Support The Moscow Times!

Lawmaker Wants Russian Travel Ban on Apple's Gay CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPad during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Conservative lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has slammed Apple's CEO Tim Cook for coming out as gay on Thursday, saying the chief executive should be banned from entering Russia because he could have AIDS.

"What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there, prohibit their [homosexuals'] entry forever," Milonov, a prominent anti-gay campaigner, told the FlashNord news site on Thursday.

Milonov, a member of the ruling United Russia party who sits on St. Petersburg's legislative assembly and is the architect of what later became Russia's gay propaganda law, also called Cook "a shrewd politician" for delaying his public coming out until now.

"He's like an artist, who at first popularized himself and then revealed himself to be gay," Milonov was quoted as saying by FlashNord, using a highly offensive term for homosexuals.

It remains to be seen whether Cook's announcement will affect sales of Apple products in Russia, as well as in markets in other traditionally conservative countries.

The Russian government last year adopted a law banning the "promotion of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors though homosexuality is not illegal in Russia.

Cook, 53, who has headed Apple since 2011, revealed his sexuality in an essay published Wednesday by the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more