Russia dismantles Steve Jobs memorial after Tim Cook comes out

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Russia has made the radical decision to remove a memorial of Steve Jobs after Apple's current CEO Tim Cook revealed he is gay.

The iPhone-shaped structure was placed outside St Petersburg college in January 2013 following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs from cancer, but now those who constructed the shrine said they had to remove it in accordance with the country's laws.

ZEFS, the group of companies that erected the statue said: "In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law.

"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."

Russia's law that prohibits the spread of gay propaganda was introduced last year and aims to stop young people being exposed to homosexuality.

Because the memorial was placed outside a university, Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS asked for it to be taken down, saying he supported the protection of traditional values by law.

"Sin should not become the norm. There is nothing to do in Russia for those who intend to violate our laws," he said.

There have also been calls for Cook to be banned from entering Russia, led by Vitaly Milonov, a St Petersburg legislator and campaigner against gay rights.

Cook announced his sexuality last week in an article on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he wanted to push forward civil rights, arguing that if by coming out as gay he can help young people come to terms with who they are, then that is a good thing.

"I don't consider myself an activist, but I realise how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy," he wrote in the column.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.