(JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Brendan Eich was the CEO of Mozilla for 10 days. He was pressured to resign last week amid complaints about a $1,000 donation he gave to an anti-gay marriage campaign seven years ago. Now his departure is at the center of a public discussion about the rightful place of political opinions in the business world, the shift in support for gay marriage nationally and the use of social networks by those who wanted Eich brought down.

Guests:
William Saletan, national correspondent for Slate Magazine
Michael Hiltzik, reporter and columnist at the Los Angeles Times and author of "The New Deal: A Modern History"

  • Guest

    Seems Brendan Eich CEO of Mozilla was pressured to resign based on his religious beliefs in regard to Prop 8. Who is next some CEO who donates to a Jewish PAC that supports Israel? A CEO who donates to homeschooling causes? Where does it stop?

  • geraldfnord

    Mr Eich will not starve without this job, which represents the preëminent public face of a firm held in high esteem, and so as such were a place of honour not suitable to (for example) someone believing that true marriage between persons of different races were impossible, the LORD having endorsed segregation of the races by his various placement of them some 4×10^3 years back (which fails both at science and decency). His opposition to same-sex marriage is as immoral as the default-global scoping of JavaScript variables is unpleasant.

    You see, I happen to agree with many conservatives that shame has its valid uses and that immoral behaviour in the highly-placed should not be tolerated; I merely replace their blinkered fealty to ancient, tribal, purity codes masquerading as ‘morality’ with an ethically consistent emphasis on maximising non-coërcive personal freedom and an actual adult’s utter disinterest in other adults’ consensual sex-lives. I’m sure that there are many in our industry with moral opinions different to mine, not everyone being capable of being right, but I’d guess that there are enough coders, hackers, and even some suits who had to endure enough homophobic mockery (regardless of actual sexual interest), or are just naturally decent enough, that my views are far closer to the norm than Mr Eich’s—this does not give us the right to hound him wherever he might go, nor to deprive him of the good living his talents should make him (hey, at least JS has closures), but neither does that mean that we must allow him to be held up as a model exemplar of our community.

    • thucy

      Nicely put. If only the political operatives on both sides of the gay marriage “debate” could feel shame… unfortunately, they’re just in it for the cash. In the meantime, there are actual life-or-death issues facing all of us, regardless of orientation, that have gone largely unaddressed.
      Perhaps the Mozilla ouster represents a jumping of “Carcharodon carcharias” for the soi-disant meritocracy at the helm of today’s LGBT activism.

  • colinvgallagher

    When she had been campaigning in California’s republican gubernatorial primary, Meg Whitman had endorsed Proposition 8. Barely five years later, as CEO of Hewlett Packard, Whitman signed on to an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing to the Court that it should find Prop. 8 unconstitutional. No major gay rights organizations are calling for Whitman to step down from her position as HP on account of her past support for banning same-sex marriage in California. If Eich had been a hypocrite like Whitman would he have kept his job? Is there a double standard at work here?

    • rematrav

      Is Meg a hypocrite or did her opinion change? The problem isn’t Whitman or Eich. The problem is an intolerance toward those who support traditional marriage.

      • colinvgallagher

        Well right through the election in 2010 she supported the ban on same sex marriage. I don’t think that her subsequent opposition to Prop. 8 was heartfelt, but that she was simply saying what her new audience (HP shareholders and employees) wanted to hear her say.

  • thucy

    I dare say the “culture of intolerance” has something to do with the extraordinary effort to legalize gay marriage at the same time that the more pressing, life-or-death matter (specifically housing for the 30% of homeless who self-identify as LGBT in SF) was virtually ignored. Gay marriage was never the point – fundraising for both right and left sides of the political battle was the fight. You can’t do serious fund-raising on an issue like homelessness or poverty. It’s not “feel-good.”

    Marvin Hagler once said, “You ever been black? I was black once. When I was poor.” To paraphrase Hagler: “You ever suffer serious discrimination as a gay person? Chances are, it’s not because you were gay, but because you were poor AND gay.” Economic discrimination knows no shame, especially in SF.

  • Sean Dennehy

    While I fully disagree with Eich’s stance, if we start ousting people and firing people from their jobs for their political positions or political activity, we risk setting a terrible precedent. What’s to stop someone for being fired for supporting gay marriage? And wouldn’t the same people cheering Eich’s ouster be against that?

