Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Eich Resigned. That’s Not Good.

Jim Burroway

April 4th, 2014

What is the statute of limitations for donating to support Prop 8 before that individual can no longer be fired from his job? I’m asking because this might be important information for those who employ some 101,894 people who did just that. We now know that the offense is still prosecutable after six years. Should we not be allowed to fire them after eight years? Twelve? Twenty?

Also, there were 1,120,801 people who signed the petition to put Prop 8 on the ballot. Can we fire them? Or should we let that slide? It’s too bad the ballot was secret. There were 7,001,084 people we could fire in California alone. That doesn’t even begin to take into account the thirty-three other states where many millions more contributors, petition signers and voters tried, often successfully, to prevent their gay and lesbian neighbors from marrying.

We’ve had a banner two years. Isn’t it time we were more magnanimous? I guess not. Mozilla’s former CEO, Brendan Eich got what was coming to him this week when it was revealed that he had exercised his First Amendment right to support Prop 8 to the tune of $1,000 six years ago. Firefox users and Mozilla employees began criticizing Eich’s elevation to CEO from chief technical officer, and dating site OKCupid put up a special landing page for Firefox users urging them to dump their browser.

Boycotts, I can understand, at least on a personal level. While I can’t think of a single boycott that was decisive in changing a company’s behavior, we all make personal decisions based on a variety of factors about where we spend our money and the products we use every day. I avoid Walmart, Exxon/Mobil and Chick-fil-A, and we’ve rediscovered the simple, childlike joy of graham crackers in our house.

But at a time when we are demanding passage of the Employment Non-Discrmination Act so that companies can’t just up and fire LGBT employees because they don’t agree with them — as they can now in about two-thirds of our states — we need to think very long and hard about whether we should demand someone be removed from his job for exercising his constitutional rights as part of the cornerstone of our democracy: a free and fair election.

We say that LGBT people shouldn’t be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job performance. I think that principle is good enough to apply to everyone, including Eich. And there is no evidence that I can find that his donation affected his ability to do the job he was hired to do. Eich made his donation out of his own pocket. He didn’t do it on behalf of Mozilla, he didn’t do it with Mozilla funds or through a foundation sponsored by Mozilla. And he certainly didn’t own Mozilla, which is a non-profit organization. It was his own dime on his own time.

As for Mozilla, it has inclusive policies that provide protections for LGBT employees and collaborators and offers health benefits to same-sex couples. Eich pledged to work “with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming,” and reiterated his support for the company’s policies “and the spirit that underlies all of these. …I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.”

Mozilla describes itself as “an open source project governed as a meritocracy.” Eich had been with Mozilla since the very beginning and developed the ubiquitous Javascript that powers much of the web today. If meritocracy means anything at any company, it should certainly mean something to the company’s most visible job at the very top. But Eich was caught in an impossible quagmire that had nothing to do with merit. In the name of tolerance, he learned that we don’t have to tolerate his opinions, opinions which he kept private and away from the workplace.

Which means that everyone who has had to endure corporate diversity training now has the same lesson lodged in their heads. Until now, they had been told that they can do whatever they want and believe whatever they want outside the workplace, but when they crossed the company’s threshold, they had to treat their fellow workers with dignity and respect, and to respect and encourage diversity in the workforce. They’ve now learned that it was all a lie. We do care about what they do outside of work and we can demand their ouster if we don’t like it. Eich learned that lesson the hard way and resigned yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to encourage even more cynicism toward company diversity programs than that.

And on a more personal note, I’ll be avoiding the word “tolerance” along with Walmart and Exxon/Mobil from now on. When a word has no meaning, there’s no reason to use it.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Ursomniac
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

There’s a very simple answer to the author’s first question:

the statue of limitation ENDS when the person responsible for the behavior: a) apologizes; b) reconciles; and c) makes amends for the inappropriate behavior/actions.

Had Eich done any of those things at any time, then the controversy would have not happened.

He didn’t.

There are MANY cases where people who have an unfortunate past have been able to move forward from that past. This is not one of them.

Rick2L
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I have to agree with you for the most part.

JohnInTheBayArea
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

If the political cause he had contributed to were racist, nobody would be asking this question.

I lived through the Prop 8 campaign. Tens of millions of dollars were spent to convince Californians that I was a threat to children and families. Every day, I saw despicable political ads on TV attacking me (and every other gay person in California) with the not so veiled implication that I was a pedophile.

He has every right to spend his money supporting whatever racist, sexist or homophobic cause he so desires. That doesn’t mean that I have to feel sorry for him when he gets called on his bigotry.

Kevin Stevens
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

A little thought experiment for those dancing in the end zone over this.

1. Pick a cause you are passionate about.

2. Tell me if you are okay with being fired because you believe in it.

You can dress it up in sophistry all you like, but this was liberal McCarthyism.

If you think that what was done to the Dixie Chicks was reprehensible but this was just fine, you have some things to think about.

Tofu
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

that’s some questionable logic (the previous comment, not the blog entry). because some of the people who supported prop 8 made those ridiculous insinuations, ergo everyone who supported prop 8 must have done so for those bigoted reasons? that does’t make sense. show me evidence that Eich was saying those things, and then you might have an argument (though one still completely orthogonal to the author’s point).

GSmith
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

The personal values are part and parcel of any CEO position. He wasn’t a cog in a wheel – he was the wheel. It’s unrealistic to believe that he would separate his personal views and the operations of the company.

He was completely unapologetic for his past actions and even pretended that he hasn’t given it any thought since: “I don’t want to do hypotheticals, I haven’t thought about that issue and I really don’t want to speculate because it’s not relevant.” Thanks. Some of us think about it every day because we are confronted with the discrimination every day.

Equality is not a part-way entity. Either you respect all of your employees and their relationships equally, or you don’t.

You mentioned Exxon/Mobil and they’re a great example. They are still giving a big middle finger to their lgbt employees and customers. (When they merged with Mobil they eliminated Mobil’s health benefits for same-sex partners and have adamantly refused to reinstate them.) You’re right. I can choose to work there or not, and I can choose to purchase their products or not.

Exxon has still not yet done the right thing (and I drive right past their stations) but Mozilla has. In light of his refusal to respond appropriately to his obvious prejudice, stepping down was the right thing to do.

Simply replace his anti-gay views with prejudice against any other group and think about whether it’s “Oh, it’s okay that the CEO discriminates against xyz. He only does it on his personal time.”

RainbowPhoenix
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

No, I do not think it’s time to be magnanimous. Even with our recent successes, we still have a long way to go. Mississippi just legalized naked anti-gay discrimination. The homeless LGBT youth epidemic is still in full swing. We still don’t have employment protections in large parts of the country. I can still hardly go a month without hearing about a hate crime or another teenager committing suicide. Russia is edging dangerously close to a full-blown pogrom, if it hasn’t started one already. You’ve written plenty about the situation in Africa.

And I have to ask, why are we the only minority that’s expected to be magnanimous? Maybe I’m just sheltered, but I’ve hardly seen anyone say that black people should be magnanimous toward people that donated to the KKK, or that jewish people should be magnanimous toward people who donated to neo-nazis. This idea that our basic human dignity is something that should just “agree to disagree” on is bad enough coming from people who aren’t directly affected. Seeing it internally is just depressing.

I also have to point out that his resignation came after people started digging and found other things he’s donated to. It looks to me like this was just the tip of the iceberg and they were trying to head off a much bigger scandal down the line.

chiMaxx
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

As Voltaire and Batman have reminded us “With great power comes great responsibility”–and great scrutiny.

Eich’s Prop 8 donation was not unknown when he was CTO, but it only became an issue when he was elevated to CEO.

The CEO position–especially for a company like Mozilla that depends heavily on people outside the organization donating their time and effort–is not just any position. It is the representative figurehead of the organization.

I will work beside coworkers whose views and values I disagree with, but I will not follow leaders whose views and values I disagree with.

By elevating Eich to CEO, the Board was saying to Mozilla stakeholders: This man now publicly stands for you. He is the public face of the organization and you will follow his lead. The employees and stakeholders of Mozilla simply said: “No, he doesn’t, and no we won’t.”

Travis Ormsby
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

If you didn’t find any evidence that Eich’s donation affected his ability to do his job, you didn’t look very hard. This whole things started among Mozilla employees and board members who were uncomfortable hiring Eich before he was even named CEO.

