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Apple's Tim Cook accepts Visibility Award at Human Rights Campaign dinner

In accepting his Visibility Award at a Human Rights Campaign dinner on Saturday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about his coming out as gay and argued that there are still obstacles to LGBT acceptance even if much progress has been made.

Making reference to things like this summer's Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, Cook suggested that the U.S. was closer than ever to achieving Martin Luther King Jr.'s goal of people being judged solely on their character. He noted however that that the country isn't there yet, and that LGBT people are still sometimes bullied, seen as defective, or even sent off for "reparative" treatment.

"People need to hear that being gay does not give you limitations in life," he commented in an NBC video of the event.

Cook also received positive words from people like HRC President Chad Griffin, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who said that Cook serves as an inspiration for kids worried about being different and what they can achieve.

Although Cook's sexuality was rumored for some time, the CEO only officially came out in October 2014, hoping to inspire others. During his tenure Apple has been been more assertive than ever in supporting LGBT causes, for instance by backing the Equality Act meant to end discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Cook himself has spoken regularly on the topic, and been a major HRC donor. Apple has regularly won perfect scores on the pro-LGBT organization's Corporate Equality Index.