While much of the rest of the world’s responses to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s public acknowledgement that he is gay ranged from “meh” to “well good for you,” Russia in particular seems to be having a hard time dealing with it. The country is now apparently retroactively removing honors, with a monument to Steve Jobs being the latest victim of Cook’s coming out.
Reuters reported on Monday that a two-meter high monument to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had been dismantled in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. The monument, made in the shape of an iPhone, was erected in January of 2013 by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS.
The monument stood for just under two years, but the news that Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor, was gay was enough to have it torn down.
“Sin should not become the norm,” said Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS who ordered the Jobs monument’s removal. “There is nothing to do in Russia for those who intend to violate our laws.”
Dolgopolov’s remarks appear to point to the controversial anti-gay laws in Russia in general and St. Petersburg in particular. The dismantling of the Jobs memorial appears to be an effort to cut down on “gay propaganda.”
“In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, pointing to the fact that the Jobs memorial was “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars.”
“After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.”
For the record, Cook never explicitly “publicly called for sodomy.” Instead, the Apple CEO simply confirmed that he is gay and proud of his sexuality.
ZEFS’ reaction, while it may seem extreme to some readers, isn’t the harshest response to Tim Cook’s coming out. Just hours after news of Cook’s revelation began circulating across the globe, one Russian politician took a hard line against the Apple CEO, calling for Russia to issue a travel ban against Cook in order to protect the country from Ebola.
“What could he bring us?” Vitaly Milonov asked a Russian news outlet on Thursday. “The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They have unseemly ties over there. Ban him for life.”
Milonov, who is the same politician behind St. Petersburg’s anti-gay laws, went on to allege that Cook’s decision to come out was in part an effort to improve sales of Apple’s bestselling iPhone.