Tim Cook speaks out about Alabama's slow progress on LGBT rights

Apple CEO Honor

Over the last year Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ramping up his personal activism for LGBT causes, both in private and with the company. The trend continued today in a speech in Alabama, at the state capital during the Alabama Academy of Honor event. Cook called for his home state to learn from the civil rights movement when thinking of LGBT issues.

I could never understand why some within our state and nation resisted basic principles of human dignity that were so opposite to the values I had learned growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama in a family that was rich in love and respect.

Cook pointed out Alabama's slow acceptance of civil rights for African-American citizens, and begged them not to follow the same path with regards to civil rights for the LGBT community.

We were too slow on equality on African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LBGT community.

Cook then pointed out that beyond Alabama's stance on marriage equality, the state is one of the few left in the nation where someone can be fired simply for their sexual orientation. Currently there are only 18 states without marriage equality for citizens.

The speech went onto address the importance of access to education for all children, regardless of economic background, referencing education as a fundamental human right. In the past year Apple has pledged to donate US$750 million worth of iPads, computers, and other technology to President Obama's ConnectedED education program. The initiative aims to bring high-speed broadband to 99% of the schools across the United States. You can read about where Apple's money is going here, including which 114 schools across 29 states will benefit from the funds.

Here's the video of Cook's remarks: