Will Alabama pass the Tim Cook bill?

Tim Cook's push for LGBT equality
Tim Cook's push for LGBT equality

Apple CEO Tim Cook's name is on a new bill against gay discrimination in his native Alabama.

Patricia Todd, the first openly gay state lawmaker in Alabama, said Cook fully supported the bill she plans to introduce.

Called the "Tim Cook Bill," Todd told CNNMoney that it will protect teachers and state employees from being fired for being gay.

Cook became the first CEO of a major U.S. company to publicly come out as gay in an op-ed published by Bloomberg Businessweek in October.

"Tim was honored to hear that State Rep. Todd wanted to name an anti-discrimination bill after him, and we're sorry if there was any miscommunication about it," Apple said in a statement.

Related: Tim Cook comes out: 'I'm proud to be gay"

Todd said Apple was initially reluctant to allow her to use Cook's name, but that the CEO overruled those concerns once he learned of the request.

"We have a long history of support for LGBT rights and we hope every state will embrace workplace equality for all," Apple said.

Tim Cook in 90 seconds
Tim Cook in 90 seconds

The bill is expected to face resistance in the state legislature. A Democrat, Todd said she sponsored a similar bill in the past but it didn't go anywhere.

This time, she hopes Cook's name and the increasing number of states where same-sex marriage is now legal will give the bill a better chance of success.

Related: Gay CEOs: Cook isn't alone

"With his support and national support, we can at least get a public hearing," she said.

Todd said the bill is designed to entice businesses and welcome workers of all hues.

"We need business to grow in Alabama and we need to get over this terrible reputation we have for being intolerant," she said. "This bill will help educate people that openly gay people are discriminated against and need protection (in Alabama)."

Currently, there are no laws in Alabama that protect gay workers from discrimination.

"There are gay teachers here that are terrified that someone will find out they're gay and they will be fired," said Todd. "This will give them protection."

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