CUPERTINO, Calif., March 30 (UPI) -- Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an op-ed Sunday speaking out against the religious freedom laws passed in several states that are considered discriminatory against the LGBT community.
Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, came out in an op-ed last year supporting equality. Now he is asking others to join him in publicly condemning the laws in several states -- most recently Indiana -- that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT if they consider it against their religious beliefs.
"These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality," he wrote in the Washington Post.
He said growing up in the South in the 1960s and 70s, he understood the difficulty of opposing discrimination when it is so prevalent. His home state of Alabama, in fact, had its first bill presented to the state legislature protecting LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace and named it the "Tim Cook Bill."
Cook stressed this issue was not about politics or religion but about human understanding.
"This isn't a political issue. It isn't a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it's time for all of us to be courageous."