Apple CEO Tim Cook, shown attending the launch of the iPhone 6 in Palo Alto, Calif., complained that Indiana is part of a “new wave of… View Enlarged Image
Propaganda: The overreaction by politicians and advocacy groups to Indiana’s religious freedom law is distressing enough. Worse is the fact that big companies are now amplifying the disinformation campaign.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t the only business executive to condemn Indiana’s law, but he was the most prominent. And, like others, he merely added to the confusion while exposing his hypocrisy.
In his Sunday Washington Post op-ed, Cook complained that Indiana is part of a “new wave of legislation” designed to discriminate against gays.
New wave? Nineteen states already have laws substantially like Indiana’s — most of them enacted over a decade ago. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act — co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy — was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 .
Cook also claims that Indiana’s law “would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors.”
That’s grossly misleading, at best.
As Ed Morrissey notes on the Hot Air blog, critics can’t point to any case “where RFRA has been used to justify broad discrimination, because it never has.”
The Indiana law, like the others, tries to prevent the government from “substantially burdening” someone’s religious beliefs, unless it has a compelling interest to do so and uses the “least restrictive means.”
In his op-ed, Cook also says he was compelled to speak out against the Indiana law because Apple “will never tolerate discrimination.”
Really? Last year, Apple won the right to set up retail and marketing operations in Saudi Arabia, where being gay is illegal. Just a few months later, in fact, a 24-year-old gay Saudi Arabian was sentenced to 450 lashes.
Nobody heard a peep about that from Cook.
At least Cook didn’t threaten to hold Indiana’s workers hostage, unlike other executives.
Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle, for example, said that his firm was suspending plans for a $40 million headquarters expansion project in Indianapolis — which has an unemployment rate of 8.1% — because of the law.
SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff said that his company would likewise abandon expansion plans in the state.
These and other companies would serve their customers and investors better if they focused on making great products and services, and left the fear-mongering to advocacy groups.