They didn’t trust him to uphold the values (or policies) of the company. That’s prima facie evidence that he was not suited to lead Mozilla.

Kith
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I personally would love to see the arguments around the first CEO who resigned for being an Anti-Semite or a screaming Racist, because we know it happened and we know the establishment cried the same kind of fowl they are crying now.

This is the end result of the goal posts moving in real time. What was acceptable behavior for a CEO 5 years ago isn’t acceptable behavior today. That is how life evolves and people get caught up in the shuffle.

We all need to consider very carefully that SCOTUS just passed another ruling that spending money is Free Speech, removed yet another cap on donations to politicians. If spending money on a cause is seen as a lesser form of speech, as in the example above, “He didn’t say that, just the campaign he donated to.” Rich people will truly have unfettered political opinion while no one else will. This action, is the only recourse of the non-moneyed people. We must be vigilant and mindful of the way people spend their money, while the people spending the money will have to be mindful and vigilant of the causes they support and the messages they send out.

David Bell
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I’m a straight man living in California with my wife and two kids. From my perspective, I don’t see a $1,000 donation to the Prop 8 cause as something that can be so easily sluffed off. Equal Protection challenges to marriage bans have generally held that there is simply “no rational basis” to deny marriage rights to gay couples. In other words, there is no rational argument against gay marriage — it is bigotry, plain and simple. A $1,000 donation to support Prop 8 demands an explanation. Otherwise, you are, and deserve to be, a pariah in rational society.

Jay
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

This is a very disappointing post. Brendan Eich was not fired. He resigned. He has the right to hold obnoxious views and express himself by donating money to oppressive legislation. But I also have the right to attack his obnoxious views and express myself by refusing to use the product of a company of which he is the CEO. What is it that you don’t understand about freedom of speech? It works both ways.

I am very concerned that people have job security. But Eich’s job security really doesn’t rise to the top of my consciousness. I am more concerned about those people who are fired everyday by religious organizations when they discover that they are gay or married to someone of the same sex. I am more concerned for those people in the 30 states where they can legally be fired simply for being who they are.

I don’t believe that Brendan Eich ever expressed any concern for anyone other than himself.

ISOK
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Speech is powerful. It is so powerful that it sometimes can result in actions. The same type of protest has been lobbed at the CEO of Whole Foods, at Rush Limbaugh, at Phil Robertson. In all of those cases the criticism was just as severe. But for whatever reason those protests did not result in their respective targets getting fired. So were those protests less bad because of that fact? Just as bad?

In the end, is the point of this post that folks should protest only so loudly that it doesn’t get someone fired? That free speech is acceptable unless and until it produces results? I don’t understand the principle at work here.

Upside
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I can’t quite understand why some people just don’t get or respect the concept of the free market at work. Don’t forget: this whole thing was started by another private entity essentially pulling a marketing stunt.

This is consumers voting with their wallets. This has nothing to do with gay people making a ruckus or the gay rights movement. We’re way past that. This is the tens of millions of people who LOVE gay people, who work with them, and have dinner with them, and celebrate holidays with them and their partners. Who have seen them secretly cry at weddings, in the corner, because they can’t get married to the people they love. This is out of your hands, my hands, anyone’s: because we won. We changed hearts and minds, and those hearts and minds have money, and they don’t spend it with organizations with CEOs who support our dehumanization.

Don’t weep for Eich; CEOs know their opinions have consequences, and if they don’t they aren’t qualified to hold that job. He works for a modern organization, whose sole purpose is to look forward. Is it surprising that his regressive beliefs aren’t reconcilable with their vision or core consumer base? This is less an example of a witch hunt and more just business as usual. I think it’s ironic that many of the folks I read who normally are completely gung-ho about free market capitalism are so repulsed by this turn of events.

Rob Tisinai
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks, Jim. Excellent post.

JohnA
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve worked in the trenches for marriage equality and our message was that allowing us to exercise our equal rights won’t undermine yours. We aren’t a threat to your marriage and your beliefs. We can coexist in a civil society.

Now our message is you must recant and atone or you will be purged. Or maybe it’s just that you won’t be allowed to advance in your career, despite your qualifications, because of your ideological impurity.

I’m just as offended as everyone else by the tactics of the Prop 8 campaign and its supporters but the rhetoric around this episode and in the comments section here disturbs me.

Nathaniel
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, now we are truly in some gray area. Where does one draw a line on personal views and their effects on employment? For instance, I have adopted the credo of a friend of mine that it is ridiculous to boycott a company for disagreeably personal donations made by an upper-level individual, since it would be hypocritical and halfhearted. I wouldn’t vet every employee of a company to see what personal donations they have made, and base my shopping choices based on whether any made a donation to a cause I am against. So why would an upper-level employee be different. If, on the other hand, the company itself has donated to or otherwise supported disagreeable causes (ex: CFA), or if they do not treat their employees as well as a competitor treats theirs (ex: Walmart), then taking my money elsewhere is not only personally comforting, but hopefully also a small salvo against human indignity and injustice.

By this credo, and based on the facts here presented (I haven’t really cared enough to follow the issue, and since I don’t use Mozilla products anyway, it didn’t seem to matter to me), it would seem that Mr. Eich’s sins would not earn him a place on my burn list. If he were regularly trashing “the gays” and seemed inclined to dismantle or ignore the company’s protections for LGBT employees, then that would shift the question to one of whether he can effectively do the job he is paid to do. At the same time, I can see how he upsets others. As many have asked, if his sins had been committed on equal level against a racial group, would we be viewing this situation differently? This makes us a bit more squeamish. But would it have made us squeamish 40 years ago? To be truly equivalent, it would have to be at a similar point in advancement on racial issues, when people could be considered of good will and still be racist. How many of us have excused the racist rants of parents or grandparents as being a “product of their time”?

We should be magnanimous. As long as there are a significant number of people in power who will point at this incident as proof of the intolerance and viciousness of “the gay lobby,” we will have to act, not only better than them, but also better than we should really have to act.

Jack
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

ENDA is meant to protect people from discrimination based on what they intrinsically and unchangeably ARE.

Mr Eich resigned as a consequence of a long series of things he CHOSE to DO.

There is no equivalence between the two.

CEOs represent everyone who works for, buys from or invests in a company. They don’t have the freedom to publicly hold beliefs that their employees, customers and shareholders find repugnant.

This is a total non-story. Another ridiculous “victim” of our continuing distaste for tolerating the intolerant.

Daniel Francis
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@Nathaniel
I agree with you 100 percent. I believe that this is the tactic that integrationists took after the Civil Rights act, and it worked.

Hyhybt
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

On the article: AMEN!

Timothy Kincaid
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Well said, Jim.

Mark
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

As a gay man, I think what Mozilla did was wrong. If I want to make it illegal to fire gay people for being gay, I cannot support firing another person for what he believes or supports ON HIS PERSONAL TIME. This has/had nothing to do with his work–evidenced by the fact that he did nothing to strip away benefits or protections from anyone at Mozilla. This is not the same as Exxon or even Hobby Lobby for that matter. Those are companies keeping benefits (or trying to) from certain people because of who they are. Was he fired because he participated in a democratic process that happened to come out against us? If so, what happened to him is just wrong.

If we become the thought police, Lord help us all…

Jack
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

One more point:

We are living in a world where employers are monitoring their rank-and-file employees’ Facebook pages to determine if anything they say there could negatively affect their employer. You can be FIRED in many states as a result of something you write on your own time on your own computer, even if what you write has nothing to do with your work or your workplace.

But if you are CEO apparently you get to say whatever you want wherever you want and face no criticism let alone consequences for your public speech.

FYonug
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

“While I can’t think of a single boycott that was decisive in changing a company’s behavior,”

Well, the boycotts in question here were decisive.

I agree that “if the political cause he had contributed to were racist, nobody would be asking this question.”

