Tim Cook was hailed as a gay icon when he came out last week — but not everybody is celebrating the announcement.
On Friday, the former imperial capital, St. Petersburg, demolished a memorial to Apple founder Steve Jobs, Cook’s predecessor as Apple Inc. chief executive, citing the country’s policy on gays, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS, a Russian group of companies which built the statue, said in a statement.
It said the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars”.
The group built the two-meter monument in the shape of an iPhone outside a St. Petersburg college in 2013 in honor of Jobs.
The structure was torn down a day after Cook announced he is gay.
“After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values,” the statement said.
Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, was not gay.
Last year, President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting the spread of “gay propaganda” among minors.
Putin insists there is no discrimination against gay people in Russia and the law was needed only to protect young people, but members of the gay community say its passage has increased problems for them.
ZEFS, or West European Financial Union, offers a range of products and services in areas such as real estate, construction, advertising and microfinancing.
Cook said he had decided to come out to help move forward civil rights, confirming a fact that had been widely known in the Silicon Valley tech community but was rarely discussed.
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