Russian memorial to Apple founder dismantled after CEO comes out

Mon Nov 3, 2014 11:43am EST
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By Katya Golubkova

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A memorial to Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs has been dismantled in the Russian city of St Petersburg after the man who succeeded him at the helm of the company, Tim Cook, came out as gay.

The two-meter (more than six-feet) high monument, in the shape of an iPhone, was erected outside a St Petersburg college in January 2013 by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS.

Citing the need to abide by a law combating "gay propaganda", ZEFS said in a statement on Monday that the memorial had been removed on Friday -- the day after Apple CEO Cook had announced he was homosexual.

"In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law," ZEFS said, noting that the memorial had been "in an area of direct access for young students and scholars".

"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."

Promoting "traditional values", President Vladimir Putin last year signed a law prohibiting the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors.

Putin says there is no discrimination against gay people in Russia and the law was needed only to protect young people, although members of the gay community say its passage has increased problems for them.

ZEFS - or West European Financial Union - groups companies offering a range of products and services in areas such as real estate, construction, advertising and microfinancing.   Continued...

A man walks past a recently erected iPhone-shaped monument in memory of Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs in the yard of the State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics in St. Petersburg January 10, 2013.  REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk