A number of tech executives have decried state laws that promote discrimination against the LGBT community by allowing companies to refuse service on religious grounds, but Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking his opposition to the next level. The executive has written an editorial for the Washington Post that says it's "dangerous" to enact these laws, which include Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Arkansas' tentative HB1228. To him, these measures not only "rationalize injustice" against fellow human beings (including himself), but are "bad for business" -- they could stifle employment and corporate growth.
Cook stops short of taking direct action. He's not closing retail stores or otherwise scaling back operations in states where these laws exist. However, a mix of cities and companies (including tech outfits like Salesforce and Yelp) have already said they'll either avoid doing business in Indiana when possible, or shift their growth elsewhere. The editorial shows that there's potential for more dramatic reactions -- it isn't far-fetched to see Apple, Google or others refusing to set up data centers and offices in states with laws that restrict civil liberties.
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