A Russian company has removed a memorial to Apple's founder, Steve Jobs, outside a St. Petersburg college "to comply with the country's laws on gay propaganda." The move follows Tim Cook's coming out as a gay man.
Once a memorial to Apple founder Steve Jobs, a giant iPhone in St. Petersburg has become the latest casualty of Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws. A Russian group of companies called ZEFS or West European Financial Union dismantled the smartphone replica after Jobs' successor Tim Cook came out publically with his homosexuality last week.
The two-meter (more than 6 ft.) high monument shaped like an iPhone was erected outside a St. Petersburg college in January 2013. ZEFS now says it needs to abide by a Russian law - signed by President Putin last year - that bans the spread of what the government calls "homosexual propaganda" among minors.
Putin has reportedly insisted there is no discrimination towards gay people in Russia, but rather the law is intended to "protect youth and traditional family values" in the country.
"In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law," a source in ZEFS told The Telegraph, noting that the memorial had been "in an area of direct access for young students and scholars."
However, the National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, where the monument stood, told state news agency Tass that ZEFS had contacted it before Tim Cook's announcement, to say it was taking the iPhone down to carry out repairs.
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