Apple urges Arizona to veto anti-gay bill as it readies to open facility in Mesa [Updated: Vetoed]

Apple urges Arizona to veto anti-gay bill as it readies to open facility in Mesa

Last week a bill passed in Arizona that would give businesses the legal right to refuse service to customers based on their sexual orientation. Many companies, including Apple, are now speaking out against the bill and urging Governor Brewer to veto it. Their argument? It's not only legalized discrimination but bad for the Arizona economy. NBC News

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Hueget confirmed Monday that the company had reached out to Brewer and urged a veto.

Apple is currently readying its sapphire glass facility for production in Mesa, Arizona which is rumored to begin production on components for the iPhone 6 as well as an iWatch.

Apple and a slew of big-name firms issued letters and made phone calls to Brewer on Monday telling her the state would take a financial hit if the law passed, according to CNBC.

The CEO of Marriott spoke out on his concerns for Arizona's hospitality and tourism industry due to the impending legislation:

This measure "would have profound negative impacts on the hospitality industry on the Arizona and on the state's overall economic climate for years to come," the hotel chain said in a statement.

Apple's sapphire plant alone will create around 2,000 jobs for Arizona residents. Tim Cook has been known to speak up on behalf of gay rights in the past. His urging for a veto probably doesn't come as any surprise but it'll be interesting how this legislation, if passed, will affect Apple's relationship with Arizona. Aside from the factory, there are six different Apple retail locations across the state as well.

Source: NBC News

Updated: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday evening vetoed the bill, according to CNN. She called the bill "broadly worded" and said it could have unintended consequences.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Apple urges Arizona to veto anti-gay bill as it readies to open facility in Mesa [Updated: Vetoed]

29 Comments

I am a strong advocate for gay rights. As one example, I strongly support the right of any two people to get married, regardless of their gender.

But, at the same time, why should the government interfere in private business owners' choice of who they accept as customers? It seems to me that a private business owner should be free to do business, or not, with any customer they choose, for any reason they choose.

I personally boycott businesses who support an anti-gay stance. Instead of asking the government to do it for you, why doesn't everybody take a little responsibility and stick up for gay rights yourself? If everybody who supports a law like this would do so, most of those businesses would change their stance - without adding another law to the books and increasing the amount the government interferes in our lives.

Refusing to bake a cake for somebody is not the same thing as physically (or even verbally) assaulting somebody. At all.

Good writing.

I don't care what your name is, if you support the idea that the government should legislate requiring private business owners to do business with anyone, regardless of the business owner's preference, then I will respectfully disagree with you.

If I am a vegan and I have my own business building fences and somebody wants me to fence in an area to hold cows before going to slaughter, and I choose not to accept that person as a customer, should the government have a law requiring me to do it anyway? What if I am Hindu?

If I am a Catholic and I have my own business making cakes and somebody wants me to bake them a cake and I choose not to accept that person as a customer, should the government have a law requiring me to do it anyway? What difference does the reason I choose not to make? And if the reason is a Constitutionally protected right (say, the freedom to practice my religion and one of my religious beliefs is my reason), then REALLY how can there be a law requiring me to do it anyway - and I mean, a law that is accordance with the United States Constitution?

And what if the potential customer is gay, but the reason I don't want to work for them is something completely different? If you pass this law, can they claim my reason is their sexual orientation and thus force me to accept them as a customer anyway?

And if you answered "no" to the fence/cow question, and yes to the cake-making question, how can you POSSIBLY say that it's right to have a law requiring a person to go against their religious beliefs, but not have a law requiring them to go against their dietary choices?

The only way to have true equality is to have NO laws that afford special treatment or punishment to ANYONE based on things like race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.

Government exists, in part to protect individuals from the tyranny of majority. The idea is that a business owner can refuse to serve any person they wish, but they can't refuse to serve all black, gay, jewish, old, fat, handicapped, polkadotted people.

South Africa had apartheid. It was modeled on how the U.S. and Canada handled Native Americans, but given the full weight of law. It sparked international scorn and resulted in those laws being over turned.

Everyone's rights ends where the rights of others begin. Civilization is about balance and compromise.

This is how humanity matures.

Apartheid was government enforced discrimination. That was wrong.

The proposed law is also government enforced discrimination. If a business owner can refuse to accept all Republicans as customers (just for an example), but they can't refuse to accept all persons of a certain gender/race/sexual orientation, then that means there is a law enforcing behavior based on gender/race/etc. And that is wrong.

However, as a person who equates apartheid (laws enforcing discrimination) to an individual's right to choose with whom they do business, I don't expect you to understand the point I'm making.

This is a simple case of "I don't agree with what you say, but I will support your right to say it." If you believe in the principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution, you should be looking at the business owner and saying "I don't agree with you, and I won't do business with you myself, but I will defend your right to do business with whomever you want."

The cake maker should be free to not sell cakes to gays, if he wants to. And the guy who sells flour to the cake maker should be equally free to not sell flour to the cake maker because of the cake maker's religion.

We had aparthied in the United States for 300 years. That's what slavery, segregation. Jim Crow was. Blacks were not people under the law. Even when free they were not full citizens. Don't fool yourself, that happened a few decades ago, and it was the government allowing private businesses like restaurants the right to refuse service based on race. There is not a difference. It's happened in the United States before. And people like you seem to want it again.

Ummmm, no. I don't want that. And don't want the same thing in the opposite direction.

From Merriam-Webster:

Discrimination: 1 a : the act of discriminating
b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently

A law that says two people of differing races have applied for a job, and they are both equally qualified and, therefore, because of that law, I have to choose one over the other based on their race is discrimination. Discrimination against the person of the race that didn't get the job.

A law that says a person has to accept a customer as a renter, or a cake purchaser, or anything else where the law is enforcing that requirement because of the sexual orientation is also discrimination.

A law that says somebody has to behave in a certain way based on their own race/gender/etc or the race/gender/etc of another person is discrimination, by definition. Racial discrimination, gender discrimination, etc..

And I oppose discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, eye color, height, weight, hair color, and many more things, particularly on the part of the government.

You and Derrick are seriously misguided if you equate the harm done to a minority when the majority acts negatively towards them as a whole (vis a vis enacting laws to that effect or even refusing service on a widescale basis without enacting it in law) to one business refusing service. When ALL the places in town that sell cakes refuse to sell one to a gay person, then get back to me about the need for the government to do something.

"Government exists, in part to protect individuals from the tyranny of majority?"
Really? Which one and Who'm? How did government protect the Native Americans?

The clown with the comment of "Nice to see Big Corporations Standing up for right,..."? Corporation and government RAPED THE NATIVE AMERICANS.

Name one CIVILIZATION that hasn't FALLEN due to the weight of it's Protective government?

You watch too much Star Trek.

Your comment is a open ended argument with a narrative that fits the socialist agenda.
"All for all, and success for none." And, "we the government will take care of you?"

Pathetic. And for gays and lesbians to FORCE ME to serve them or I will get sued?!@?!?!?!?

Bullshit.

Look at what happened in Oregon. THE BASTON of liberalism/socialism and stupidity.

I don't want to bake you a fucking cake. WELL FUUUUUUCK YOU IF YOU DON'T.

Who is losing freedoms and rights?

Equality doesn't mean you're allowed to be discriminatory. And why would a person be so hateful as to advocate for discrimination? That's a sad person.

You're right. Equality does not mean that you're allowed to be discriminatory.

FREEDOM means that you are allowed to be as narrow-minded as you want, though.

And I don't know why you are advocating for discrimination - in this case, by supporting a law that forces people to do something they don't want to do based on another person's sexual orientation - and, apparently, being against a law that would get rid of that requirement.

Naturally speaking, there is no such thing as "true equality" only "true opportunity".

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Then you support Jim Crow segregation and discrimination. That's what that is. It's private businesses picking who they will and won't do business with. They chose to not serve food to blacks. They chose to not allow blacks to sleep in hotels. Private businesses chose to not allow blacks to rent in their neighborhoods. Private businesses chose to refuse to give mortgage loans to blacks in a country where home ownership was the most common path into the middle class. Private business chose not to treat patients in hospitals and doctors offices. Private ambulance services chose to not answer calls if the patient was black. Many towns contract out emergency services like fire to private companies. You'd be in favor of that private company deciding it doesn't want to fight fires in the Mexican part of town.

