Apple CEO Tim Cook has written an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal expressing support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, a bill that would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender. "At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don't have to check their identity at the door," writes Cook, who rarely speaks to the media. "We're committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation."

Cook says that adopting nondiscrimination policies is not only "a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights" but also "great for the creativity that drives our business." Apple has found that "when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives," according to the CEO.

"We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives."

Apple's own anti-discrimination policy offers workers more protection than they presently receive under federal law, according to Cook, who calls for the House of Representatives to bring the Employment Nondiscrimination Act to vote. "Protections that promote equality and diversity should not be conditional on someone's sexual orientation. For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace," Cook argues.

The act is also supported by President Obama, who has written an opinion column of his own in The Huffington Post; the president says that "in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense." Although the act has been repeatedly introduced over the years without passage, it has been in the headlines once again since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week that he would set the act up for vote this Monday. Cook implores senators to support the bill, arguing that "so long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them."