AFA Vice President Walker Wildmon, who last year said it was time to do something "of meaningful significance" about the company's bias, explains that the resolution would require Apple to conduct a study on its app store practices to determine "whether or not they are doing viewpoint discrimination against Christian or conservative groups."
Apple tried to exclude the resolution, but Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys, pointing out that Apple scored 8% out of a possible 100% on the 2023 Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, wrote a letter calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to decline Apple's request.
The SEC agreed, ruling that the tech giant cannot suppress the shareholder vote.
"Major corporations like Apple shouldn't be hiding from shareholders who are concerned about the company's impact on free speech," says Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel and senior vice president for corporate engagement at ADF. "The SEC's decision is a much-needed step toward transparency."
Economist Jerry Bowyer calls it "a big win."
"American Family Association just won before the SEC over the biggest publicly traded company in the world and now has the right to have its proposal on the ballot and to make a statement arguing in favor of its proposal, unfiltered and uncontrolled by the management of Apple," Bowyer details.
Meanwhile, Wildmon says this is not the only corporation that is or will be hearing from AFA.
"Something that we have been focusing on with our investment strategy is making sure that we are being activists with our shareholder engagement," he says. "We are carrying this proposal and similar proposals to other publicly traded companies to try to level the playing field and ensure that conservative and Christian voices are being heard at these corporate shareholder meetings around the country."
The Apple shareholder meeting is scheduled for Spring 2024.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.