One of Apple’s biggest fans is right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh. If Limbaugh were dead he’d be flipping over in his grave about Apple CEO Tim Cook. I can only imaging how apoplectic Rush was to hear that Cook led 8,000 Apple employees in the 43rd Annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in the good old U.S. of A.
Cook tweeted the event and added the hashtag #applepride:
Great to celebrate with over 8,000 Apple employees, friends and families. Happy Pride everyone!
There is little question that Apple under Cook is a kinder, gentler Apple than the company was under co-founder Steve Jobs. Not many technology CEO’s get a state to name a bill to bar discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees after them. Cook has that honor in Alabama, a decidedly conservative state.
While Cook’s coming out and Apple’s obvious support of gay rights don’t raise an eyebrow in a few major metropolitan areas of the country (notably east and west coast), I wonder how much impact that heightened visibility and support for values contrary to the beliefs of many could harm the company in other areas of the country; not to mention elsewhere in the world where values are far different.
It would be great for humanity if we had no need for such parades or legislation; visible manifestations of the changes rolling across the culture, but there is a certain reality to consider. How many of Apple’s customers may consider purchasing other devices because the company so openly supports the rights of minorities? Then again, the U.S. Supreme Court says corporations are people, too, which must ruffle the feathers of SCOTUS watchers who feel betrayed by the very institutions they once revered.
We live in interesting times, no?