Tim Cook says fight for LGBT rights far from over

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the U.S. still has a long way to go in the fight for LGBT rights.

The country has yet to achieve equality – despite a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court legalising same-sex marriage nationwide – Cook said during a Saturday (October 3) night speech at a dinner hosted by Human Rights Campaign in Washington D.C.

Tim Cook says fight for LGBT rights far from over

“Thirty-one states, more than half the stars on our American flag, have no laws to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination,” the tech leader said.

“Discrimination doesn’t simply fade. It has to be pushed back, challenged, overcome and then kept at bay.”

Cook spoke after HRC honoured him for using his platform as the leader of the global tech giant to fight for LGBT rights.

Since speaking publicly about being gay for the first time last year, Cook has fought against state laws that allow small businesses to refuse service to the LGBT community based on religious grounds.

“Sometimes, you just have to be loud because people need to hear that being gay is not a limitation,” Cook said.

“People need to hear that you can be gay or transgender and be whatever else you want to in life – a CEO or a senator, an Olympic athlete, an award-winning actor or actress.”

Cook also pledged that his company would be at the forefront of the ongoing fight for LGBT equality.

Tim Cook says fight for LGBT rights far from over

“We all have a role. Apple will continue to play our role by remaining open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love,” he added.

Prior to the dinner, HRC President Chad Griffin lauded the CEO, saying: “Tim Cook is a visionary whose leadership of Apple has been nothing short of remarkable.

“His willingness to bravely and directly speak his truth has not only given hope to countless people around the world, it has saved lives,” he said.

“Through his example and Apple’s commitment to equality, LGBT young people in particular can look to Tim Cook’s incredible career and know that there is nothing holding them back.

“They can dream as big as their minds allow them to, even if they want to be the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies. HRC is honored to welcome Tim to our National Dinner.”