When Tim Cook came out as gay on Thursday, the reaction from fellow tech leaders and from most politicians was largely positive. We knew that not everyone would react this way, however, and sure enough The Washington Post has cataloged some of the more idiotic reactions to Cook coming out. While some of the reactions were fairly predictable — really, who didn’t think the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer would say something stupid? — the most boneheaded reaction so far actually comes to us from Vitaly Milonov, a Russian member of parliament who wants Cook banned from entering his country for life.
“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” Milonov said. “Ban him for life.”
Wow — Tim Cook’s ties are apparently so unseemly that he could manage to bring Russia Ebola, AIDS and gonorrhea all at the same time? Say it ain’t so, comrade!
These comments are a reminder of why it took guts for Cook to come out even though he’s mostly received a warm reception so far: There are plenty of bigoted jerks out there and sadly some of them have significant political power. The good news is that Apple products are so in demand right now that it’s unlikely that homophobes such as Milonov will be able to effectively organize a ban against them even if they wanted to.