Russian University Removes Statue Honoring Steve Jobs Because Tim Cook Is Gay

Russia Steve Jobs Memorial


In the wake of the announcement by Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledging that, as previous reports had hinted, he is indeed gay, a university in St. Petersburg, Russia has removed a statute that had been erected to honor Apple co-founder Steve Jobs:

A Russian monument to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has been taken down, after Apple CEO Tim Cook’s announcement last week that he is gay.

The monument, which is in the shape of an oversize iPhone, was located on a university campus in St. Petersburg, one of the more liberal cities in Russia, until its removal Friday.

It was put there in 2013 under the initiative of Maxim Dolgopolov, head of the holding company ZEFS, known in English as the Western European Financial Union, which cited Cook’s revelations about his sexuality in a Bloomberg Businessweek article last Thursday as the reason the company decided to remove the statue.

“Russian legislation prohibits propaganda of homosexuality and other sexual perversions among minors,” ZEFS wrote in a statement published on the Web site of Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy. “After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was dismantled pursuant to Russian federal law on the protection of children from information that promotes the denial of traditional family values.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law in 2013 that bans “the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” only a few months after the iPhone monument was installed. Putin has since argued that the law is not discriminatory and is intended only to keep children safe.

The monument was installed slightly more than a year after Jobs passed away. At the time, an organization called the “Communists of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region” complained that the monument looked too phallic, that its featured face of Jobs “will scare children and students,” and that the structure inappropriately “symbolizes the superiority of the American way of life.”

After Cook’s revelation Thursday, ultraconservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov called for Cook to be banned from traveling to Russia, telling the Web site FlashNord that he, or other gay people, could bring “the Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea” to Russia.

I’m sure this makes sense in the twisted logic of these people, but it’s really quite odd to anyone who looks at these things rationally.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. KM says:

    Hmmmm….. does this mean iPhones are illegal in Russia now too? After all, if you buy one you’re supporting the “propaganda of homosexuality and other sexual perversions among minors” with your hard-earned dollars! Somehow, I don’t think this logic will extend out to taking away Putin’s iPad…..

  2. John Peabody says:

    Quick, ban the Tchaikovsky symphonies and ballets! It can’t be quality if it’s gay.

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    The whole gay hysteria in Russia is really a testament to the power of propaganda on TV (the zombie box as some Russians call it). Gay rights were never a thing in Russia, but anti-sodomy laws were repealed in 1991, and gay people lived their lives quietly, for the most part. Enter 2012 and the anti-Putin demonstrations, state TV starts obsessive coverage of the gay menace coming from Euro-sodom, and within two years, the whole country is trapped in a paroxysm of hate. Just depressing.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    It seems Russia is becoming more and more like a Republican Utopia.
    They love that Putin is so manly…invading Georgia and the Ukraine…and they too, by and large, are raging homophobes. Indeed…the rigged voting in Russia is right up the Republican alley. It’s obvious that they long for the US to be an oligarchy just like Russia.
    Even if they take the Senate tonight….it will be a short-lived victory….I think they should all apply for citizenship in a country far more to their liking..

  5. Franklin says:

    Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy? Well, you heard the man …

  6. PJ says:

    Exactly what did Jobs do for Russia or any Russians that would merit a monument?

    The reason for it was publicity, and now it’s removed, for even more publicity….