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Tim Cook stands firmly behind pro-LGBT, anti-discrimination law

Apple boss: 'Matter of basic human dignity and civil rights'

Tim Cook

Tim Cook has demanded Congress pass a bill banning workplace discrimination against gay or transgender people.

The Apple CEO used an op-ed in the Washington Post to urge politicians to back the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). The House of Representatives is expected to take a vote today on whether to enshrine the bill in US law.

The proposed bill will give gay, lesbian, and transgender workers the same legal protection already offered to people on the basis of their gender, disability or race.

Cook wrote: "Long before I started work as the CEO of Apple, I became aware of a fundamental truth: People are much more willing to give of themselves when they feel that their selves are being fully recognized and embraced.

"At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don't have to check their identity at the door. We're committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.

"As we see it, embracing people's individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives."

US president Barack Obama is anxious to see the bill passed. He wrote a piece in the Huffington Post yesterday describing why he also wanted to end workplace discrimination.

"Millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs - not because of anything they've done, but simply because of who they are," he wrote.

"It's offensive. It's wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense."

Even though he's not discussed his sexuality publicly, Tim Cook was placed in the top spot of a Power List of gay Americans drawn up by Out Magazine

Apple recently proved its equality credentials by allowing a transsexual security bod to give herself the job title "Princess Hacker". ®

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