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GLSEN, an organization promoting LBGTQ-friendly spaces in K-12 schools, announced on Thursday that Apple CEO Tim Cook is receiving a "Champion" award for his efforts in promoting likeminded causes.
The 2019 GLSEN Respect Awards ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles, GLSEN said. The organization didn't immediately say whether Cook will pick up the award in person, though he has attended awards events in the past.
"I am grateful to GLSEN for this honor and for all their work to ensure the LGBTQ community is treated with dignity and respect," Cook wrote in a prepared statement. "At Apple, our commitment to inclusion helps us do our best work, each and every day. Innovation depends on openness to new ideas, a culture of curiosity and a climate free from shame and stigma — that's true not only true for Apple, I believe it's true for everyone."
Cook was the first openly gay CEO of a major U.S. corporation, and has thrown his weight behind numerous LGBTQ causes, for instance opposing the Trump administration's efforts to restrict transgender rights. He has appeared at multiple San Francisco Pride Parades, and the company has maintained a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index for 17 years. Long before Cook joined, Apple was one of the first U.S. businesses to extend equal benefits to same-sex partners.
The 2019 Respect Awards are being sponsored by Apple and Wells Fargo.