Tim Cook’s Apple is no stranger to standing up for social issues including marriage equality.
Almost a year ago to date, the company—not just Tim Cook—voiced public opposition to anti-gay legislation in Arizona which was surprisingly vetoed after weeks of public attention. The company also embraced last year’s annual Pride parade in San Francisco with an official video highlighting participation by thousand of employees and family members. There’s also Tim Cook’s widely praised essay published last year in which he first publicly acknowledged being gay—a first for a Fortune 500 chief executive.
So when Apple realized it hired a former politician with a history of promoting anti-gay legislation to lobby on its behalf to the Alabama Congress, it’s no surprise that the company reportedly severed ties with the individual…
Citing records shared by the Alabama Ethics Commission, BuzzFeed reports that Apple recruited then ousted lobbyist Jay Love:
“The hire appeared to create an unusual relationship between a conservative lobbyist known for anti-gay views and a company run by a gay CEO, but the love for Love appears short-lived.”
As Buzzfeed mentions, Jay Love is “a former state house speaker who sponsored legislation praising a beauty pageant contestant for opposing same-sex marriage”.
When asked, an Apple spokesperson shared a statement with Buzzfeed declaring that Love does not work for Apple or lobby for the company while a lobbyist liaison official confirmed that the former house speaker had been registered as a lobbyist for Apple.
Tim Cook, a native of Alabama, recently spoke at length at the state’s capital where he called on Alabama to push forward on social equality issues in a speech, and Cook recently paid a substantial personal donation to an LGBT equality group that operates in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Cook has also long voiced his support for legislation to protect LGBT employees from discrimination from employers. Meanwhile, marriage equality has been a developing issue with major decisions from the judicial system moving the state forward.
Neither Apple nor Love addressed the hiring and subsequent contract termination, but the evidence from state officials is apparent—the only surprise being that Love wasn’t vetted more closely from the beginning. Apple has noticeably increased its investment in lobbyists—a job field full for former politicians—over the last decade.