    • TerryGauchat

      There are laws in California protecting you from being fired for political, religious, or sexual orientation, etc.. Eich resigned. He was NOT FIRED.

  • Another Mike

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, opposed to gay marriage?” McCarthyism for our era.

  • geraldfnord

    Would we be having this discussion if he had donated money to a campaign for a constitutional amendment banning mixed-‘race’ marriage? I doubt that, and we don’t see that sort of behaviour in respectable people because to do so isn’t respectable any more. I realise that this equivalence seems false to many, but the tech world is generally more libertarian, less religious, and more likely to have had ‘F-gg-t!!!’ screamed at them every day for years. We also often are socially awkward enough that we cheer-on anyone who’s found/made _any_ kind of successful pair-bond…. So in sum, our norms seem to be congenial to gay rights such that where ‘the pale’ ends is different for us (even as many of us are less congenial to racial and economic concerns than we might be, skewed white and upper-middle-class as we are).

    • Another Mike

      Whites and blacks have been legally marrying all over the world for centuries, yet same-sex marriage existed nowhere in the world until 2001 (Netherlands).

      Some people have just not adapted to the change yet.

      • Mrs. Eccentric

        Mike, same sex marriages existed all over the indigenous world, even here in the good old USA, for thousands of years. You might want to pick up a book or two on anthropology at some point. steph

        • Another Mike

          So far all I got is Nero, and two Spanish guys in 1030 who pledged eternal friendship.

          • Mrs. Eccentric

            Mike, just keep on searching, i’m sure you’ll make progress eventually. Meantime, i’ve got errands. Have fun! stpeh

          • thucy

            Steph, that’s not a fair answer. Just give him a source.

          • Beth Grant DeRoos

            If you are going to make firm statements then you at least should give referances per articles, books that folks could find to read.

  • Sean

    This is not just a political issue on which reasonable people can disagree. It’s a human rights issue and those on the wrong side of it should be held accountable for their stance. It may not be obvious to them today, but in the future they will either be embarrassed by what they have said and done or their children will be embarrassed for them.

    • thucy

      Tell it to the 30% of homeless San Franciscans who self-identify as LGBT. They have real civil rights issues, which are being ignored by the LGBT community in favor of pushing marriage down everyone’s gullet. Tens of millions spent on fighting/supporting Prop 8, while homeless gay men, many of them non-white, die on the streets.
      In the future, I hope the white, middle-class leadership of gay marriage activism, as well as their counterparts on the opposing side, will feel “embarrassed”, as you suggest.
      But seriously, I ain’t holding my breath.

      • Sean

        Tell it to the 30 million slaves living in the world today. That is the real human rights issue and until every one of them is free we should not spend a single second or another dime thinking about homeless LGBT in SF.

    • rematrav

      Comparing racial discrimination to traditional marriage is comparing apples and oranges, although I know it’s a very popular, albeit specious, argument for so-called “marriage equality”. When we come to our senses and are no longer bullied by people who scream we’re bigots for supporting traditional marriage, we’ll realize that traditional marriage is a universal institution and has been for thousands of years. It provides the discipline that cultures and societies must have to survive. Just as growing children need discipline and rules, so do societies.

  • Another Mike

    The same board that decided that Brendan Eich was the best person for the job decided 11 days later that he was not? Because of a political view he had espoused six years ago?

  • Sid Johnston

    This is not about community standards. Courts, legislatures, etc have made it clear that marriage is a fundamental human right and is protected. No one (other than a few extremists) says that Eich has no right to his opinion or that he is being discriminated against because of who he is. Rights are rights, not subject to a vote. He has the right to say what he wants but he also has to be willing to accept the consequences. The consequence here is that enough people raised the question and in the absence of any meaningful response from Eich, choose to express their opinions by choosing to stop doing business with Mozilla. BTW, I do not use HP products for the same reason.

    • Another Mike

      In 2008, same-sex marriage was legal in only one other state. So the right was not widely seen as fundamental. Eich’s point of view lined up with 52.8% of the California electorate.

      • Sean

        The rest of the world has progressed. Eich has not (or at least is not willing to discuss it).

        • Another Mike

          Even if his views had progressed, claiming they had would only be seen as self-serving and insincere.

          • Sean

            By some, but not all. Reasonable people can change their opinions and reasonable people respect that.

      • thucy

        I truly deeply wish the matter of “fundamental rights” could stick to FDR’s vision.
        Marriage isn’t a “right”; marriage is a profoundly dysfunctional, inherently conservative institution. Let it die as it has died in Europe.
        Voting is a right. A fair trial is a right. We haven’t even achieved those rights, but we waste all this time on garbage like Marriage, which is not a right, just nonsense.

    • Mrs. Eccentric

      “He has the right to say what he wants but he also has to be willing to accept the consequences.”

      Really. The first amendment doesn’t guarantee you a job, or a talk show, or a newspaper column…..steph

      • Sid Johnston

        Right. If what I say or do upsets you for any reason, don’t hire me, listen to me or read what I write. That is your fundamental right. I didn’t like what Eich did, so I opted out of Firefox. About all I can do. It is called the market. But it doesn’t change he opposed what is a fundamental right. It isn’t a political issue, it is a human rights issue. No one gets to vote on them!

  • Mrs. Eccentric

    I cannot have children, and i knew i would not be able to from the time i was a teenager. No one ever has questioned my ability to have a ‘real marriage’ with a man. No one ever questioned my marriage to my husband, 15 years ago when we married, or since, on the basis that i can’t have kids or that we are childless. I have heard of many many post-menopausal women marrying men and no one ever called it ‘non traditional’ or said they were ‘changing the definition of marriage’.

    Until – we got this so-called ‘historical argument’ from the anti-gay marriage people.

    This idea that ‘historically marriage is all about children’ is a crock. And it burns me the heck up that suddenly my marriage is ‘not real’, or ‘a new type of marriage’ – when it never was before. It’s probably for the best that my keyboard does not have a middle finger key. steph

    p.s. My aunt and her wife have the largest number of children (all from their own wombs) than any of their siblings.People need to read a book or two and take a look around.

    • pegordon

      I further take issue with the statement that ‘historically marriage is all about children’ on the basis that in many societies marriage was all about protection of assets. Procreation was only wrapped up in marriage to the extent that it was a way of keeping assets (including a title such as “Duke”) in the family.

      • Mrs. Eccentric

        Pegordon – excellent point. stpeh

  • Mrs. Eccentric

    I am sure there are people who think being anti-gay marriage isn’t the same as being anti-gay. There were plenty of slave owners who thought they were helping black people too.

    “Nice thoughts” only count so far, actions speak louder than words, etc. steph

    • Another Mike

      Same-sex marriage is a seismic shift in our understanding of what marriage is. Expecting everyone to immediately jump on board is unrealistic.

      • Sean

        Even if that were true that doesn’t mean that you would want someone in a position of power who holds such a regressive viewpoint.

        • Another Mike

          The formal recognition of same-sex marriage started in 2001, and now it’s 2014. So his opinion could have evolved in the past six years.

          • Sean

            Which gave him plenty of time to apologize for his donation and clarify his opinion. It should be illuminating that he did not.

          • thucy

            Who knows? Maybe he thinks the LGBT community, like the rest of the world, has more pressing rights issues.

          • Sid Johnston

            Then say so.

          • Another Mike

            Never explain — your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway. — Elbert Hubbard

          • Robert Thomas

            AM, I’m a fan! We had a copy of the Scrap Book and a set of the Little Journeys at home. Great stuff.

            You know what Hubbard was the CEO of? Precisely nothing.

          • thucy

            “Then say so.”

            Then say what? Should I demand that the white, middle-class LGBT leadership “say” that gay marriage is a distraction from larger life-or-death issues within the LGBT community?

            This insistence that Eich play marionette to your script is so random.

          • Sean

            I don’t demand that he say anything, he is entitled to do exactly what he did. However, IF he wanted to keep his job AND his position had changed THEN he should have said something.

            It’s about as random as you insisting that the only issue anyone should show any interest in is the issue YOU are personally invested in.

          • thucy

            Are you then suggesting that the issue of gay marriage should take precedence over basic human rights for gay men, like shelter or medical care? Why is the LGBT community so hard-hearted toward its own people in favor of a “white whale” like gay marriage?
            I sincerely and seriously believe future generations in the LGBT community will look back on this moment with shame. Not because gay marriage is wrong (it is not wrong, or at least no more dysfunctional than straight marriages), but because it is so irrelevant.

          • Sean

            Are you suggesting your issue is more important than the genocide or slavery or human trafficking going on today? Shouldn’t we shelve all discussion of any LGBT issue until those problems are solved?

          • thucy

            I’m definitely not saying that LGBT issues be shelved. I am saying that LGBT needs should be prioritized within the community. When such a large percent of the LGBT community is struggling with basic SURVIVAL issues like homelessness, it begs the question why the white LGBT leadership turned its back on its gay brothers in favor of pursuing, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, gay marriage, which is hardly a life-or-death issue.
            The issue of 30% of SF’s homeless population self-identifying as LGBT means that LGBT homelessness is disproportionately an LGBT issue.
            Straights have aleeady proved marriage dysfunctional with a 50% divorce rate. Gay marriage will be no better. Take care of real needs within the LGBT community, not ego-driven pursuits like marriage.

          • Sean

            I’m the one saying that all LGBT issues should be shelved, since they are not the most important issue facing the world today? Can you not see this analogy?

            In a forum where LGBT activists are deciding how to spend their time, energy and money you should feel free to make a passionate argument in favor of what you think is the most important issue.

            You do not get to dictate what everyone else in the world should feel care about and need to insert yourself into every discussion. Unless you are willing to do as I asked and shelve YOUR issue until the world’s most important problems are solved first (and LGBT homelessness in SF is pretty far down the list, btw).

      • Robert Thomas

        I agree. I count it as progress (and so often, we despair that such progress is seldom seen) that we haven’t yet killed 600,000 of our own countrymen, fighting about it.

  • Sean

    Those who support laws banning gay marriage may THINK that they are not antigay, but that doesn’t make it so. Just as having a black friend doesn’t automatically make you not a racist.

  • trite

    The majority of voters six years ago approved Proposition 8. It is the height of hypocrisy for Moxilla to make this judgment at this point when most voters were of a similar mind at that time.

    • Sid Johnston

      All that would have been required is for him to enter into a legitimate discussion about why he held the views, whether he still does, if they changed, etc. He did nothing except say that he wouldn’t discriminate and that he welcomes diversity. Not good enough. By the way, I agree, Meg Whitman’s positions are despicable to me but she has a right to them. I don’t use HP products or ever use e-Bay and would support others doing the same. That is my right.

    • Daniel Holbert

      Please don’t frame this as Mozilla “making a judgement” against him. Mozilla *promoted* him and largely supported him.

      If anybody forced him out, it was elements of the tech community & tech press.

      See first 4 points on https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/ for more.

      • Another Mike

        “Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another role.” To me that says the board no longer wanted Eich to be the CEO, correct?

        • Daniel Holbert

          No, that was the board’s reaction to Brendan telling them that he was resigning.

          • Another Mike

            So why wasn’t the Board’s reaction to try to get Brendan to stay as CEO?

            Like the bartender says at 2 AM, while you don’t have to go home, you can’t stay here.

          • Daniel Holbert

            How do you know that wasn’t their reaction?

            That FAQ is a brief summary to address misconceptions. It’s not an exhaustive transcript of his conversation with the board.

            The statement you’re nitpicking about is to address the inevitable question “But why didn’t the board just let him return to his old CTO position?” (The answer being: that option [or something like it] was suggested, but he declined.)

            Mozilla is largely heartbroken over how this turned out; it’s crushing to have lost such a visionary (albeit imperfect) co-founder over this. We’ll get past it, but it doesn’t help when outsiders misrepresent what happened and misattribute blame.

          • He said he was stepping down as CEO, once that it was clear that he meant it, the board tried to offer him other roles. They did not demand he quit.

  • Mitch Harris

    Being in favor of the denial of real-world benefits to a class of your own employees does not warrant an opinion about life outside of the workplace. Try to tell that to someone unable to visit their life-partner in a hospital, or denied partner benefits after a death.

    • Another Mike

      That’s exactly what California Domestic Partnership was created to address, in 1999.

      • Mitch Harris

        And how did it address ‘separate but equal’?

        • Another Mike

          Same-sex marriage is precisely separate but equal.

          • Mitch Harris

            There is no same-sex marriage. Just marriage.

            Same-sex marriage is a concept invented by opponents of equal rights for all people despite their sexual orientation.

          • Another Mike

            Men and women are equal; they are not identical.

          • Mitch Harris

            They are in the eyes of the law.

            Besides, I never suggested all marriages needed to be identical. Recognized—but not identical. Same-sex marriage is like saying same-sex friendship. I suppose you could divide up all of your friends along sexual lines. You could do it among racial lines. You can judge any way you want. But prepare to be judged in return.

            That is what happened here. It may not strike you as fair this time around—but it’s human nature.

  • Ross

    This is such a sad decision for freedom and equality in our corporate culture, and a scary precedent to set.

  • Sid Johnston

    “Lincoln asked, ‘If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? The answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one,'” McClintock said in a statement. “And
    calling a homosexual partnership a marriage doesn’t make it one.” Tom McClintock, former candidate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in October, 2008. Eich
    donated to him on 10 separate occasions prior to this comment and then twice to
    ProtectMarriage.Com within days of McClintock’s comments.

    • Another Mike

      Brendan Eich is a conservative, and donates to conservative candidates. His donations are on the record. He has not donated to PACs.

  • Sarah Cameron Lerer

    I was fired for disagreeing with the policies of my non-profit employer. It happens ALL the time, and that’s what “at will” employment is all about.

  • Ben Rawner

    The browser business is highly competitive. Mozilla can’t stand bad publicity for even a moment because they will lose market share so rapidly. This should go to show that those in power need to be careful for what they do.
    Also, who says Ike doesn’t agree that he should step down. He did step down voluntarily.

  • Justin Morse

    I find a flaw with the argument that the CEO position is unique. What about the head of the HR department? Or any employee in Human Resources? Any supervisor has contact with others. Where do you draw the line? In Califonia, are we going to argue that anyone to the right of the democratic party is a liability? I am reminded of the Occupy movement and their conduct at meetings when they shouted down people who chose to speak in opposition to their position. – Justin in Sebastopol

    • Sean

      The CEO position is not unique, but it does hold the most power and therefore has the most responsibility towards supporting fairness and basic human rights. There IS no line, it’s a continuum.

  • Jessica

    It bothers me when people compare true discrimination against a minority to the supposed “discrimination” against a person who espouses discriminatory views. Firing a CEO because he supports a discriminatory viewpoint is very different from firing a CEO because he is gay. There is also a moral and ethical difference between a political, personal, or religious viewpoint that is discriminatory and one that supports equality.

  • Sean

    Please stop hiding behind religion. If your religion is truly fundamentally against same sex marriage (or interracial marriage) then you should be in favor of getting government completely out of ALL marriage. At least that would be rational and consistent.

  • Andrea Moed

    Those of us who are dismayed about McCutcheon, Citizen’s United and other setbacks for transparency in political contributions should NOT be cheered by Eich’s dismissal. It is in no one’s interest to discourage openness about political views by public figures. It will only drive political donations into the dark realm of unaccountable anonymity. We should encourage people like Eich to be accountable for their views in the public sphere, without forcing them from their jobs.

    • rematrav

      What? ” to be accountable for their views in the public sphere”. He believes in traditional marriage; it’s that simple.

  • Mozilla has put together a FAQ clarifying that Brendan resigned of his own choice (not fired, asked to resign, or forced out by employees).

    https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/

    • Another Mike

      Remember all those movies where the military officer was left a pistol with one bullet? That’s essentially what Mozilla did to Eich.

      • As the first caller, I tried to clarify some misinformation / misunderstanding that led to Brendan leaving Mozilla. If I had to guess why he made the decision (as only he truly knows why), Brendan deeply believes in the Mozilla mission that he helped create, and he probably felt that Mozilla would lose effectiveness and focus at least in the near term. He wants Mozilla to keep making the Internet a better place and probably decided that he had to step away to allow for that mission to thrive.

        • Robert Thomas

          Thanks, Mr Lee.

          While it may be that some commenters on this thing have got the facts right, most will have done so by accident. I wish both Mozilla and Mr Eich well.

  • Fabien Gestas

    As a gay man, I do have mixed feelings on this issue. While I certainly do not agree with Brenden Eich’s political beliefs, I also am not particularly comfortable with the way he has been forced out. Nobody has accused him of discrimination and so this is where my discomfort lies. In the end, this is a private company and the decision is a business one.
    I would like to point out that one of the guests today has made reference several times to gay marriage being a complicated political and religious issue. However, we live in a civil society, not a theological one. Religious beliefs on any political or legal issue are irrelevant and have no place in a discussion on civil rights. The Constitution is the final word on these issues, not the Bible.

    • Sean

      As a gay man, how confident would you be that if Eich were your CEO that he would treat you completely fairly in every situation, public or private?

      • thucy

        This is an important point, and if Mozilla CEO ouster came from within the ranks of company, then I think it is right.
        Workers’ concerns should take precedence.
        The larger question – why is gay marriage getting so much attention from the LGBT community when there are far more dire needs within that community – remains unanswered.

    • Another Mike

      It was just 11 years ago when the Constitution was reinterpreted to hold that gay sex was not a crime.

      Unless you’re arguing that sexless marriages are good enough, the Constitution is running behind public opinion.

      • Fabien Gestas

        You just proved my point, it’s a constitutional issue. Religion has no relevance.

    • Sid Johnston

      Mozilla is not a private company. It is a non-profit, meaning it is effectively owned by taxpayers. But aside from that, here is his record: Eich made 10 small donations on 10 separate occasions
      before a candidate supported by ProtectMarriage.Com , Tom McClintock said the
      following: “Lincoln asked, ‘If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a
      dog? The answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one. And calling
      a homosexual partnership a marriage doesn’t make it one.” Within days of that statement, Eich made two
      $500 contributions to ProtectMarriage.Com.

      • Fabien Gestas

        Your claim that Mozilla is effectively owned by taxpayers is completely wrong. The Mozilla Foundation is a private, non-profit entity and it owns 100% of Mozilla Corporation, which is a taxable entity. Only public assets are owned by taxpayers.

  • Robert Thomas

    Having read and listened to some discussions about this event for a few days, I’m struck by the number of strident assertions made by people who seem very unfamiliar with what actually happened with respect to Mr Eich’s decision to resign – or, rather, they’re people who seem to think they know what happened without any evidence for their claims.

    I agree with (I think) Mr Saletan that Mr Eich appears to have behaved precipitously. Maybe he thought that was the best for Mozilla; I think, from a Monday morning quarterback’s point of view, that a dialog with his employees (presumably such a dialog already occurred with his Board) and then with the loyal community of users might have been a good alternative.

  • Mary

    Brandon Eich should not be pressured to resign. I am in a mixed marriage (Chinese and white) and I have relatives who are gay. I didn’t favor the term marriage on same sex union (I certainly do not hate gays and do not want to judge others for who they are). Over the years my view has softened (it doesn’t matter to me whether a gay couple wants to get married or later get divorced). As long as his personal belief doesn’t affect his work performance, Brandon Eich should not be forced out or be intimidated for being true to his personal view.

    • Sean

      Would you feel the same if Eich had come out opposed to interracial marriage? Would you feel confident that you would be treated fairly in every situation if you worked for someone like that?

      • Mary

        It wouldn’t bother me–there are many people, gays or straight, who in effect oppose or dislike interracial marriage. I have worked for some but they are entitled to their view. It only becomes a problem if their view interferes their work performance or judgment.

        • Sean

          It is certainly not impossible to act contrary to one’s personal beliefs, but it would take a lot of faith to believe that someone would do so in all cases.

          Brandon Eich has already shown at least one example of poor judgement by funding Prop 8. If I were gay I certainly would not trust him to defend my rights vigorously behind closed doors.

        • On Aboat

          Ah, the old “it wouldn’t bother me” claim. I think you’re engaging in self-deception.

    • On Aboat

      Hi Mary. If your boss had donated money to prevent you from marrying your husband, would you want to work for him? I didn’t think so. That’s the same situation that Mozilla employees found themselves in.

      • thucy

        Fair point.

        • Except this wasn’t an internally driven issue, largely. I work at Mozilla and while some people were uncomfortable, the vast vast majority of folks supported him as CEO, including many of my LGBT coworkers.

      • rematrav

        It’s NOT the same situation at all. For thousands of years all cultures on Earth have discovered that a man and woman works best for family formation and for children and for the long term well-being of a society and culture.

        • Another Mike

          Actually, I have not read this result in any peer-reviewed journal.

        • Kenji Yamada

          Actually, the agreement of (almost) all cultures has been that a man and one or more women works best.

  • SlySy

    I find it interesting that the arguments used to justify the firing of Eich (a private company has the right to do as it pleases) were the same exact arguments that photographers used to justify refusing to serve gay customers. Interestingly, the people that condone those arguments in Eich’s case were often the same that rejected them in the case of the photographers (or cake makers) in favor of accusations of hate and bigotry, and demanded laws be put in place to prevent that from happening.
    What this has shown me, in case I needed reminded, is that both sides are equally bigoted, equally intolerant, and most of all, equally hypocritical.

    • Sean

      Replace “gay” with “black” in your argument and see if it still makes sense to you.

      • SlySy

        Irrelevant, we are comparing similar things here. Black and gay have about as much in common as apples and oranges. I was comparing 2 incidents both regarding gays.

        • Sean

          That you don’t see the analogy proves my point.

          • SlySy

            All I see is that you haven’t addressed my point at all. Probably because you have no counter argument.

          • Sean

            You don’t have a coherent point, so it would be useless to try to refute it.

          • SlySy

            My point is perfectly coherent, and since your haven’t justified your claim it isn’t, I will dismiss it without further elaboration and remain of the idea you don’t refute it because you don’t have any valid counterargument.

          • Sean

            Why would I even attempt to argue with someone who thinks it is okay to choose not to serve black customers?

          • SlySy

            Given I never said that, I’ll have to conclude you are having a conversation in your head with an imaginary interlocutor. I’ll leave the 2 of you to it then.

          • Sean

            Just like Eich you won’t say what you really mean so I’m left to interpret your ambiguous statements. Either you think it’s okay to not serve black people or you think that it’s wrong to criticize people who don’t serve black people. Just bury your head in the sand for all I care, have your grandchildren explain how wrong you are. I’m done.

          • SlySy

            There’s no need to interpret anything. What I wrote is everything you need to know, and what you should base your reply on. This isn’t an exercise in imagination. If you aren’t capable of addressing what I wrote without the need to make stuff up, go somewhere else.

      • thucy

        I’m sorry, Sean, but there is no equivalency between the massive ongoing civil rights violations against blacks and Latinos in this country and the far lesser discrimination against the LGBT community.

        • geraldfnord

          O.K., that might well be true, if only because there are far fewer gay people than Blacks and Latinos…but for all the likely values of ‘They’, it is clear that They’re happiest when everyone not-Them is convinced that their rights are in conflct with each other or that the struggle for some of those rights must preëmpt the others’.

          Fairness matters to primates, and any reasonable group on the same side should get at least to wet their beak…the other side often also want some allies to exploit just a little less in exchange for their support.

          • thucy

            “O.K., that might well be true, if only because there are far fewer gay people than Blacks and Latinos”

            Gerald,
            Do let us know when the mass incarceration of homosexuals for non-violent crimes approaches – on a per-capita basis, that of African-Americans for non-violent crimes. Do show us where homosexuals were brought in bondage to this country for centuries. Do show us where their sons were lynched, their daughters raped.
            There is no equivalency, and the LGBT community makes a mockery of itself by claiming one.
            Do show, Gerald.

        • Sean

          The theory being that we should ignore all discrimination until the most serious discrimination (in your mind) is taken care of first. Absurd.

          Are you going to be the one to tell the “blacks” or the “Latinos” that their issue is not important enough to consider until the other one is taken care of first? They can’t be equally important after all.

    • On Aboat

      Have you read anything at all about this issue? He wasn’t fired. It’s really hard to take your opinion seriously when you don’t know even that elementary fact.

      • SlySy

        Oh geez, he was forced to resign, there you happy now? I notice you haven’t addressed my point AT ALL. Probably because you have nothing to retort and therefore have to resort to addressing insignificant details instead.

  • ES Trader

    What happened to, “I disagree with what you say, but defend your right to say it” ?

    Im not gay but support gay marriage and find it hypocritical to fire a CEO for hos views and beliefs when it didnt affect his conduct at work and the fact that he was already an employee as a CTO.

    I use Mozilla and continue to because its features suit my needs better than Chrome or IE; if the market believes that a CEO’s philosophy is not something they want to support, they can.

    As I would boycott Chic-a- Filet (?) if I were a carnivore

    • On Aboat

      First of all, nobody was fired. Second, it wasn’t the market who made a stink, it was his employees. Third, the employees have a right to speak about who they do and don’t want to work for. I could go on.

      • ES Trader

        you missed the point which is that the marketplace should decide, by going to another search, instead of the board or the employees. Employees are not slaves;if you disagree w/ the company, find different employment !Sounds like you and your group should go on,…to another company or find start-up capital

      • Daniel Holbert

        RE “it was his employees”: To clarify, actually very few employees asked
        for him to resign, and they weren’t technically “his” employees. See 3rd
        question/answer on
        https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/

        (You’re right that he wasn’t fired, though. It seems to have been more outside pressure that eventually led to his resignation.)

  • Robert Thomas

    Oh, well.

    Not being in possession of the facts hasn’t always kept me from shooting my mouth off, either.

  • red_slider

    I don’t favor gay marriage rights at all. So, would you say I’m homophobic? Discriminatory? Ooops. I also opposed Prop. 8, vigorously and publicly. Would you say I was a supporter of gay marriage rights? Perhaps you would conclude I was inconsistent, confused or just plain incompetent? I wrote this poem about the matterhttp://poems4change.org/Poems/in-defense.html , Now what? Think I might be LBGT. Certainly a believer in gay marriage rights by conviction, yes?

    Think again. Maybe ask some questions, listen to the point of the guest instead of letting your feathers fly all over the political map? It’s about education and the way change is actually made. It was about threatening people with loss of job or compelling certain certain personal views and political positions and then feeling good that you got your “pound of flesh”. Yes, sometimes people must be compelled to do the right thing at the point of a “gun”. The civil war was about that. Federal troops in Alabama was about that. But its a far reach, and a self-compromising position to try to muzzle people, or prevent them from making their own political choices. That’s the way far right extremists do it. Is that what we want? To run around being thought police? Should we ultimately bar people from the ballot box who don’t think like we want them to think? Think again. The route of education is certainly slower. Sometimes compelling behavior changes can’t be avoided where public spaces and public activity cannot tolerate such exclusions. But as a game changer, it doesn’t work.

    My position? Had anyone asked what makes it both consistent and coherent I might have replied, “I don’t believe the state has any business in defining the nature or particulars of people’s personal relationships at all. I don’t think the government should be defining what marriage is between people, nor in extending special rights to anyone simply because they choose to be married. Why do we permit such discrimination against single people? I do believe that avoiding that issue by simply casting a wider net on who is to be included in this state-run descriptions/rights of “marriage” only obscures and delays the time when we must all come to terms with whether we want or need a government to tell us who we wish to be to one another.

    I opposed prop 8 because, as long as there is going to be discrimination on the basis of marriage, then the wider the inclusion, the smaller the discrimination. But that doesn’t mean I support or condone going in that direction. Still think my position is inconsistent, or that dialog and debate isn’t preferable to knee-jerk thought policing?

  • rematrav

    Radical members of the LGBT community have succeeded in doing what Taliban try to do. That is, in order to convince (soft-headed) moderates that they–either the LGBT
    community or Muslims—are not only treated unfairly and unequally, but also they
    are being persecuted and even attacked. The natural reaction by anyone is to fight against those who treat you as if you’re inferior and less than equal. That’s how the Talban recruit haters of the West and the U.S. It’s also how radical members of the LGBT community has convinced persuadable members of their, and the straight, community. If you support traditional marriage—a man and a woman—you’re a bigot who denies people their God-given right to marry. That’s utter nonsense, of course, but it seems to be believed by many members of the LGBT community.

    • Kenji Yamada

      If by supporting traditional marriage you mean opposing government recognition of marriages between two people of the same sex, then of course you’re denying them their right (God-given or otherwise) to marry. How is that nonsense? It’s just two ways of describing the same stance.

  • TerryGauchat

    A boycott is not “forced to resign”. Both supporters and dissenters of LGBT equality have voluntarily (and by individual choice) boycotted various businesses for years, sometimes successfully encouraging change and often ignored. Boycotts are free speech, not coercion… Sometimes America works the way it was intended.

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