APPLE: Mississippi's new law 'empowers discrimination'

Apple on Thursday spoke out about a controversial new law in Mississippi that allows government workers and other service workers to deny goods and services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for “religious” reasons.

House Bill 1523 was signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday.

Apple provided the following statement to The Clarion Ledger:

“We want Mississippians to know that our stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love.”

Apple added that the new law “empowers discrimination.”

Apple has been vocal in opposing laws that infringe on the rights of the LGBT community. Last year, CEO Tim Cook wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to call out the “nearly 100 bills [around the US at the time, including in Arkansas and Indiana] designed to enshrine discrimination in state law” by citing personal religious beliefs to refuse service to certain customers.

“The days of segregation and discrimination marked by ‘Whites Only’ signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past,” Cook said. “We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone.”

Apple is one of several tech companies to come out against the new law in Mississippi. HP, IBM, and Microsoft’s lawyer Brad Smith have also opposed the new laws.

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