Apple joins fight for equal marriage in Australia
Apple has officially joined a list of businesses backing equal marriage in Australia – as politicians clash yet again over the issue.
The country’s right-wing PM Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly blocked free Parliamentary votes on equal marriage, instead making plans to take the issue to the public in a plebiscite (public vote) to avoid a rift with his own conservative anti-LGBT MPs.
Having already agreed to stall the issue until after this month’s federal election, Turnbull – who pulled off a narrow victory in the election but holds a wafer-thin majority- promised this week to bring forward the plebiscite plan as soon as possible, to be held either this year or early next year.
But the move is contentious due to the lack of real public opposition to equal marriage, with every major poll on the issue finding the plebiscite result a foregone conclusion.
Members of the opposition Labor Party say the plebiscite is a costly stalling tactic from Turnbull’s Coalition, with Victoria’s Premier this week attacking Turnbull for bringing a human rights issue to a public vote for political reasons.
As the row continues, tech giant Apple joined the fray this week by adding its voice to those backing the Australian Marriage Equality campaign.
Like Labor, AME has lobbied for a free vote in Parliament as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
A statement from the company said: “Apple believes all people should be treated equally. That’s why we think all Australians should be able to marry the person they love.”
Mr Cook, who succeeded Steve Jobs at the head of the Cupertino firm, came out as gay in an op-ed in 2014.
He has subsequently spoken out on LGBT rights a number of times – condemning anti-gay legislation in his native Indiana, as well as lending the firm’s weight to an employers’ brief in the Supreme Court equal marriage case.
Most recently, Apple was among companies to endorse the proposed US Equality Act – US-wide Democratic legislation that would outlaw anti-LGBT discrimination in all 50 states.
A study recently revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interventions on gay rights help to boost interest in the tech giant’s products.