An iPhone-shaped memorial to Appel co-founder Steve Jobs has been torn town in Saint Petersberg because current CEO Tim Cook has publicly announced he is gay. The company that funded the memorial, ZEFS, decided to remove the six-foot tall memorial because of Mr. Cook's sexuality, and as a reaction to reports of NSA spying.
A 2013 memorial to Steve Jobs in Saint Petersberg torn down because of Tim Cook's sexuality
ZEFS chairman Maxim Dolgopolov told Russian media outlets his company was responsible for removing the memorial, according to Business Insider. He said ZEFS would consider reinstalling it if changes were made to tell people avoid buying Apple products.
Tim Cook published an essay in Bloomberg last week saying, "Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
While Mr. Cook's sexuality should be of no concern to anyone but himself, it is a hot point for many — and especially in Russia where homophobia runs rampant. As such, it's no surprise the response from ZEFS was to tear down the Steve Jobs memorial because of Tim Cook's very close association with Apple.
The stone memorial included a large display showing different points in Mr. Jobs's life as well as quotations. A QR code on the backside sent people to a website with more information about his life.
Tearing down the memorial is a sad commentary on acceptance in Russia, and drives home Mr. Cook's comments on living outside the belief structure of some groups and individuals: "It's been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry."