Apple CEO Tim Cook donating to gay rights campaign in native Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi

Associated Press

Apple CEO Tim Cook is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states.

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign announced the contribution Thursday.

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The amount isn't being disclosed, but the organization calls it "substantial."

Human Rights Campaign spokesman Jason Rahlan says the group hopes Cook's support will encourage others to support its Project One America campaign in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The $8.5 million campaign aims to build acceptance for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in the states.

Cook made headlines in October by coming out as the first openly gay chief executive of a Fortune 1,000 company.

His announcement came just days after Cook encouraged Alabama to be more accepting of gay rights during a speech in Montgomery.