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back to article I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Firefox-maker Mozilla Corporation – after it emerged he controversially backed a ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California. In a blog post on Thursday, Mozilla cofounder and executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote that Eich's decision was voluntary and that he made it …

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It's a shame

Shouldn't have given up to blackmail that easily.

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Re: It's a shame

Intollerance won...

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Re: It's a shame

If I may quote George Takei:

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. This man donated money to a campaign designed to keep LGBT people from full equality and to deny our families equal rights under the law. He was free to make that choice, but we are free to hold him accountable. If he'd donated money to White Supremacists to help outlaw interracial marriage, there'd be little outcry over his ouster.

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Re: It's a shame

>Intollerance won

Not only intolerance but fascism also, caving in to a group who apparently feel the cannot be disagreed with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a shame

Wow, what a phenomenally shallow world view which essentially boils down to "Face the consequences if you disagree with my ideals" and throws some racism in just for good measure. There was a famous Austrian bloke who had the same idea...

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Re: It's a shame

Though I'm not really that bothered what he's done or what his job I do think his being forced out like this is unfair and unreasonable. I personally am fully supportive of same-sex marriage, and most other reasonable forms of social tolerance towards anything that doesn't cause someone harm but....

"If he'd donated money to White Supremacists to help outlaw interracial marriage, there'd be little outcry over his ouster."

If he'd donated money towards a peaceful PR campaign in support of the above then I would in fact oppose his ousting just as I do in this case. There is a clear and obvious divide between making a donation to a PR campaign and holding a deep conviction on a subject and openly espousing it in your personal and professional life, and forcing it on others through your management and leadership of a business.

There is no evidence that he has done anything apart from possibly hold a personal belief that many, including myself disagree with. He hasn't as far as I can see, spoken openly in support of that belief or involved it in his professional life in any way. We only know about his donation through an oddity of a State law.

This man has been involved in Mozilla since the beginning, and invented Javascript, yet I don't recall hearing of any calls for Mozilla to be boycotted before his appointment as CEO. Despite the fact as a co-founder he would of wielded a large amount influence.

In a fair and reasonable society you should, and indeed do, have the right to privately believe in and support whatever peaceful opinion and cause you wish. No matter how misguided, ignorant or just plain stupid that belief may be.

If this were not the case Tom Cruise wouldn't still be famous, and there wouldn't be churches of Scientology springing up all over the place.

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Holmes

No, it's not.

Mozilla is positioning itself as some kind of community. Having the same ideals as that community is part of the deal if you are the figurehead of that community.

It's the same if you are the figurehead of a Protestant community, then you cannot be a Roman-Catholic. And if you are the President of a Soccer Club, you better love Soccer above other sports.

Regarding Free Speech, people want him to put his money where his mouth is. That is obviously a consequence of Free Speech, people know where you stand in the debate, and they expect you to live up to it. Or be branded as being hypocritical, and not worth listening to.

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Re: No, it's not.

"you better love Soccer above other sports"

There is no sport named "soccer". It's called FOOTBALL.

And also, every other point you made is wrong.

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Re: No, it's not.

Nope, not at all accurate there I'm afraid.

Certainly to be the head of a Protestant community you must be of that faith, but that is because that community will have a rule that stipulates it is so

It is entirely possible however to be the owner/manager/president of a football club and not particular like football since the FA and other football authorities don't require you to like football to be associated with it. You do of course have to be good at being the owner/manager/president or you'll get sacked.

The fans may well mock you for saying you don't like football, should you make it public, but if you do a good job and lead the club to victory they're unlikely to try and force you out.

Mozilla has no explicit rules dictating what the personal beliefs of it's employees and particularly the CEO must be, in fact for it to do so would be ridiculous and as a business possibly illegal (hence why Eich wasn't fired but stepped down).

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Re: No, it's not.

"There is no sport named "soccer". It's called FOOTBALL."

'Soccer' is a perfectly acceptable contraction of 'Association Football' which is the sort of football that it is.