And it’s not as if Prop 8 did not affect Mozilla. As a result of Prop 8, some Mozilla employees and partners were prevented from getting married when they wanted, and, in some cases, ever. At least one partner who was personally penalized by Prop 8 had cancelled his ties with Mozilla

Derek in DC
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign accepted the resignation of a gay spokesman because his being gay was seen as a source of controversy. Liberty University is probably about to fire a gay choreographer for the same reason. To some people, it might seem like we are behaving just like them. I understand the apprehension. For those of us who remember when being closeted was essential for career advancement (or just not getting harassed) it seems like we’ve gotten a lot of power very quickly and some might feel we are wielding it unwisely. I think it’s very good and very healthy that we in the LGBT community are asking ourselves some very deep questions. But in this case, I am not troubled by what happened to Eich at all.

“We do care about what they do outside of work and we can demand their ouster if we don’t like it.”

We can demand whatever we want, no private company is obligated to pay attention. (Owner of the Washington Redskins: “Slur? Of course it’s not a slur! Why should we change the name?”) Mozilla could have said, “We’re going to give Eich a chance and we hope the public will support our decision.” But they accepted Eich’s resignation for the same reason Chick-fil-A’s CEO is reining in the anti-same-sex marriage support: the company was starting to look bad. Attitudes have shifted. Hiring someone who is seen as anti-gay is practically the same as hiring a Klansman. You’re allowed to do it, but it makes you look bad.

Christopher
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I think this story has made a lot of people in our camp feel conflicted. I know it’s made me feel conflicted. Even still, I don’t think we’ll figure it out and arrive at an answer if we end up being reductive, even if we don’t mean to.

Like others have pointed out, this was the position of CEO. It’s not *simply* a matter of a person with a job being fired. Even if at the end of the day everyone agrees that what happened was wrong, that distinction matters.

I think it’s sad that given everything Eich said about how he planned on running the company with a commitment to inclusiveness, he still resigned.

I also think it’s sad that he couldn’t acknowledge why his actions, *not just his beliefs*, were so upsetting to Mozilla employees and community members. I think it’s sad that he donated $1,000 to help pass Prop 8. I think it’s sad that this story didn’t end with an apology for his actions, a commitment to never again take action against the civil rights of a minority, and him keeping his position as CEO of Mozilla, *despite his personally held views on marriage*.

I also think it’s *really* sad that this story plays in to the narrative of the “intolerant gays being the REAL bigots” being pushed over the past 5 years.

What a mess. Thanks for the piece.

AJ
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

This post is ridiculous.

Some political views/actions, make you unfit to have certain job. If he had unapologetically donated to racist or sexist causes, the way he did to Prop 8, people would be appalled. People are appalled now, as they should be. There was public backlash, and he was removed. The message was sent to mozilla that those views won’t be tolerated, and that was the point.

chiMaxx
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

AJ: Indeed.

Evidence is mounting that there were other political donations (i.e., to Pat Buchanan) that made the board ultimately force him out. They were willing to stand by him on his Prop 8 donation, but when they saw he also supported the racist, sexist, xenophobic Buchanan, they bailed.

Rowan Bristol
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, I’m having a hard time with your article, because it opens with a hypothetical about firing someone, and I don’t see where Eich was fired.

I also don’t see why his free speech trumps other people’s free association. Why am I obligated to endorse a company whose public face not only disapproves of my pending marriage, but who has endorsed and financed numerous public figures who have openly advocated for my elimination?

As was shown, Mozilla was willing to face the backlash of Eich’s Prop 8 funding, but not the rest of the donations that popped up.

I don’t even desire an apology. I want to take his donations, ask him about the ideology behind those donations, and find out how he feels about his employees, his user base, and how those feelings reflect a free and open environment.

You know, like a nazi wouuld.

homer
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I find this post hypocritical Jim. Box Turtle Bulletin has repeatedly reported on NOMs efforts to not disclose its donors for anti-gay marriage campaigns.

So exactly, why does anyone need to know these donors? The only reason is to shine light on these people and to cause them problems (including, in some cases, the likelihood that they would lose current or future employment).

JohnA
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@Jack

I really don’t know what Eich believes in his heart. Is he a good person who is struggling with the rapidly changing world around him? Or is he a hateful bigot? I do know that tolerating intolerance is something you have to come to terms with unless you are intolerant yourself. Or are we so very fragile that we can’t live with the idea that other people disagree with us or believe we are unrepentant sinners on our way to hell? ‘Cause there are a lot of them out there who do. I’ve talked to them. I’ve had civil conversations with them. That’s how I and thousands of others defeated a marriage ban and got our equal rights here in Minnesota.

We live in a pluralistic world. And no, it’s not fair. But how does this help us attain marriage equality in all 50 states? How does this help us get ENDA passed and signed into law?

If we spend all our time rooting out and punishing the dissenters we’ll never get anything done.

Rowan Bristol
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@JohnA

How did we punish Eich?

He accepted a position as the public face of a nonprofit. His donations are public knowledge. When faced with his actions, people objected. When it was determined that his donations went further, and were more difficult to publicly defend than the Prop 8 donation, Eich resigned.

No one struck him. No one hunted him down. He wasn’t fired. Many people, and more straights than gays this time, objected to the kind of bigotry his donations evidenced to the public, and didn’t feel that his face was the appropriate face to a free and open web.

I appreciate the concern trolling, but I fail to see how someone’s resignation cripples the fight to get EDNA passed.

Elaygee
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Eich wasn’t fired nor did he express remorse for supporting a hate group, indistinct from any other hate group like the Aryan movement of KKK or American Nazi party. He has the right to support them. No one wants to prohibit that. The issue is can he effectively lead the employees and consumers of that corporation after his actions. Eich felt he couldn’t. he could have stayed on and let the market take its toll on the company. His only good deed was to have spared the company the negative consequences of his actions.
Again, we are all entitled to support any organization or effort we desire. We must all also suffer the consequences. 20 years ago, no one would have made a peep. Now, you cannot do what he did and go uncontested.
And, there is no term limit on hateful actions that seek to remove or prevent a group of people from enjoying the civil rights they are being denied or an attempt to prevent them.

Vincent Manis
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Before this mess blew up, I knew who Brendan Eich was (having used JavaScript specification documents he’d written), but gave no thought to his political views. But once it did, my first reaction was to switch my default browser from Firefox to Chrome. Clearly, many other people had the same feeling of revulsion, and, regardless of whether the revulsion is justified or not, the Board had to take it in account in their actions. So, rather than some sort of McCarthyist persecution, Eich’s resignation was a result of the free market (not just gays or liberals, but later on people who were disturbed by the Buchanan support) at work.

As for the notion that one’s personal life and one’s professional life ought not to have anything to do with each other, it’s just not true. Imagine the reaction if the CEO of a large company were to muse (at a golf tournament, not representing the company) that child slavery would help businesses reduce their labor costs and thus prosper. Eich was the representative of Mozilla to the outside world, and whether he defines his actions as private or not, the public is going to see them as representing Mozilla.

I think magnanimity ought to be shown to Eich by wishing him well in his future endeavors, and encouraging him to repudiate the hateful political beliefs he has supported in the past. But I make no apology for switching from Firefox to Chrome, nor should the Mozilla Board apologize for taking an action in the best interests of their corporation.

Vincent Manis
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

A small clarification of my previous post: I feel the Board’s action re Eich is sufficient for me, personally, to resume using Mozilla products.

tristram
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@Christopher and JohnA – thanks for the particularly thoughtful comments. There are good reasons for what happened to Eich and also good reasons for concern about what happened to him. But the issue seems to have brought out the absolutism (and, as Christopher notes, the reductivism) in a lot of people on both sides.

Todd
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Eich could have made it all going away by saying something along the lines of: ‘I’ve evolved. $1000 is pocket change to me, it was a church thing, and I didn’t really know what it was even going to. Sorry. Here’s 25K to a lgbt charity. Sorry sorry sorry.’ He chose to stick to his bigoted guns rather than lie to keep his CEO job. If you can’t stand in front of a room full of reporters and interviewers and lie through your teeth to them, you’re not qualified to be a CEO in the first place.

Thims
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, your article gives me hope that there is a voice of reason out there. Don’t let it be drowned out!

StraightGrandmother
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

What Jim is doing is attempting to do is Pinkwash the denial of Equal Civil Rights as merely Political Speech.

Brendan Eich got what was coming to him this week when it was revealed that he had exercised his First Amendment right to support Prop 8 to the tune of $1,000 six years ago.

It is NOT Political Speech, all theses speeches and commercials, and websites and marches are people who are actively engaged in the Suppression of Equal Civil Rights, it is now and always has been a Civil Rights issue. It is enshrining Discrimination into our Civil Laws based on Status, the status of some people’s sexual orientation as being same sex.

Brendan Eich would never have been promoted if he donated to the KKK, Mozilla would not have defended his rights to support the KKK as merely Political Speech, no they rightly would have seen it as unsupportable (impermissible) Discrimination based on the Status of black people, the color of their skin. They would never have picked a Corporate Leader who held to those views.

he option available to all who hold that Civil Marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and that is this,

“Whereas I do personally hold the belief that Civil Marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, I recognize that Sexual Minorities have the same Civil and Constitutional Rights as me, therefore I accept that they should be able to get married and not through the Majority Power of the State be discriminated against.”

In other words the person does not walk back their personal beliefs but they cede that the State should not Discriminate against Sexual Minorities. People are entitled to their personal beliefs, but they must NOT support State Sponsored Discrimination against sexual minorities based on their Sexual Orientation Status which is impermissible.

I will always fight back against the demotion and Pinkwashing of Civil Rights to merely *Political Speech.* It was NOT the Government who fired Brendan Eich (as it contrarily IS, the Government who prevents and bans sexual minorities access to Civil Marriage) the Government did NOT fire Brendan Eich, the people spoke and a company made a business decision. The truth is, our arguments are righteous, and Maggie & Brendan Eich et al’s arguments are hatred and animus. Which side do you think business will pick to be on?

The Right Wingers pound into us the supremacy of the Free Market, they HATE that Obama Regulated the Insurance Industry under Obamacare, well THIS Brendan Eich effort WAS the Free market speaking, and now they don’t like it. To bad, they can’t have it both ways.

Maybe Jim can, but I can’t, I cannot be magnanimous to people who actively support the suppression of Equal Civil Rights to Sexual Minorities. As far as I am concerne you are not fit to Lead a company, a business. Now I wouldn’t mind if he stayed employed there, just not as the Ultimate Leader, the Public Face of the company.

The employees spoke, the Public Spoke and now people are on notice that you are not fit to lead a Public Company if you actively support the Suppression of Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities (or Jews, or Blacks). You can hold this as a private belief that sexual minorities should not be permitted Civil Marriage but you cannot hold this as Public Policy, and endorse Discrimination through the power of the State.

Scott
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I think this is not simply a matter of being magnanimous. It’s a matter of being better than our detractors. It’s a matter of being deeply committed to freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion.

Mr. Eich donated money to a cause we found reprehensible. But there is no evidence that his personal beliefs ever affected hi commitment to inclusivity at Mozilla and the community.

The fact is, there are hundreds of millions of deeply religious people in this country, many of them holding bigoted views because they earnestly believe that their god requires it of them. Most of these people are not evil, they’re just religious. And they want to be true to their conscience. And now those people have a real-life example to look to when they insist they legitimately fear that unless they keep the convictions hidden under their caps, they might lose their jobs. They are a growing minority and they are quickly losing much of the grip they have had on our country. This is a good thing. But now we need to be as deeply committed to their freedom of conscience as they were bigoted toward us.

chiMaxx
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Scott:

If this all happened because someone had revealed that Eich sometimes discussed his misgivings, distaste or opposition to same-sex marriage with dinner guests, I’d be on Jim’s side of the argument. Everyone should be free to hold opinions.

But donating money moves is out of the ream of private speech and into the realm of public action–and makes it relevant to his position of leadership.

Jeff
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

One of the things I find most astounding about this whole kerfluffel is the complete lack of context in the reporting. Mozilla is not your run-of-the-mill publicly traded company, they’re a public benefit corporation. According to the website:

/The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet. We promote the values of an open Internet to the broader world./

In addition to making a browser, Firefox, Mozilla runs numerous technology education and standardization programs. They provide an enormous public benefit by employing numerous technologists who spend their time making the internet better for everyone. Most importantly Mozilla employs the creator of Javascript, one of the most widely deployed languages in the history, Brendan Eich. Mozilla pays for him to spend his time working on improvement and standardization of the Javascript language.

His Personal views of LGBT people aside, it wasn’t clear that he was a good choice as CEO. His main qualification seems to have been his extensive tenure at Mozilla and Netscape prior to that. His performance as CTO of Mozilla has been debatable recently; Firefox has failed to implement several important features and lost market share as a result. One revision of the javascript standard, version 4, failed *spectacularly* under his guidance. This failure is widely attributed to Mr Eich alienating Microsoft who was the biggest stakeholder at the time. Mozilla spent an extrodinarily long time, 12 months, without a CEO before settling on Mr Eich. Prior CEO’s have been located and named well before the transition.

Fundamentally the question is “Do his political contributions outside work affect his ability to do his job?” The answer appears to have been “Yes”. Twitter seems to reflect a number of Mozilla employees who were uncomfortable with his ability to appreciate diversity in the workplace. Most importantly the people pushing the boycott had contributed code to Firefox. Open source projects like Mozilla live and die by their community engagement. New people must be brought in to contribute; current contributors must be re-engaged constantly and feel a sense of ownership. Alienating a potential contributor because they dont have the technical skill to make it is one thing. Alienating them because the contributor finds the leadership’s personal actions repulsive is a major issue.

Marco (Not Polo)
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I doubt that a six-year old and rather modest donation to a cause supported by half of California could even be the reason for this fracas.

We shouldn’t forget that a CEO is always the crisis manager in chief. And Brandan Eich handled this particular crisis terribly.

As a manager myself, I know that you are in big trouble when your employees come out of the woodwork and publicly complain about you. Clearly, they didn’t trust him enough to complain privately, or even in corporate channels.

After the public excoriation by his employees, Eich’s reaction was to publish a post on the blog, reiterating the (inclusive) company policy and reassuring everybody that he knew how to separate private and professional opinion.

That’s absolutely NOT how you reassure employees that clearly don’t trust you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about their being gay or about the current policy for maternity leave. You need to personally reassure them you are not going to change a thing – nobody is going to believe the “I can separate public and private” excuse.

Everything after that was just a continuation of the same pattern of poor crisis management. Indeed, it is precisely the incredibly minor nature of his original “infraction” that would make him look completely unsuitable for the position. If he can’t save himself out of something this small, what’s he gonna do when the proverbial s*** hits the fan?

In conclusion, I would disagree with those that think his donation is reason enough to make him resign his position, and I would also disagree that he was the victim of “homofascism.” It looks to me much more like he was elevated to a position but didn’t have the basic talents required. Fortunately for Mozilla, they found out quickly.

Stephen
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks, Jeff.

Had he donated money to an anti-Semitic group there would have been no discussion. His actions would be roundly condemned. I don’t see the difference.

He was roundly condemned. He stepped down.

Johan
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Jim Burroway, thank you.

StraightGrandmother
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Scott,

It’s a matter of being deeply committed to freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion.

It is a Religious Culture War we are in. I cannot be magnanimous until we have FULL Equal Civil Rights for sexual minoriyies. This war is not over not by a long shot. The time to grant amnesty is AFTER the War, not *during* it. And that is basically what you are suggesting we do, grant them Amnesty while they STILL continue to fight us and today they ARE winning some.

Sure I agree, I support Freedom of Speech, however I do not grant immunity *on Manstreet* to the Religiously based opponents to Equal Civil Rights. Mississippi just passed a *NEW* Religious Freedom Act Yesterday that some people say will permit discrimination against sexual minorities on Mainstreet, should I applaud their Freedom of Speech and Freedom on conscience for passing a brand NEW anti Gay Law? And to what do I owe the business owners who support that brand new law? The time for Amnesty is when you have WON, when you are the Victor, then you can be magnanimous in Victory.

Larry
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Mr. Eich wasn’t fired. He quit. And, Mozilla let him quit. Neither the gay community nor the government discriminated against Mr. Eich. He and Mozilla made a determination that his remaining in that position would adversely affect the company in the free market.

I would ask Jim what magnanimity should look like on the part of the gay community in affairs like this? Should we stand up and defend him and ask Mozilla to reinstate him? Because, I don’t recall any gay orgs calling for a Mozilla boycott. Are you saying that OKCupid shouldn’t have done the landing page? If so, what (if anyhing) should they have done?

