'Don't say gay' bill deeply concerning: Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook has raised concerns over the new controversial education bill in the Republican-controlled state legislature of Florida which reportedly targets LGBTQ+ youths. The controversial bill forbids classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill—titled Parental Rights in Education and dubbed "Don't Say Gay"—was passed on March 8 and has gone to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature.
"As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am deeply concerned about laws being enacted across the country, particularly those focused on our vulnerable youth. I stand with them and the families, loved ones, and allies who support them," the Apple CEO tweeted.
The bill reads, "Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards." As per the supporters of the bill, it only reinforces necessary parental rights and is intended to prevent age inappropriate discussions.
In October 2014, Cook said, "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me." He said he decided to go public about his sexual orientation after hearing stories from children who were contemplating suicide due to being bullied and abused in school for being members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Disney chief Bob Chapek along with US President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona came out in strong opposition to the bill. Cardona criticized Florida lawmakers for "prioritizing hateful bills that hurt some of the students, most in need." Critics refer to the bill as the "don't say gay" bill which has stirred a national debate over gender and race issues.
I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve. https://t.co/OcAIMeVpHL— President Biden (@POTUS) February 8, 2022
A Texas judge recently issued an order prohibiting the state from examining the parents of a 16-year-old transgender girl to provide her with gender-affirming medical treatments, which has raised concerns about LGBTQ rights. According to Axios, more than 60 companies, including Alphabet Inc, Google, Microsoft Corporation, Meta Platforms Inc, and Apple, have signed an ad opposing equating gender-affirming treatment with child abuse.