Apple CEO Tim Cook slams ‘deeply concerning’ Don’t Say Gay bill as ‘proud member of LGBT+ community’

Apple CEO Tim Cook condemns Florida's harmful Don't Say Gay bill

Apple CEO Tim Cook has condemned Florida’s harmful “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which if signed into law would prohibit “classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

The bill, which was voted through by the Florida Senate on Tuesday (9 March), would ban speaking about LGBT+ issues in classrooms in a manner that is not “age-appropriate”.

The bill has been widely condemned, with Amit Paley, executive director of LGBT+ charity The Trevor Project, saying it will “add to the stigma” that fuels higher rates of “bullying, depression, and suicide” in young LGBT+ people.

Tim Cook, one of the world’s most powerful gay men, has said he is “deeply concerned” about the law, and that he “stands with” young LGBT+ people affected.

“As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am deeply concerned about laws being enacted across the country, particularly those focused on our vulnerable youth,” the Apple CEO said on Twitter.

“I stand with them and the families, loved ones, and allies who support them”.

Activists have warned the bill would make LGBT+ rights and lives a “taboo topic” in schools, similar to Britain’s Section 28 and Russia and Hungary’s so-called “gay propaganda bills”.

The fight against it has included student walk-outs, protests, and condemnation from celebrities including Ariana Grande and Sean Astin, as well as US President Joe Biden.

In a statement last month, Biden said: “I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community – especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill – to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are.

“I have your back, and my administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.”

Georgia lawmakers filed their own version of the harmful “Don’t Say Gay” bill hours after Florida passed its own, which would also prohibit schools from encouraging “classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

While the bill is unlikely to advance, as the Georgia Senate’s Education and Youth Committee did not meet until it was too late for the bill to pass out of the committee, activists worry that the proposal “endorses and heightens transphobia and homophobia”.

A Twitter user said: “Even if it goes nowhere, it endorses and heightens transphobia and homophobia in everyday life.

“Similar to what we saw/see in TX, it intends to intimidate and silence LGBTQ folx by what *could* be done.”