.

Writes Cook:

CookWhile I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

While Cook has been vocal about his support for the Emplyment Non-Discrimination Act and LGBT rights in general, his sexual orientation was seen as an open secret for many in the industry.

Cook took over the role of Apple CEO after Steve Jobs' resignation back in 2011.


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