I'm all for poking fun at the septics but it's an English word created in England by English people so it's a bit harsh to go off on one when they use it.

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Holmes

Re: No, it's not.

Everybody here is forgetting that certain communities think that their faith is better than all other ones. Leaders/figureheads/spokespersons or whatnot of those communities must therefore uphold those faiths. You cannot lead a Protestant community and not be a Protestant. Not because of the rules, but because you are a Protestant because you believe there is no better faith.

Same reasoning goes for political parties. The political leader of the Liberals must be a Liberal. It would be unlogical if he's a Social-Democrat, a Communist or a Conservative.

Mozilla also has that kind of community. Maybe not by choice, it could well be accidental. But then, they were happy to use the community, and this is the price they pay.

Free Speech is protecting your right to say what you think is the best faith, political party and whatnot, and to keep the State of your back. And there is a different rule that makes sure that people can create communities that have particular faiths, and keep the State of their backs too.

But there is no rule that forces communities to accept people in that particular community with a faith that differs from theirs.

In soccer terms, people would be fully in their right to ditch the president if he insisted that they would become a gardening club.

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Re: It's a shame

Lets get this straight.

He can promote and donate to a cause that conspires to take away the rights of others, but those others are not allowed to complain about this or take any retaliatory action.

Because working for Mozilla is the greatest human right of all.

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Re: It's a shame

Surely no! A reasoned and thought through argument on the internet. What is the world coming too? Will nobody think of the trolls!!!

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Re: It's a shame

"He can promote and donate to a cause that conspires to take away the rights of others"

You can't take away rights someone doesn't have in the first place. I also don't believe in gay "marriage", perhaps I shouldn't be allowed to post here because I disagree with your political agenda which is essentially what the whole gay "marriage" really is?

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Pots and kettles

Maybe it's time for a new word to be coined.

Heterophobe

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Re: "Intollerance(sic) won"

Since when should people be expected to be tolerant of bigots?

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Re: "Intollerance(sic) won"

That'd depend on who you think's being intolerant I suppose.

The one chap who was discovered to have a particular point of view or the swathes of people vilifying him for for not holding the same point of view as them.

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Re: It's a shame

"You can't take away rights someone doesn't have in the first place."

That's interesting, so are you saying that if gays could already marry you wouldn't agree with banning it? Or are you just kind of nitpicking?

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Re: It's a shame

"You can't take away rights someone doesn't have in the first place."

Blacks didnt have any rights either in many countries, doesnt make that situation a valid or just one.

Marrying black people as a white person was not done either half a century ago, look how we changed! I love the fact that churches are always trying to 'hijack' marriage, even though its a governmental instrument.

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Re: No, it's not.

@ Sander van der Wal

I'm sorry, but that does not compute. From your argument, if he came out as being a secret Internet Explorer user, then he would have a problem.

As far as I know, Mozilla is a foundation for providing software in the area of web browsers, they are not a foundation for the rights of gay people of marry. The one has nothing to do with the other.

As I said above, I don't agree with Eich on this matter, but that wouldn't make me call for his resignation and it wouldn't make me boycott Mozilla. The one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

That Mozilla is acting unprofessionally and pretty much forcing him out, that could colour whether I would boycott their products.

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Re: It's a shame

ObBackToTheFuture: Where we're going - we don't need trolls...

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Re: It's a shame

Wow. We do indeed live in politically correct times. Chap sees gay marriage as damaging to traditional marriage, makes donation, sacked. Extreme, extreme, extreme. Though there may be valid arguments on both sides, or you may think just one side, always say no to mindless ideological extremism, and a big fat yes to common sense and moderation, every time. Applies to both sides.

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Re: It's a shame

"Will nobody think of the trolls!!!"... I did! (Delicious.. Deep-fried in butter.)

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Re: "Intollerance(sic) won"

Is racism just a "particular point of view" too?

Why don't we just go back to having slaves, while we're at it?

Sorry, but bigotry is not just a "particular point of view", any more than slitting somebody's throat is just another way of saying hello.

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Re: No, it's not.

And Ok Cupid is not hypocritical?

http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/31/okcupid-wants-users-to-reject-web-browser-over-gay-marriage/

Quote:

Despite their opposition to Eich and Mozilla, in its past, OkCupid has not come out as strongly against all gay marriage opponents. According to campaign donation records, the matchmaker’s co-founder, Sam Yagan, donated $500 to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008.

Yagan, who is currently CEO of the Match Group, which owns OkCupid, also donated $500 to former Utah Republican Rep. Chris Cannon in 2004. Cannon voted in favor of a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Christian Rudder, another OkCupid co-founder, donated $1,000 to Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Obama has said that his views on gay marriage are “constantly evolving” and only officially came out in favor of gay marriage in 2012. Before that, Obama had said he believed marriage was between a man and a woman.

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Re: It's a shame

"That's interesting, so are you saying that if gays could already marry you wouldn't agree with banning it? Or are you just kind of nitpicking?"

I'm not nitpicking. You can't retrospectively assign rights to people so you can complain about others wanting to take them away.

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Re: It's a shame

"Blacks didnt have any rights either in many countries, doesnt make that situation a valid or just one."

Here we go - the usual attempt to conflate racial issues with gay ones in some feeble attempt to gain gravitas for the latter. Not being able to marry is hardly oppression on the same scale as being forced to work as a slave and don't even attempt to make that connection. Marriage in almost ALL societies in the world , black, white, brown , whatever , is between a man and a woman, not between 2 people of the same sex and thats the way most of us want it to stay and if you don't like that that's just tough fecking luck.

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Re: It's a shame

///If he'd donated money to White Supremacists ///

If he'd donated money to Nazi Leader etc. etc...

----------------------------

In real, you are free to hold him accountable. But using your "Account Log" in focus of slighting people's life and career and so on, you discover only weakness of your positions and cowardice, faced to legit discussions.

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Re: It's a shame

So Mozilla says it supports "diversity". Really?? WOW! Epic hypocrisy coming from Mozilla. True diversity would allow anyone, even Brendan Eich to have differing views. I have used Firefox for 8 years, but I am finished until Mozilla admits it's mistake.

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Re: There was a famous Austrian bloke

I wonder what would have happened if people had stood up and said "hang on a minute" back then.

You can't run a company that pushes itself to the public as a LGBT-friendly place while funding laws that deny that philosophy at the basic level. At least, you can't and expect people to just stand by and say "sounds reasonable".

Now if we can just use the same issue to get that unnecessary attack vector JavaScript out of the web the job will be done and well done at that.

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Nope, not time for that. Not for most of us, at least.

Why should there be a need for a new word -- don't you think Angles and Saxons were gettng married long before they were Christians? Yes, you're right, of course they were. So the concept of marriage is not a Christian invention: It's something that's been present in *human society* much longer, and across far more cultures, than any single religion. So why should Christianity (or any other single religion) get dibs on any particular word?

OK, maybe I was wrong, above, to say it isn't time to coin a new word. Could well happen that it *is* time to do that... For the Jeezmoids.

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So, who do YOU think was being intolerant here?

The ones wanting to marry whomever they wanted to marry, or the one who successfully contributed to preventing SOME people from marrying marry whomever they wanted to for half a decade in, what was it, the sixth-largest economy in the world? (Sorry, can't recall for sure, but measured in money or people, California is apparently fricking HUGE.)

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Naa, it seems you missed a step or two:

This is how it really went down: Chap sees gay marriage as damaging to traditional marriage, makes donation, gets called out by gay couple years later, gets offered the out of uttering a rather diplomatic apology(*) crafted for him by said gays, refuses to utter any such thing, realises the pressure of public opinion isn't going to let up, resigns.

And honestly, if he can't even bring himself to apologize for the actual practical harm to gays that he helped get enacted into law for half a decade, then he *is acting* like rather a bigot, isn't he?

