Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay

The St Petersburg official created a local anti-LGBT law which became the basis for a controversial nationwide ruling

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The Independent Online

Hours after Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly addressed his sexuality for the first time, a St Petersburg politician has called for him to be banned from Russia.

According to a translation by Buzzfeed, anti-LGBT campaigner Vitaly Milonov, a member of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, drew on stereotypes of homosexuals to suggest Tim Cook could bring "Aids and gonorrhea" to Russia.

He told the FlashNord website: “what could he [Cook] bring us? The Ebola virus, Aids, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there. Ban him for life."

Milonov is well-known for his opposition to LGBT rights, and was the architect of a local law which became the basis for an internationally condemned country-wide ban on “gay propaganda”.


The prevalence of similarly illiberal attitudes across the world may indicate why Cook had not publicly announced his sexuality before, and is currently the only open homosexual CEO of the top 500 highest grossing US companies. 

In a moving open letter published on the Bloomberg Businessweek today, he wrote that he is “proud to be gay” and considers being gay “among the greatest gifts God has given me”. “Being gay has given me 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,” he added.