Russia should give Apple CEO Tim Cook a lifetime entry ban for announcing that he identifies as gay, a prominent Russian anti-LGBT lawmaker has said.
“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” St. Petersburg city council member Vitaly Milonov told the FlashNord website on Thursday. “Ban him for life.”
Apple is very popular among Russian politicians, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, but holds just 8% of the smartphone market in the country, according to Bloomberg, owing largely to the iPhone’s high cost. Now Apple may see ramifications from Cook’s decision to publicly say he identifies as gay in an essay for Bloomberg Businessweek. The country’s government has used LGBT rights as a wedge issue to underline its backlash against what it sees as Western liberal hegemony. Milonov, an MP in St. Petersburg whose local “gay propaganda” ban became the basis for the controversial federal law passed last year, is an iPhone and iPad owner but recently declared that an iPhone 6 his “European homophobe friends” gave him was too vulnerable to U.S. spying for Russian officials to use.
Elena Mizulina, the author of the federal ban, said in July that iPhones were a key tool for pedophiles to film child pornography, but has herself been photographed using an iPad. Kremlin propaganda chief Dmitry Kiselyov, who once called for burning the hearts of gay people who die in car crashes “as unfit for life,” has a pink iPhone.
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