While many of Silicon Valley's elite are in lockstep opposition to Indiana's new "religious freedom" law, former Hewlett-Packard chief and potential Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has taken the other side, accusing Apple CEO Tim Cook of acting hypocritically by opposing Indiana's law but continuing to do business in oppressive countries around the world.
"When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90 percent of the markets that he's in, including China and Saudi Arabia," Fiorina said to the Wall Street Journal. "But I don't hear him being upset about that."
Last weekend, Cook penned an editorial blasting state legislatures across the country for passing so-called "religious freedom" laws "designed to enshrine discrimination in state law." He was responding in part to a bill recently enacted in Indiana which would allow businesses to cite religious beliefs when defending themselves against discrimination suits.
Opponents of the law feared that it would give businesses a way to legally discriminate against gays and lesbians, after a federal appeals court ruling forced Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages late last year.
Following a raucous national outcry, which included an announcement from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff that his company — one of Indiana's largest employers — would pare down operations in the state as a result, Indiana's legislature amended the bill to include specific protections against discrimination.
Fiorina, who fancies herself a candidate for the presidency in 2016 despite her disastrous California U.S. Senate campaign in 2010, blamed the outcry on "narrow special interests." Technology leaders who have opposed the law, including Cook, have displayed "a level of hypocrisy here that really is unfortunate," she added.