Tim Cook donates ‘substantial’ amount to gay rights in Southern states

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has donated a “substantial” amount of money towards promoting gay rights in southern US states.

Cook, who became the first openly gay CEO of a fortune 500 company when he came out in October, donated the money to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.

The funds will go towards a three-year campaign in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, which was launched earlier this year at $8.5million (£5.5million).

While the HRC would not specify the amount of the donation, it did say it was “substantial”.

The campaign hopes to increase visibility and acceptance of LGBT people in the three states, and will include TV and other advertising.

Cook was named Person of the Year by the Financial Times, after he came out as gay.

The tech boss came out in October, saying: “Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

“For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me.

“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.”

He is currently the only openly gay CEO of a top 100 US company.

The Financial Times paid tribute to Mr Cook’s “brave exposition of his values”.