---

(*): "I made that contribution without realising some of the practical consequences the measure would have. While I still hold the same opinion in principle, that marriage should be for 1M+1F, I now realise that Proposition 8 did in fact cause some people some actual practical harm, and therefore I apologize for my part in getting Proposition 8 enacted." Or words to that effect, quoting from memory.

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Re: It's a shame

Except, of course, that this wasn't one man's 'private' opinion, now, was it? He sent money to another group of like-minded bigots, in order that they may speak and act on his behalf.

That's what his donation was for.

If he had been overheard talking in private to someone at a party, of his anti-equality beliefs, you *might* have a case to complain about person opinion causing him to have to resign, yet the facts are that he actively sought for others to press for social changes that would see his 'private opinion' affect an entire group of people through legislation that would further demonize them.

So, no, you and your apologist buddies are grossly mistaken, perhaps even wilfully so.

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Re: It's a shame

"keep LGBT people from full equality and to deny our families equal rights under the law."

There already was full equality under the law, in terms of civil partnerships, it just so happens that men and women are biologically different and no amount of harassment of people who think marriage recognises that, will change biology.

Now, what a prejudiced nasty person I am, aren't I?

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Re: It's a shame

I have already removed Mozilla from my computers and from all computers at my company.

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Re: "Intollerance(sic) won"

We are either "tolerants" or "bigots", there is not a third possibility like "We are tolerant about everything but <list of intolerances>"

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Re: It's a shame

Hold him accountable for what exactly? The free exercise of his right to employment? His right to private political speech? His right to political participation? There was no suggestion his workplace performance was inadequate, only that his personal political views were wrong. Three other employees from Mozilla donated to the Prop 8 campaign, and he was the only one fired.

Take the Universal Declaration of Human rights: for the sake of a few people who want to redefine one term in Article 16, a person who wants to keep the definition used for Article 16 as it is, has had Articles 2, 12, 18, 19, 21 and 23. It's worth noting Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

It seems many people believe rights are something only they should enjoy.

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Re: It's a shame (you keep writing)

NO ONE has ANY right to make someone quit their job because he/she/It disagrees with their opinion. Lifestyles are simply another version of an opinion.

Being forced out of a job because ones believes in the traditional family model is as illegal (or pehaps more so) as being forced out because you are gay. Tit for Tat!

STOP trying to force your viewpoints on other people. If you want consequences keep opening your yap.

You are NOT free to hold anyone "accountable" that is unless you are either God or a Judge.

IF you feel you ARE allowed to hold people accountable dont be surprised if you experience some quid pro quo.

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FAIL

Animals

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" is a two edge sword.

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Re: Animals

Oh Jesus, what the hell is wrong with the forumites here? This whole issue has been so dispiriting for the comments it has attracted - apparently the majority of you are raging homophobes.

To move it away from your apparent prejudicial blindspot, imagine there was a guy who gave money to a political campaign to take the the right to vote away from women "because they were too emotional to make sensible judgements". Or to a campaign that declared that Jews were driven by avarice and would put profit above the well being of their fellow man and should therefore not have the right to own or run companies. Or to a campaign that claimed that interracial marriage was damaging to society because it diluted white racial purity and should therefore be banned.

If such a person were promoted to CEO of an organisation and you were a woman/Jew/black person/non bigot would you want him as your boss? If you were a customer would you want to give "him" money? If you were a stakeholder, would you want to build add-ons or supporting tech that enhanced the prospects of his company?

Further, being CEO is rather different to most jobs - he has considerable scope to make hiring and advancement decisions and he is inherently the "face" of the company.

Finally, how the hell do so many people not understand what "freedom of speech" really means? Too many of you seem to believe that it means freedom from any consequences for what you say (and do - he gave thousands of dollars to support these causes!). How can you possibly think that is what it means? Try walking up to your boss and unleashing a bunch of insults and then claiming freedom of speech when he boots you out.

