A Russian politician has called for a ban on Tim Cook.
Vitaly Milonov, a St. Petersburg city council member, expressed concern that the Apple CEO would bring an infectious disease into the country, shortly after Cook came out publicly in an op-ed published Thursday in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Milonov is known internationally as the author of a citywide ban on public images and demonstrations that call attention to LGBT issues, which was later expanded by President Vladimir Putin into a countrywide “gay propaganda” law. In the past, he has expressed his beliefs that Russians are the victims of hate crimes committed by gays, that gay people rape children, and that actor Stephen Fry is a “bringer of evil” for opposing Russia’s antigay laws.
Apple had been attempting to broaden its sales in Russia, where its products, including the popular smartphone iPhone, are too expensive for the vast majority of the population, reports Bloomberg. The company currently holds 8 percent of the country’s smartphone market, and the economic consequences of Cook’s revelation remain to be seen.
“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” Cook wrote in the op-ed. “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."