A Russian politician wants Apple’s CEO to be banned from entering his country after Tim Cook’s recent announcement that he is “proud to be gay.”
Vitaly Milonov, a regional lawmaker for the ruling United Russia party, called Cook’s “coming out” an “act aimed at popularizing homosexuality.”
“I believe he should be banned from entering our country,” Milonov told AFP. “It’s obvious he has the intention of imposing his ideas about families, not just of introducing new gadgets.”
He also said Cook could bring disease with him if he were to come to Russia.
“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there.”
When asked by Izvestia daily if he would boycott Apple products and stop using his iPhone, he said: “It’s not the phone’s fault.”
Milonov’s stance should come as no surprise. He is behind a controversial law, approved by President Vladimir Putin last year, that criminalizes homosexual propaganda directed toward minors.
Cook is the first CEO of a major U.S. company to announce he is gay.
The Apple CEO penned a missive for Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this week in which, for the first time, he publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation.
Although Cook said he has never denied being gay in his day-to-day life, he has always aimed to keep is personal life private from society-at-large.
Cook said he is “proud to be gay,” adding that it has given him “a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day.”