You're confusing fence building or cake baking with discriminatory practices. No you don't have to build the fence. Refusing to build a fence around a slaughterhouse isn't discriminatory. People who run slaughterhouses are not a protected class of people. And yes you can refuse service to people. You don't have to make a cake. Even in your hypothetical all you've said is "you're catholic and don't want to bake a cake." That's not against the law. Maybe they want a wedding cake and you don't make wedding cakes. Maybe you only red velvet cake. You can choose not to bake a cake. You cannot refuse service for discriminatory purposes. You can't chose to refuse to make cakes in some discriminatory fashion. You can't refuse to make cakes for all women, or jews. You're hypothetical don't help your point because they are not analogous. The actions describe are not inherently discriminatory. You're refusing to build a fence because you're vegan. And in the second you're just refusing to bake a cake for no stated reason. By contrast this proposed law is discriminatory on it's face. You're hypotheticals are not. It's the same as firing someone. You're free to fire any at will employee. You're not free to fire an employee because they are Muslim or Jewish or black or white or a woman or any other discriminatory reason. This is why we had a Civil Rights Act of 1964, to prevent discrimination by private businesses. This is why we have a Voting Rights Act. Civil Rights Act of 1968 The Fair Housing Act to prevent private people offering housing from discriminating.

The reason we have the laws are to protect society from people that want to go back to the 50s and 60s where the kind of discrimination you want was open and allowed. The problem is you want to not be bound by laws that require you to NOT discriminate. That's a shame. I don't know why you'd fight so hard for the ability to discriminate. Fundamentally what your asking for is a return to Jim Crow.

You are just as confused as Rene.

Jim Crow Laws were just that: Laws.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_crow

And I already said I do not support any laws that enact different treatment for anyone based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc..

ps. If a municipality contracts out EMS and doesn't ensure that the contract forbids discrimination, well, to be honest, I'd be really surprised if that happened.

Nothing you said rebuts what I wrote. Clearly you're misguided.

You're confused on the not only about The Constitution but on Jim Crow. Jim Crow was more than just laws. It was an entire system of behavior. It was a system of discrimination. What some guy wrote on Wikipedia doesn't equate to an exhaustive or authoritative explanation of Jim Crow. "Jim Crow was the NAME of the RACIAL CASTE SYSTEM which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow WAS MORE THAN A SERIES OF RIGID ANTI-BLACK LAWS. It was a way of life. " http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm You clearly are in favor of discrimination because you're advocating for something that the civil rights act banned but you're fine with it here. And even if Jim Crow was just a law how does that help your argument. They are unconstitutional and what Arizona is proposing is also a discriminatory law.

There is more to a just society than laws that "enact different treatment." You want no laws to enact different treatment you just want to discriminate. You're advocating no discrimination by the government but all you want by private citizens. That happened in the throughout this country's history. That's what Jim Crow was. Allowing you to pick and choose if you'll let me in your restaurant. This law does the is the government sanctioning discrimination against gays.

Actually I rebutted your statement that I support Jim Crow segregation. And I rebutted your concerns about EMS not being provided to minorities.

Since your opening statement was completely false, I didn't bother to read or address much of the rest.

As I said above (reply to Rene): When ALL the places in town that sell cakes refuse to sell one to a gay person, then get back to me about the need for the government to do something.

@ StuartV: "I am a strong advocate for gay rights. As one example, I strongly support the right of any two people to get married, regardless of their gender.
But, at the same time, why should the government interfere in private business owners' choice of who they accept as customers? It seems to me that a private business owner should be free to do business, or not, with any customer they choose, for any reason they choose."
If you are a strong advocate for gay rights, how could you allow anyone to discriminate against them? This is not a case of a government interfering in a business owners' choice, this is about a government protecting the rights of everyone. As a strong advocate for gays rights you should celebrate it.
@ StuartV: "If I am a Catholic and I have my own business making cakes and somebody wants me to bake them a cake and I choose not to accept that person as a customer, should the government have a law requiring me to do it anyway? What difference does the reason I choose not to make? And if the reason is a Constitutionally protected right (say, the freedom to practice my religion and one of my religious beliefs is my reason), then REALLY how can there be a law requiring me to do it anyway - and I mean, a law that is accordance with the United States Constitution?"
Your interpretation of the Constitution can go a certain distance. But even the freedom to practice your religion has its limitations: what If your religion permits you to kill another person (far-fetched but I’m making a point)? If the Constitution draws the line at, say, discrimination, then your freedom to practice your religion under such circumstances becomes the government’s business.

I mentioned this as an example of a mistake by Apple in an earlier comment.