Are you saying that we should have more actively defended him and forgiven him? If so, I can see value in that. But short of not doing that I don’t see what we did wrong here.

StraightGrandmother
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I guess I’ll just be brutally honest, this Brendan Eich affair does what I want it to do, and that is chills anti gay speech and actions. I want that.

I want fewer and fewer people to *feel comfortable* publicly donating to organizations and campaigns whose raison d’être is the suppression of Equal Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities. Notice I didn’t say I want to STOP Free Speech but yes, I sure as hell DO want to chill it via social pressure. This Brendan Eich campaign sent that chill message to others Loud and Clear.

StraightGrandmother
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Larry,

Are you saying that we should have more actively defended him and forgiven him?

Sure I would have forgiven him if he said he was sorry. I would have forgiven him if he said he STILL holds to the view of man/woman Civil Marriage, BUT he respects the Civil Rights of others, so no longer support that the Law has to reflect his views.

He had a lot of ways to come out of this no harm no foul, truth be told, he STILL believes that the law SHOULD reflect his Catholic (and google searches show he is most likely Catholic) dogma. And THAT I can’t forgive.

Merv
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Since so many people raised the point, perhaps Jim or someone who agrees with him can address it: Would you feel the same way if Eich had contributed to the KKK or some similar racist organization?

For arguments sake, assume that the racist organization in question is law-abiding but wants to enact discriminatory laws. Also, please address him being appointed specifically to the CEO position.

TampaZeke
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

You’re whole premise is based upon a strawman (that he was fired). He was not fired.

TampaZeke
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

And point number two: he didn’t QUIT (why do people keep repeating that he was fired?) after the outrage over his anti-gay donation. He stayed in place and Mozilla defended him and their decision to keep him. He QUIT after it was exposed that he made donations to at least one radical RACIST AND ANTI-SEMITIC candidate. Then he decided to QUIT. He would never have QUIT

TampaZeke
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

And point number two: he didn’t QUIT (why do people keep repeating that he was fired?) after the outrage over his anti-gay donation. He stayed in place and Mozilla defended him and their decision to keep him. He QUIT after it was exposed that he made donations to at least one radical RACIST AND ANTISEMITIC candidate. Then he decided to QUIT. He would never have QUIT had he only donated to an anti-gay cause. There are many examples that prove this to be true. But supporting racism and antisemitism will not be tolerated.

Tom
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Pretty unimpressive piece from Burroway, regardless of your view on the Eich matter. There weren’t 102,000 Yes on 8 donors. There were 35,000. And asking questions like “Are we going to fire all those donors and all the petition signers too?” is fatuous.

We have an actual historical record and we know that nothing like that has happened and no one is looking to make it happen. I think the total number of Eich-like incidents over the past 5 1/2 years is 4. And every one involved a person who was in a high profile or executive-type position. So that’s 4 out of 35,000 donors and 1.1 million signers in 5 1/2 years. That’s what Burroway is blathering about.

Meanwhile, this blog has become little more than a rotating series of the same historical notes, posted verbatim over and over again. While the historical pieces are actually very interesting, why not do some follow-up research, the very thing that made BTB famous in the first place? For example, take some of more recent incidents involving homophobia and discrimination from the 70s, 80s and 90s and seek out the players. Find out what they are doing today and how they feel about what they did then.

Stephen Clark
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

What a ridiculous wallowing in false equivalency.

No, we do NOT say that gay people shouldn’t be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job performance. We say that gay people shouldn’t be fired FOR BEING GAY because–like discrimination based on race, sex, or other traits–discrimination based on sexual orientation is grossly unjust.

Neither consumers nor employers are under any obligation to accept a CEO who denies the Holocaust, supports the forced segregation of the races, or undertakes activism to repeal laws protecting women from spousal rape. Nor are consumers or employers under any obligation to accept a CEO who participates in a campaign to relegate gays and lesbians to second-class status under the law.

Jim’s outrage reflects an internal self-loathing which prevents him from accepting that anti-gay bigotry is just as unjust as anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism. Discriminating against someone for engaging in bigoted conduct is NOT unjust.

The Lauderdale
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Honestly, I’ve been checking BBT several times over the past two days to see what you guys would have to say about it. This entry seems a bit after the fact, and a little oddly put together.

From my perspective, OKCupid’s part in the whole thing was annoying and too obviously self-aggrandizing (they can be pretty damn smarmy, frankly.) Otherwise, I found people’s reactions within Mozilla itself – that is, pressure, distaste, etc. – pretty reasonable.

These were two blog posts that I found interesting:

http://www.teamrarebit.com/blog/2014/04/03/a-sad-victory/

https://blog.mozilla.org/press/2014/04/brendan-eich-steps-down-as-mozilla-ceo/

Brian
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Been reading this site for years, but never posted before. I’m afraid you got this one quite wrong, Jim. And I’ve found that reading through comments on this issue on many sites now, that most of the people sharing your opinion have not been informed enough about it.

As others pointed out, Eich was elevated to the CEO position at an organization with a mission statement to support diversity, and one that relies on donations of money and code to survive. Here in Silicon Valley, we interact with Mozilla all the time on a regular basis, and I have personally met with past CEOs. Having Mozilla represented by a guy who is unapologetic about his opposition to gay civil rights will chill the company’s relations with the organizations it depends on. One example: Mozilla gets most of its funding from search engine bounties from Google and Microsoft, both of whom have leaders strongly in favor of gay marriage rights.

To say you see no direct evidence of discrimination by him is really beside the point. It was only four years after his donation was made that it was discovered in 2012. Can you confidently state that he treated all employees fairly while quietly voting to take away some of their civil rights. As someone who has donated code and money to Mozilla before, I will no longer donate money to pay the salary of a CEO who I cannot trust to treat his gay employees fairly. Apparently there were enough folks like me that it made a difference.

That being said, Eich could have made this whole issue blow over with an apology, one which he *distinctly* did not want to make in spite of many opportunities. Go search for and read the C|Net interview of Eich earlier this week. He even makes the case there that his views might help the browser gain traction in countries like Indonesia which don’t support gay marriage. In my opinion, this was the last straw that caused the board to ask him to step down. That Eich was willing to go so far to defend his position, potentially doing great harm to Mozilla itself, speaks to how important this issue is to him.

I am not someone who witch hunts for people against gay marriage. I don’t generally boycott and I believe in forgiveness for those who have open minds. This was not one of those cases. Eich was never fit to be Mozilla’s CEO, and he never should have been appointed as such.

Josh
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

My only reservation with this outcome is that it’s very easy to spin this story against equality advocates. “Look what they did to Eich! They only want equality for themselves.” The crucial difference to me is that he resigned rather than being fired; there’s no law against what he did and hopefully there never will be.

That said, if this whole thing is just about a $1000 donation several years ago, I think a reaction on this scale is insane. If he was an ideal CEO except for this one issue which didn’t affect his performance as CEO, I can’t imagine caring as an employee. I’m sure we only have a small fraction of the real story.

Ben
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Completely disagree Jim, and StraightGrandmother and others already said why much more eloquently than I would be willing to be.

NancyP
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I would have preferred that he apologize and state that he recognizes the difference between religious (Temple) marriage and civil (City Hall) marriage. As a Mormon elder he still upholds the sanctity of “traditional” marriage as a theological concept, at the workplace he will honor as valid those secular (civil) same sex marriages of employees and contractors, and honor the work of LGBT employees and other open-source coders.

A little humility and respect go a long way. He tried to do the tired old non-apology, which never works well.

A donation to an LGBT community health center or to a program for helping homeless LGBT teens would have been nice. Mormons can be incredibly generous within the LDS community, but tend to ignore the non-proselytizing practical charitable efforts directed at all comers including non-LDS members.

Nick
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

That’s quite a pantload you wrote there, Jim.

NancyP
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I didn’t see the part about him continuing to support Pat Buchanan. This immediately disqualifies him as Too Stupid to Be CEO. Buchanan is a paleoconservative Bigot and Holocaust denier who has not accomplished a single practical thing in his life. Buchanan can’t point to specific roads and stop signs and sewer systems made possible by his work – even the most retrograde politicians used to be able to scrape up some concrete accomplishments of use to the general population. All Buchanan has achieved is an epic degree of nastiness.