Freedom of speech means that the government will not take action against you for what you say (and even then the legitimate restrictions are legion - national security, safety (fire! in a crowded cinema...), libel, copyright infringement, harassment, even damn noise pollution for starters). It doesn't mean freedom from consequences - you can express your opinion and I can express mine and we can both of course judge each other accordingly. If you try to take away my rights then I can declare that I won't buy your stuff anymore. This is *obvious*.

Hopefully in 15 years you guys will look back on this and wonder how you could ever think that putting an overt homophobe into a CEO role was appropriate. Lord knows your kids will.

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Re: Animals

Sorry, either you agree with free speech and democracy, or you don't. If you do, you have to accept others will hold views you don't like.

Accusing anyone who doesn't share your viewpoint of being a homophobe is exactly the kind of twisted bigotry the gay community has demonstrated against Eich.

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Re: Animals

I accept that he has views that I don't like - I simply don't like them (tautological but apparently you missed that?). People doing things to others that I don't like affects how I act towards them. Is this depriving them of their right to freedom of speech?

If you believe so, then either you act exactly the same towards everyone, regardless of what they have said or how they have acted towards you or you are a hypocrite.

I'm accusing anyone who wants to deprive gay people of the rights that straight people enjoy simply because they are gay of being homophobic. Doesn't seem especially twisted?

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Re: Animals

With freedom comes responsibility, or do you disagree?

If not, can you see how this man's bigoted beliefs, publicly expressed and acted upon negatively impact his employer!

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Re: Animals

This is not a victory. As a gay guy I am in two minds.

Personally I think it is bloody-mindedness to sack someone for political expression, many of the things I have said that could be used against me in future employment if this becomes the norm. Live by the sword you will die by the sword.

I cant see how providing leadership on a browser project threatened my existence. If as CEO of Mozilla he continued to support campaigns against Gay marraige then I think we would have an axe to grind. As CEO he not was picketing gay weddings or soldiers funerals. I am unaware that the GLBT community contributing to Mozilla felt endangered by his appointment. I did hear of a boycott but there is a boycott for every perceived slight nowadays.

I rally against people for expressing antigay sentiments, but I would only have an issue if his beliefs started to bleed into company policy or the company tried to affect public policy against me.

I cant see how equality will work if neither of us can express a personal opinion. I cannot see how he will change his position on marraige now that he been boycotted, I fear it will make him a stronger opponent.

I may not like his opinion but I will fight for his right to express it. - and I thought i was confused before. This is not a victory.

Which browser company and entire staff supports marraige equality? is there a pink standard?

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Re: Animals

"If not, can you see how this man's bigoted beliefs, publicly expressed and acted upon negatively impact his employer!"

Your statement assumes that his opinion on gay marriage is, in fact, bigoted.

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Re: Animals

You would be surprised to know how bigoted gays can be when they hold the power.

Once the head of the Nursing faculty at a local university got appointed she proceeded to stack the faculty with gay-only lecturers. It was quite an eye-opener to observe the blatant discrimination against males and the grooming of any prospective sexual partners by the faculty staff.

It is not just straights who abuse their power when they hold it. It would have been nice to have seen them practice what they preach (non-discrimination and equal rights for all), but sadly absolute power corrupts absolutely and lofty ideals are soon jettisoned when personal gain is at stake.

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Re: Animals

It's possible to not be a homophobe AND be against gay marriage. Extremists just don't understand that.

I would like to support gay marriage - BUT, as someone who worked on a crisis hotline in college and used to be a licensed therapist, I am against gay adoption purely on child psychology principles. However, since the two issues insist on being intertwined, I am against gay marriage.

Is that O.K.? Or am I now branded as a homophobe because I refuse to think of children as property?

I look forward to the downvotes of the angry and intolerant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Animals

I'm accusing anyone who wants to deprive gay people of the rights that straight people enjoy simply because they are gay of being homophobic.

Gay people DO have the same rights as straight people. What you fail to grasp is that, even for straight people, marriage is not a "right". It is a "privilege" that is subject to regulation by the state and can be denied if those regulations are not met.

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