While I do not support this law, & as a small business owner myself I would never turn away paying customers, Apple is making themselves a very big target for future gov't investigation & purposeful regulation. A smart company or business of any size tries in every way possible to avoid mingling with the gov't. I have plenty of interactions I must undertake with the EPA, FDA, SSA, IRS as well the various state & local entities that overlap those agencies with their own regulations. The local health dept is an absolute nightmare to deal with akin to major dental surgery performed at the DMV! So I don't break the law but I do all I can to limit my contact or exposure to those entities. Apple is a big company with a big checkbook. Political activism raises the specter of gov't taking a keen interest in getting ahold of all those billions for new or imagined fines & penalties. Death by a thousand cuts so to speak.

Steve Jobs would not have done this had he been alive & I don't think anybody would argue he was a hard right conservative politically. Yes I read the book & have seen the interviews & I'm very aware of Steve's intentions that Tim run Apple without looking over his shoulder at a ghost. But Steve Jobs would never have gone to Capital Hill & testified voluntarily about Apple's business as Tim Cook did either. He would have declined & ignored further requests without fear of a subpoena as Congress had no cause for one. He ran Apple very conservatively, in many ways I didn't agree with such as suspending charitable giving & employee benefits. Tim Cook has done great things in that area in my view. But this is mistake.

Older readers will remember Bill Gates made a famous, or infamous if you prefer, claim in the 90s about how almost all western govt's relied on Microsoft software to function. Bingo! He & Microsoft got hammered for anti trust violations. Better to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to gov't.

It's good to see a com sony as large as Apple stand of rights for all. All companies should take more stands.

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But if you are a small business owners who's believes don't conencide with others, you're a "homophobe, racists, bigot?"
So I lose my right because I don't want to serve chocolate because you want chocolate?

You're all very small minded.

A group of 2% minority has a majority of the say as to what happens to the individual freedoms that many of you all take for granted.

Your complete lack of education, REAL education and the dumbing down of this country leads you with OVERLY EMOTIONAL KNEE JERK responses to just about every subject out there.

Your take are all merely driven by a completely biased media that directs your processes, and has been proven here on this very site with the flame wars that going on over phones.

So while you all taut this as a victory of freedoms and rights for ? You are losing yours.

Think very hard. Arizona was given the option.
No, held hostage.
No Superbowl,
No Apple.
And for what?

They're right to refuse service on religious believes?

I don't believe in homosexuality. Do I hate gays? NO. I have gay friends.
But my up bringing tell me it is wrong. So I am bad.

You liberals with your thoughts on HUMAN RIGHT, LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS flag waving, keep this in mind.

We grant freedoms to all in this nation. What about the Islamists?

We are currently bending over to appease them...

THEY HATE GAYS!

And when homosexuals and lesbians can produce offspring, then we will talk.

Just something to chew on after a bite of my bitter Apple.

Okay, I see eminent flaming in my future, However! Have any of you actually read the bill? Basically the is a protectant from being sued for business owners if they refuse to serve a customer based on religious beliefs. For example, A jew may refuse to cater to a muslims wedding. A christian may refuse to take photos at a Gay wedding. Its is a extra protectant for business owners.

I was going to say the exact same thing this morning, but these lemmings think that the information that the MSM feeds them is from the mouth of GOD. At least those that believe in God.
I figured let them live their little "So-Called," victory.

I love the comment from the one person, Steve would have never brought Apple into this BULLSHIT dog and pony show.

He was very conservative as a business man and liberal mind in the ways of life, but he knew to keep business out of his personal life.

Those of you call me all you want. I really don't care. A man fucking a man is that. A lady doing what the ladies do it that. Not whatever higher power out there planned. They can't procreate.

And if the world was based on their thinkings, there wouldn't be any world.

Confused, angry, jilted misguide folks that want attention that they didn't get as children or have be jilted by the opposite sex to the point of loathing and bedding with the same sex. Call it what you will, just wrong, and, not natural.

My own sister was a lesbian after she was jilted by her boyfriend, thought that grass would be greener on the other side in the arms of another lady. Found out that there're assholes on both sides of the fence.

I have gay friend. One of my best friends in the service was our doc. Corpsman. He has even held my privates in his hand. Was I uncomfortable? Hell no. He is and was and will always be my friend. He didn't shove his crap ideology down mine or anyones else's throat.

That is the difference.

But I am sure you all know that.