The Lauderdale
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Damn it. I retract my remark about oddly put-together blog posts since I can’t even manage a simple blog comment. The two links were meant to be:

http://www.teamrarebit.com/blog/2014/04/03/a-sad-victory/

http://commonspace.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/mozilla-is-human/

The Lauderdale
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

“Go search for and read the C|Net interview of Eich earlier this week. He even makes the case there that his views might help the browser gain traction in countries like Indonesia which don’t support gay marriage. In my opinion, this was the last straw that caused the board to ask him to step down.”

I found the interview that Brian was talking about – I had not read it before, and it is interesting. I don’t think that is exactly what he is saying when he brings up Indonesia and the support he sees there (and in context, I’m not sure if he meant support from Indonesians generally or Indonesian Mozilla staff personally) but I don’t think it did his cause much good.

http://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-ceo-gay-marriage-firestorm-could-hurt-firefox-cause-q-a/

Greg
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

“First Amendment right . . . exercising his constitutional rights.” Not even close. The First Amendment protects against government action, which has nothing to do with the employment relationship here. While we probably don’t know the full story behind Eich’s departure, employees are forced to leave by employers all the time for all sorts of things that they said (or did). I can understand arguments against demanding Eich’s resignation or firing, but please don’t couch them in faulty constitutional language. On a more concrete level, I recently spent 8 years working for a nonprofit organization that voiced progressive views; if a new CEO had been appointed who I knew had contributed to Prop 8, I sure as hell would be uncomfortable remaining there.

Brian
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@The Lauderdale
Thanks for sharing the Rarebits final response on this issue. Yet another piece of data that Eich is steadfast in his views and will not apologize for any of it.

I think it’s a disservice when articles give the impression that he was asked to resign due to his Prop 8 contribution. If so, he would have been asked to step down in 2012 when it was revealed. The contribution was the smoking gun. The attitude he continues to take towards gays is what makes him unfit to lead Mozilla.

Mark F.
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

There is little question he resigned because his position there was no longer tenable because of the campaign against him. He may have even been asked to resign in lieu of being fired. Does anyone honestly think he would have been allowed to stay on? If so, you don’t know how these things work.

That said, I’m sort of surprised all 3 of your writers agree on this issue. I would argue that the CEO of a company donating to Prop 8 is a bit different than a janitor doing it. The company has a right to demand the CEO reflect their values. He’s the public face of a company.

Mark F.
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Tim, Rob and Jim need to answer if they would have a problem with this man keeping his job if he donated $1000 to restore miscegenation laws and didn’t apologize for it. I’m surprised the 3 of you haven’t thought this through more. You have all ignored some important points.

Gene in L.A.
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

If this were about someone who had donated $1000 to a “White Power” organization, would we even be having this conversation? Being anti-gay is no less unforgivable.

Priya Lynn
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Way to go Straightgrandmother ;)

I’m behind you 100%

John30013
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I agree with many people here who have questioned BTB’s three writers’ apparent agreement on this issue. I’m especially disappointed in Rob’s agreement with Jim’s post (at least that’s how I interpreted Rob’s brief post above).

As others have pointed out, Jim starts off with a straw man and goes downhill from there. I’ve known Rob to be a much more critical and logical thinker than the other writers on this site, so I’m surprised he lets Jim off the hook here.

Brian
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

Good job, BTB!
You’ve been picked up by Ars Technica as another example of how it was wrong to oppose Eich.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/04/after-eich-firing-conservatives-slam-mozilla-and-call-for-boycott/

So, now the tech community thinks you speak for the gay community.

And yes, I’m really interested in a response by the site authors to the points raised here. Disappointed.

Tara TASW
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

He wasn’t fired. He quit because he couldn’t handle people using free speech to criticize him.

Ray
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

I thought your view had merit, Jim, and I appreciate that you opened up the discussion. I don’t think you did so to play devil’s advocate. I always think of Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, on an issue like this. The townspeople were as complicit as those making the charge of “witch” and, well, we know how the story ends. This one will end the same way. After our community has hoisted enough heads on poles, it will get to a point where getting more fresh heads will require strained accusations based on mere association. The longer this goes on, the pettier the accusations of guilt will be. I really don’t want the LGBT community to rack up that kind of history. It’s been used against us for centuries and to magnificent effect.

Brian
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

@Ray
So now, those of us who don’t want to donate our time and money to someone who is actively fighting us are on a witch hunt.
Were the characters in The Crucible witches?
Is Brendan Eich working to restrict gay civil rights?
I hope you can see the difference.

Lord_Byron
April 4th, 2014 | LINK

So first it appears that Jim now accepts the idea that money = free speech, but that is a different issue. I would ask Jim if he thinks that there are no consequences to speech. Why is it that so many, i will point out on the right, ignore the fact that while we have freedom of speech we do not have freedom from consequence. As so many others have asked would you be saying the same thing if he had donated money to the kkk or any other group like them? The simple answer is that it’s not good in our society to be openly racist or sexist anymore, but if you are homophobic that is merely “differences in public discourse” and is perfectly acceptable.

tanstaafl
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

For the multitude of people who state that “He wasn’t fired. He quit.” Are you really that naive? Eich was forced to resign, because if he hadn’t resigned, he would have been fired.

L. C. Burgundy
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Witch hunt?? This guy undisputedly and unapologetically did contribute $1,000 to one of the nastiest in-your-face anti-gay campaigns of recent memory, which resembled a REAL witch hunt:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/04/04/brendan_eich_supported_prop_8_which_was_worse_than_you_remember.html

This was not a youthful indiscretion of his – he was 47 when he made this donation. He was in his 30′s when he donated to noted xenophobe and antisemite Pat Buchanan. I’m sure $1,000 was not even a drop in the bucket for Mr. Eich given his earning capability but to me that is actually a lot of money to put to any political campaign.

Mr. Eich seems pathologically incapable of apologizing for any of this (I guess he really thought he could compartmentalize the Prop8 support as somehow not being destroying real people’s relationships, I guess) or even doing effective damage control.

There’s a good chance he would have bombed as CEO anyway – Firefox IMO certainly slipped in his time as CTO anyway.

jldevault
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Equality should be a no-brainer. I never signed up to be gay but yet because some people feel it’s okay to be ignorant and treat a group of people less than what they are and give them less than what they deserve, this is simply not debatable. It’s human life and i may not live to enjoy feeling equal in my own city, state or country. If this was a race issue things people wouldnt be feeling empathy for this man.

Neil
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Also, there were 1,120,801 people who signed the petition to put Prop 8 on the ballot. Can we fire them? Or should we let that slide?

Who is ‘we’ here? As I understand it: The first week of Eich’s tenure had been marked by a series of public statements by Mozilla staff protesting his appointment, the resignation of three of Mozilla’s directors, and a denunciation from dating site OkCupid, which urged all Firefox users to change browsers.

There’s something awfully sanctimonious about this taking to task of, as far as I can tell, all LGBT people. I understand there’s been grass roots pressure on Mozilla over this, but it’s not as if a boycott had taken effect. There hasn’t been enough time for that. A number of individuals have expressed their disquiet about Eich as CEO, some of whom are LGB or T, some not. Should they not be allowed to speak?

I don’t recall a single LGBT rights organisation weighing in to promote a boycott. There have been plenty of LGBT voices arguing in favour of Eich staying on. There have been many straight people opposed to Eich.

It turns out that he’s an awkward fit for the company. He’s actively involved himself in anti-gay causes in the past and,

Eich refused to be drawn on whether he would donate to a Proposition 8 style campaign again in the future. “I don’t want to do hypotheticals,” he said. “I haven’t thought about that issue and I really don’t want to speculate because it’s not relevant.”

can’t rule out doing it again. If he was CEO of World Vision, there wouldn’t be a problem. He’d fit right in. With Mozilla, it’s a different story.

esurience
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

If you’re going to make this argument, Mr. Burroway, please recognize the position you have to take. America has never had as a value that people should not be ostracized, denied opportunities, or fired, because they are engaged in something morally outrageous.

People are fired for moral reasons all the time. People are fired because of racist/sexist beliefs and behavior. People are fired due to law-breaking. Some contracts even have a “morals clause.”

So please do not pretend that you are advocating that we hold onto a value which the march for gay and lesbian equality is threatening to take away.

In order for anyone to take your argument seriously, you have to acknowledge that you are advocating we pick up a value that we’ve never had before. Maybe it’s a good value, but it’s not something that most people believe in as a general principle right now, and that should be acknowledged.

We say that LGBT people shouldn’t be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job performance.

First, Eich’s position clearly did impact his performance on the job. Look at the controversy it stirred up for Mozilla.

Second, that’s certainly not the argument I make for ENDA. Again, firing people for things that have nothing to do with their job performance is not against American values. It’s part of our values.

The reason it’s wrong to fire gay people for being gay, is that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. It’s not merely that it doesn’t impact job performance. That’s the argument that you make when you’re pleading with people who view you as immoral.

L. C. Burgundy
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Oh, and for a good time, google Pat Buchanan’s quotes on homosexuality and note their timing to when Mr. Eich was pumping a cool $1,000 into Pat Buchanan’s political coffers across 4 separate donations (c. 1991-1992 – hey, a $1,000 was a lot of money back then!). Maybe BTB can do a feature on when Pat Buchanan used to accuse gay people of using pride parades to spread AIDS and then note when Mr. Eich subsequently donated.

Mark Miner
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

It’s for moments of overreach like these that I coined the term “rainbow piglets” in advance, as a warning against homo-hybris leading to anti-gay nemesis. Which we don’t need any more of.

Lord_Byron
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

“They’ve now learned that it was all a lie. We do care about what they do outside of work and we can demand their ouster if we don’t like it.”

Have you been out of the workforce for a while now? It is not that uncommon for companies to now troll their employees’ facebook pages and if they see something they don’t like they get laid off. There have been teachers laid off for doing porn in the past. Having said that I tend to not like this because i feel once off the clock the company has no right to judge what you do and shouldn’t be checking on their employees in the first place. It is the company making a judgement on the employee for actions that generally do not harm anyone. I am rather ambivalent about what happened to the CEO, but let’s not pretend that what he did not cause personal harm. Due to contributions from people like him the anti-gay groups wage a campaign across california that daily compared lgbt individuals to pedophiles and other such things.

Also, no gay group actually called for a boycott of mozilla nor did they call for him to step down. It was employees at the company that started it. However now that he has stepped down NOM is calling for a boycott of mozilla.

TheMisfit
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Just not feeling you here. No official call for a boycott or firing. Sustained, group, grass roots pressure, that caused him to say – hey, more hassle than it’s worth. I didn’t clll for his head-on a platter, but I’m not that upset either. He’ll be fine. People will forget soon because he’s a homely white guy with no personality and there will be some true outrage. Bummer, but loosing no sleep after.

Vincent Manis
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

It’s not entirely obvious to me, on reflection, that the revulsion (my word) of many Mozillans and members of the general public to the Prop 8 and Buchanan donations was the only reason why Eich’s resignation was requested. There may have been a genuine lack of fit to the job. His previous position had been as CTO, and for that he was pretty well suited. Most CTOs I’ve known are tech types, and while people skills are necessary, they match up with the tech skills that are also needed. By contrast, a CEO is essentially all people skills of various varieties. It may have been that inside Mozilla, there was a lack of confidence in Eich’s people skills. Furthermore, Mozilla has been drifting for the past few years, and the CEO position has been vacant for a long time (presumably Mozilla’s search committee could not find a suitable candidate); this would put even more onus on the incoming CEO to get the company moving. So maybe the Prop 8 and Buchanan donations were not the only factors, and maybe not even the most important factors, in Eich’s resignation.

Regardless of why Eich resigned, I don’t feel this was a glorious victory. Apart from the suffering that he and his family have gone through (albeit perhaps suffering of his own making), there is also the fact that Mozilla is still drifting somewhat rudderless toward some unclear destiny. But at least I can now use Firefox and Thunderbird without feeling unclean; I hope one day to feel positive about JavaScript again, though that might take longer.

etseq
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Let’s see – what factor distinguishes Eich from all the other donors to prop 8…could it be that he was a corporate CEO?

etseq
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

I guess this blog has been officially colonized by Libertarianism, which unlike homosexuality, is apparently communicable :) Good work Timothy!

Hunter
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Jim –

You’ve pretty much laid out my position on the whole thing. My reaction to the outcry by the hard-liners on our side is “It’s only the so-called “Christians” who hate us who believe in eternal damnation.” And in point of fact, the man gave a relatively modest donation to a campaign that, perhaps, he didn’t examine closely enough, but as you pointed out, he’s one of over a million who did so. He’s allowed to do that.

And he gave no indication that he as going to try to enforce an anti-gay position as CEO.

Extreme Left, meet the extreme Right. You have a lot in common.

Lord_Byron
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Hunter-

“to a campaign that he didn’t examine closely” are you serious? People are acting like the didn’t know what he was giving money to. Even if that were the case if you are a 40 something year old and give money to a group without knowing what they do or what they stand for then you are unfit to be ceo. It was clear what the yes on 8 campaign wanted and so there is no ambiguity on what they would use that money for.

Neil
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

I find it hilarious to see organisations like NOM vehemently calling for a boycott of Mozilla whilst denouncing the boycott some called for due to Eich’s appointment as “a McCarthyesque witch hunt that makes the term ‘thought police’ seem modest.”

Was it McCarthyesque? I would’ve thought a senate committee might have to be involved to qualify.

Ryan
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, Hunter. I admit, I found the “he wasn’t fired, he quit” argument to be annoyingly disingenuous, but you took it to a whole other level with “perhaps, we didn’t examine closely enough”. That is some weapons-grade horseshit right there. You should really consider a career in politics.
As for this instance of the employees of Mozilla not wanting Eich to be the face of their company, I’m honestly flummoxed as to why anyone who doesn’t work for or with Mozilla is weighing in at all. This was a business decision. Enough Mozilla employees (the bulk of whom are no doubt straight) were upset with the idea of this man being the face of their company. This ia a man who not only donated money to ban gay marriage, but also donated money to absolute unrepentant racist and homophobe, Pat Buchanan. Would employees of Hobby Lobby want a CEO who had donated money in support of Obamacare? Would employees of Exxon want a CEO who donated money to solar energy research? Of course not! So why would young liberal (mostly straight) men and women want someone representing them who opposes equal rights for their friends and family members?
The histrionics are unnecessary and a little unbecoming, Jim. I mean that last paragraph is a JUST shy of saying that gay people are the real bullies. This was a business decision, and a wholly reasonable one.

octobercountry
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an article here on BTB that’s as off-base and wrongheaded as this one…

donna
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

He wasn’t fired. He resigned.

If a gay person was appointed to be CEO and did something toxic to his company, he’d be fired also.

Eich is toxic.

This was about being a bigot that is toxic to his company.

He actively worked to discriminate against a targeted group of people for who they are.

Ellen
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

He wasn’t FIRED, and claiming he was is just plain absurd.

Why are you defending bigots’ “right” to be bigoted?

Baker
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Q: “What is the statute of limitations for donating to support Prop 8″

A: It has both a beginning and an end. Some might argue that it didn’t officially begin to toll until June 28, 2013, when the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay in Hollingsworth v Perry and enabled same-sex marriages to resume. That’s less than a year ago.

And some might argue that it lasts as long as the harms of Prop 8 continue to have effect on people’s lives. Apparently, it continues to have effects to this day and beyond, and it doesn’t stop at geographic boundaries or corporate glass doors. I suspect that for some people, perhaps many people, perhaps even everyone in some way or another, the harm could last a lifetime. It might even cross generations.

In that regard, some might argue: “So the LORD passed before him and proclaimed: The LORD, the LORD, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but bringing punishment for their parents’ wickedness on children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation!”

FYoung
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

@Neil “I don’t recall a single LGBT rights organisation weighing in to promote a boycott.”

Wel, I am aware of one, Equality on Trial; they suggested that their readers switch browsers, but allowed them to ignore that plea. I agree that OKCupid and Rarebit are not LGBT activist groups.

In the end, for me, it boils down to this: I will never accept that anti-gay discrimination is ever more okay than anti-Black, anti-woman, anti-Christian or anti-Semitic discrimination.

I don’t agree that anybody has the constitutional right to abridge the constitutional rights of others. That is why minority rights should never be subject to referenda. Anyone is entitled to disagree that LGBTs are equal, but no one is entitled to impose their views on me through legislation, discrimination or violence.

