Tim Cook Auburn

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a “generous personal financial investment” in Project One America, an LGBT equality campaign focused on three Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin announced the donation on the civil rights organization’s blog today.

When Tim first learned about HRC’s Project One America – our bold, comprehensive campaign to dramatically advance equality for LGBT Americans in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi – he said, “I’m in.” Thanks to his generous personal financial investment in the program, together we will move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most.

In announcing the Apple CEO’s personal donation to Project One America, the HRC also praised Tim Cook’s personal essay from October in which he became the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company:

As the head of one of the largest and most influential companies in the world, his decision sent ripples across the globe with one clear and powerful message: It’s OK to be gay. As the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Tim will have an enormous impact on corporate America and beyond.

Cook’s personal donation to the LGBT equality campaign focused on Southern states, which was for an undisclosed amount but described as “substantial”, follows his personal speech at the Alabama state capitol earlier this fall where he criticized his home state for being too slow to progress state law on LGBT issues. Alabama state representative Patricia Todd later named an anti-discrimination bill after the Apple CEO with plans to introduce the bill next year.

Tim Cook Pride

Both Cook and Apple have been vocal proponents of LGBT equality and policy with the Apple CEO frequently voicing his support for the national Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the company’s participation in San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Parade, Cook included. Apple also publicly opposed a controversial anti-gay religious discrimination bill out of Arizona earlier this year.

Tim Cook recently drew attention via his Twitter account Apple’s 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year in a row.

Top image via Auburn University

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.