Alabama lawmaker to name workplace discrimination bill after Apple CEO

Tim Cook

Tim Cook AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama‘s only openly gay lawmaker plans to name her bill to prohibit anti-LGBT workplace discrimination after Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Tim CookAP

Tim Cook

Patricia Todd

Patricia Todd

Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) said she will introduce “The Tim Cook Economic Development Act” when the legislative session gets underway in March 2015, in the hope that Alabama will enact anti-discrimination laws that will lure Fortune 500 companies, such as Apple, to the state.

Todd said Wednesday the technology giant was initially hesitant about having Cook’s name on her bill but later embraced the idea, reports Reuters. The bill would prohibit anti-LGBT bias against school teachers and other state employees.

Todd first introduced a version of the bill in 2011, but the measure never got a hearing and her efforts have gained little traction ever since.

“The committee chair is Republican and he told me in no uncertain terms that the bill would never see the light of day.” she told BuzzFeed News.

Naming the bill after Cook was a “kind of tongue in cheek” way to give her bill a boost in a hostile climate, she said.

“I don’t think I’ll get very far because the Republicans have a supermajority in the legislature. You have got to have a sense of humor if you’re going to be a liberal in Alabama,” she said.

Apple was initially hesitant to lend their CEO’s name to the bill, but later said in a statement p that Cook was “honored” the anti-discrimination bill bears his name.

Cook, an Alabama native, came out as gay in October, and recently criticized the state for moving “too slow” to ensure the rights of people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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