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Apple cuts ties with Alabama lobbyist because he opposed gay marriage

Former Rep. Jay Love (R-Montgomery) on the floor of the Alabama House in 2012 (Photo: Facebook)
Former Rep. Jay Love (R-Montgomery) on the floor of the Alabama House in 2012 (Photo: Facebook)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Apple has cut ties with an Alabama lobbyist because he opposed same-sex marriage during his time as a state legislator and congressional candidate.

Former State Rep. Jay Love (R-Montgomery) left the legislature in 2013 to pursue opportunities in the private sector, including opening up a lobbying firm.

Love was subsequently hired to represent Apple, the Silicon Valley tech juggernaut, along with Greg Jones of The Jones Group. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Alabama Ethics Commission still lists Love as an Apple representative registered to advocate on their behalf before Alabama government officials.

But according to multiple sources, Apple has cut ties with Love after revelations that he had been a supporter of traditional marriage during his time as an elected official and candidate.

“Jay Love does not work for Apple nor does he do any lobbying on our behalf,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet. Yellowhammer’s request for further details from Apple was not immediately returned.

In 2009, Love sponsored a resolution in the Alabama House commending a Miss USA pageant contestant for speaking out in opposition to same-sex marriage. The year prior to that his congressional campaign ran ads promising that he would “defend… traditional marriage.”

In contrast, Apple CEO Tim Cook, an Alabama native and graduate of Auburn University, last year became the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” he wrote in a Bloomberg op-ed. “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

He later chastised his home state for being “too slow on LGBT equality.”

One reason the company may have found it necessary to cut ties with Love is that Cook agreed to lend his name to a bill in the Alabama legislature that would, according to Reuters, “bar discrimination against state employees on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

After Apple initially expressed concerns with attaching Cook’s name to the bill, the company’s legal counsel contacted the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), and told her they would be “delighted to have the bill named after him.”

Apple’s decision to end its relationship with Love will no doubt raise questions among supporters of religious liberty.

A request for comment from Love was not immediately returned. Yellowhammer will update this story as more details emerge.

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