Apple on Thursday, in a statement to The Clarion Ledger, voiced its concern over the “religious freedom” bill signed into law by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. Opponents of the bill say it is merely a tool to be used to discriminate against LGBT individuals.
…Apple said it was disappointed to see the passage of HB 1523, also known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination, which detractors claim protects discriminatory actions against LGBT people.
“We want Mississippians to know that our stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love,” an unnamed Apple representative said.
The language of the bill says it protects citizens who deny goods and services to anyone on the basis of religious convictions. HB 1523 lays out three religious tenets that it safeguards:
- Marriage is reserved to one man and one woman
- Sexual relations are reserved to married couples
- The definition of “male (man) or female (woman)” refer to a person’s “biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
The Mississippi legislation is just the latest in a wave of religious freedom bills passed or pending in southern states. North Carolina and Georgia recently passed LGBT-related laws, an state legislatures in Tennessee and South Carolina are mulling over similar bills.
Apple has long been a proponent of civil right causes, involving itself in supporting issues such as diversity in the workplace, as well as LGBT issues.