A Russian memorial to
The roughly 6 1/2-foot
"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," ZEFS said.
"Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me," he wrote in the essay titled "Tim Cook Speaks Up," published in Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Russian government passed a law last year that prohibits educating minors on homosexuality or "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" just a few months after the iPhone statue was erected. The law has been criticized as a harsh means of suppressing the nation's LGBT community, particularly before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Shortly after Cook's announcement, conservative St. Petersburg City Councilman Vitaly Milonov called for Cook to be banned from entering the country because of his sexual orientation.
"What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea?" Milonov said during an interview with the website FlashNord.