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Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Being Gay 'Is God's Greatest Gift to Me'

On Thursday afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook described his homosexuality as "God's greatest gift to me," because it enables him to inspire young people struggling with LGBT identities. He said he "came out" in order to inspire them, and he described his sexual orientation toward other men as a gift from God. In Russia, however, his company hides its LGBT-branded products, suggesting a double standard.

"I was public because I began to receive stories from kids who read something online that I was gay and they were going through being bullied, feeling like their family didn't love them, being pushed out of their home, very close to suicide, things that really just pulled my heart," Cook told CNN's Christine Amanpour.

"I started saying, 'I am a private person,'" the Apple CEO recounted. He later realized "that is a selfish thing to do at this point. I need to be bigger than that. I need to do something for them and show them that you can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life, that there is a path there."

Then Cook declared, "To me, it is God's greatest gift to me."

Tim Cook has not publicly discussed his religious beliefs. Christians and Jews who follow the plain text of the Bible would not consider homosexuality to be a gift from God. While having a homosexual orientation is not considered a sin in Christianity, acting on it is considered a sin.

Christians believe that all people are born with proclivities toward sin and temptation, and same-sex attraction fits into that category.

That said, Christians should also unequivocally condemn the kind of bullying and harassment that drives many people with LGBT identities to consider suicide. All human beings are made in the image of God and have infinite value and worth.

Tim Cook's efforts to inspire young people in these horrible situations are laudable, even though many Christians would also warn that Cook is inspiring sinful thoughts and attitudes.

Fitting with Cook's orientation, Apple as a company has taken a very public pro-LGBT stance — even to the degree of partnering with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-Left organization that brands mainstream conservative Christian groups "hate groups" for disagreeing with LGBT activism.

Notably, however, Apple does not present the same face in every country — literally. The Apple Watch has a rainbow LGBT background available, but the software prevents a user from bringing up that watch face in Russia.

Tom Warren, senior editor at The Verge, pointed out this hard-wired stance.

Russia implemented a "gay propaganda" law in 2013, which threatens jail time and fines for what the government defines as offensive speech. Were Apple to enable the "pride" watch face in Russia, the company might run afoul of this law. Apple also sells a special LGBT Apple Watch strap, donating a portion of the proceeds to LGBT groups — everywhere but in Russia.

Tech companies seem to betray their values when working overseas. Google came under fire — from its own employees — for yielding to China's censorship in creating a special version of the search engine for that far-eastern country.

If Tim Cook truly considers his homosexuality a gift from God, why does his company kowtow to Russia on LGBT issues? Furthermore, why side with the SPLC — which is effectively demonizing conservative Christians and attempting to silence their speech — in the U.S. while taking an entirely opposite stance in Russia?

It stands to reason that companies like Apple need to abide by the law in different countries, but Apple's partnership with the SPLC in the U.S. is entirely voluntary.

Watch the video of Cook's interview below.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.