Apple flew its gay pride flag last week. Along with several other tech companies and figures, including Google, HP and Mark Zuckerberg, the Cupertino giant warmly welcomed last week’s Supreme Court rulings regarding same sex marriage in the US.
The rulings comprised two landmark decisions, one of which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (also known as DOMA), which in 1996 had ruled same sex marriage unconstitutional, and the other of which invalidated California’s infamous Proposition 8 – a ban on same sex marriage initially passed in November 2008.
Apple’s reaction was unequivocal. “Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today,” an Apple spokesman told the website AllThingsD in a statement.
Apple’s support for gay rights hasn’t always been a smooth ride. One of the most notable hitches was the controversy over the infamous Manhattan Declaration iPhone game, in which users pledged not to “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships”. Apple first approved the app, but in late 2010 bowed to pressure from gay rights groups and pulled it, with Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris telling news channel CNN that the app, “violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people”.
On the whole, though, Apple has been a staunch supporter of gay and lesbian rights, long offering health benefits to same sex couples employed by the company, including health insurance with comparable premiums and beneficiary rights. Most notably the company publicly donated $100,000 to the ‘No Prop 8′ campaign in 2008.
by Macworld Australia staff