November 3, 2014

Apple and Oranges: Comparing Positions on Homosexuality

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced he is homosexual. Compare that to Dan Cathy’s stance on marriage.

While Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded in his coming-out party (as it were) that “plenty of colleagues … know I’m gay,” he made news as the first Fortune 500 leader to publicly acknowledge such a preference. “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook wrote. At least he acknowledges a Creator God.

Naturally, the Left greeted the announcement with ecstatic accolades and predictions it will “resonate” because of Apple’s lofty corporate status. It stood to reason that it was only a matter of time before a CEO of a major corporation would announce a preference for the same sex, just as gender and racial barriers were broken in the past once the right, well-qualified candidate came along. Granted, Cook was already in the position of CEO when he publicly disclosed, as opposed to being under consideration against other hopefuls, but for a movement obsessed with “pride,” this was a red-letter day.

Out in the hinterlands of flyover country, though, this news was greeted with a collective shrug of the shoulders – if it attracted any attention at all. Certainly, no one greeted Cook’s announcement by taking a sledgehammer to a new iPhone 6 or calling for a public boycott of Apple. His corporation’s customers will judge his product, while his Creator will be the final arbiter of his personal choices.

Yet this laissez-faire attitude wasn’t exhibited by the other side two years ago when another CEO held fast to biblical principles, including that of marriage being between one man and one woman. Both this CEO and Cook cite our Creator for at least some inspiration, but Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy was called a bigot and castigated for not sharing the “values” of cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC – at least according to their respective mayors. This despite the fact that Chick-fil-A serves and employs those of all races, genders and preferences every day but Sunday, the one day a week the restaurant stays closed to honor the Sabbath Day.

Perhaps a better contrast would be another tech CEO, Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, who was hounded out of his position shortly after assuming it last April for the simple sin of donating $1,000 to the pro-Proposition 8 cause (i.e. in favor of maintaining marriage as only between a man and a woman) in California six years ago. Even his personal promise to promote an “active commitment to equality” at Mozilla fell on deaf ears.

For the record, until 2012, Barack Obama was opposed to same-sex marriage. “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I am not in favor of gay marriage.” Yet he was held to a different standard than either Eich or Cathy.

One person’s coming out, regardless of his career status, is still a smaller-scale, more intensely personal event than attempting to change a long-held societal norm by redefining marriage. But if we are now keeping score of the Fortune 500 CEOs who happen to check off that box describing themselves as gay or lesbian, it takes us a step further from a truly inclusive society that maintains only a few necessary checks and balances based on God’s Word.

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