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In a op-ed posted on The Washington Post's website Sunday, Cook said bills under consideration in more than two dozen states could enable discrimination and "undo decades of progress toward greater equality."
"These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear," Cook said. "They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."
Laws that allow companies to use faith as a reason to deny service to gays and lesbians would "hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy" of particular parts of the country, Cook said in his piece.
"America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers' lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair," said Cook, who publicly declared his homosexuality last year.
Since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the law last week the response from business leaders has been relentlessly negative. Tech leaders, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, denounced the legislation, calling it anti-gay and a detriment to top talent.
Indianapolis-based Angie's List has put expansion on hold, threatening a plan that would have added a thousand jobs in the state by 2019.
In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Pence defended the law, saying it strengthened the foundation of First Amendment rights.
"We're not going to change the law," Pence said on the program, "but if the general assembly in Indiana sends me a bill that adds a section that reiterates and amplifies and clarifies what the law really is and what it has been for the last 20 years, then I'm open to that."
Click here to read the full piece from The Washington Post.