Incidentally, as I see it, the underlying problem for Eich, and everybody, is that privacy has disappeared far faster than we have had time to adjust to it. We haven’t gotten used to writing every comment and update, taking every photo, and giving every donation as if it may be used against us. Lots of people have gotten fired over trivial Facebook comments that they never thought would get back to their employers.

While I disagree with the BTB editors that anyone did anything wrong in supporting the boycotts, I respect their points of view and I am fine with Jim expressing his viewpoint and posting the eloquent article that he did.

I still value this blog and Jim’s contributions to it. I don’t have to agree with everything they post.

Rob Tisinai
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Why are you defending bigots’ “right” to be bigoted?

Why did the ACLU defend the Nazi’s right to march in Skokie?

Ryan
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

The ACLU defended the Nazis right to march because the government can’t discriminate against groups with unpopular views, as per the First Amendment. What that has to do with Mozilla employees objecting to their company’s decision to hire Eich, I can’t even begin to guess.

Mark F.
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Eich has every right to be a bigot and Mozilla has every right to request his resignation or fire him if they don’t feel he reflects the values of the company as CEO. I will qualify that by saying I don’t believe people should be fired or forced out of jobs for trivial reasons. A mere personal opposition to same sex marriage would have been tolerable, but the man donated $1000 to take away our rights and did not offer a full apology.

I would also like to ask people to lay off the personal attacks on Tim, Rob and Jim. We can all have a friendly disagreement, can’t we?

StraightGrandmother
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,
You are conflating govt vs free market with this statement

Why are you defending bigots’ “right” to be bigoted?

Why did the ACLU defend the Nazi’s right to march in Skokie?

The CITY of SKOKIE is not Private Mozilla.
It was not the Management of Mozilla who demanded Brendan’s resignation, it was the pubic.

Rob Tisinai
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

I’m not conflating the government and free market, and I know that the First Amendment applies to government action (including state governments, after the 14 amendment.

I was responding to this: “Why are you defending bigots’ “right” to be bigoted?”

That was not a question about private vs public. I answered the question as asked. It’s important to remember that the First Amendment isn’t some law handed down on a stone tablet which we must follow without knowing exactly why. There’s a spirit of freedom that’s important to a pluralistic society. That spirit existed prior to the First Amendment and is the reason we have the First Amendment. There is no legal obligation to live up that spirit in the private sphere, but I believe (as someone regularly writes things that are deeply offensive to a big swath of our population) that society is a better place when we do.

Also, please note that neither Jim nor Tim nor I am saying that Mozilla did not or should not have the right to fire Eich or pressure him to resign. Jim’s post is an explanation of why the exercise of that right makes him uneasy and may not be beneficial to our cause.

TampaZeke
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, Box Turtle Bulletin has become Timothy Kincaid to the third power.

And Rob, face it, you asked an absurd question and you got called out. Your response made clear that you either weren’t thinking or you really weren’t aware of the First Amendment and what it actually means. If you had you would never have offered the example you did. Own up to it.

Baker
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

In the ACLU’s own words, the Skokie case “was a demonstration of the ACLU’s commitment to the principle that constitutional rights must apply to even the most unpopular groups if they’re going to be preserved for everyone.” The ACLU’s -opposition- to Prop 8, an amendment which reportedly sought to extinguish the rights of an unpopular group, was another notable demonstration of the ACLU’s commitment to the principle that “constitutional rights must apply to even the most unpopular groups”.

But as unpopular as Mr. Eich might be, he has never had a constitutional right to be the CEO of Mozilla, or to take away the constitutional rights of LGBT persons, or to immunity from criticism. However, he did have a right to resign, and he exercised it.

Rob Tisinai
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Tampa, if you’d like to respond to what I said, please do so. But ever since someone here recently psychoanalyzed my alleged covert sexism based on my grammatically correct use of commas, I’m done with folks directing comments to the hidden workings of my mind rather than the words I’ve ptu on the screen.

Rob Tisinai
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

And Baker, why do you think the ACLU is so devoted to protecting those rights in the Constitution? Just because they’re in the Constitution? Or because they represent principle of pluralism that have value in and of themselves.

Meanwhile, in response to the second portion of your comment, neither Jim nor Tim nor I are disputing Mozilla’s right to choose their CEO on whatever grounds they please.

By the way, Baker, thanks for the tone and substance of your comment, which focused on what’s been said, rather than making assertions about the psychology of the person saying it.

esurience
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

Does the spirit of the first amendment require that Box Turtle Bulletin let Pat Robertson make blog posts here? Are you violating his free speech rights if you don’t?

Is there something wrong with judging people to be immoral based on the beliefs they hold and the actions they take? Is it wrong, as a private entity, to make decisions based on those judgments?

(Note: It is possible to be wrong about what you view as moral/immoral, but the above questions are asking if there’s anything wrong in principle with those things. In other words, is it always wrong.)

Honestly these are all simple questions, and I’m very perplexed as to why the authors of BTB are getting the wrong answers on them.

The 1st amendment is not a moral principle saying that it’s bad to judge people, and act in accordance with those judgments, based on their beliefs. Judging people by what they believe, what they say, and what they do, is good and necessary. This is how moral progress is made.

Your arguments are as silly as saying that someone is violating the spirit of the 2nd amendment if they don’t let someone take a gun into their private home.

esurience
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

I understand you’re not disputing the right of Mozilla to choose a CEO on what grounds they please, but you are disputing that the grounds they’ve chosen their CEO on are right. Why is that?

If a company desired to not hire a CEO who beat his wife, would you protest that?

If a company desired to not hire a CEO who was a member of the KKK, would you protest that?

Surely you recognize that there are grounds other than job performance by which to judge a person’s suitability for a position (especially a high-level position where they represent the whole company).

Why should anti-gay bigotry be within the bounds of acceptability and those other things I mentioned not be?

To me, this should be a debate about where we set the threshold. But we can’t have that debate because people like you are pretending that having any sort of threshold at all is some affront to liberty. It’s not. And it doesn’t take many follow-up questions to dig into the absurdity of your position.

Baker
April 5th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, perhaps for the same reason that I do not, as you say, “make assertions about the psychology of the speaker”, I also don’t make assertions as to -why- the ACLU does what it does. However, as to whether they “represent the principle of pluralism”, I’ve heard many opinions from people on that question in the negative. I’ve also heard arguments that “pluralism” is not valid.

Rob Tisinai
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

esuriance, regarding this:

Does the spirit of the first amendment require that Box Turtle Bulletin let Pat Robertson make blog posts here? Are you violating his free speech rights if you don’t?

Of course not. And I’m frankly baffled by this. Can you explain to me what I said that made you ask me this question? Because it doesn’t seem warranted (to me at least) by anything I’ve written here. Perhaps by zeroing in on this point we can clarify the conversation.

esurience
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

Specifically when you said this:

why do you think the ACLU is so devoted to protecting those rights in the Constitution? Just because they’re in the Constitution? Or because they represent principle of pluralism that have value in and of themselves.

What value contained in the first amendment do you think people should be abiding by if they want to “represent the spirit of pluralism”?

It seems to me that the reasons we want a 1st amendment have very little to do with how we want private individuals to behave in their own lives. (And really, the reasons we want most of the things in the constitution. If your boss asks you if you stole money out of the cash register and you invoke the “spirit of the 5th amendment” I think you’ll find that’s not a value he thinks he should have, even if he thinks it’s how the government should operate).

If the government is going to allow speech on a certain topic, we want to make sure any restrictions are viewpoint-neutral, that the gov’t doesn’t do anything to advantage or disadvantage the pro- or anti- side (even if one of those sides is actually correct).

But of course the author of a blog is permissible to only posts blog entries from one point of view. And not only is there nothing wrong with that, but it’s often a good thing, because some sides of an issue are simply flat out wrong and having nothing useful to say.

The 1st amendment requires the government to be neutral in lots of matters — but that doesn’t mean it would be desirable for private citizens to act the same way.

The 1st amendment forbids the gov’t from declaring Mormonism or Scientology a crazy cult, but it doesn’t follow that just because it would be wrong for the government to make such distinctions, that it would be wrong for me to do so.

It would be wrong to use taxpayer dollars to fund an ad campaign specifically criticizing the tenets of the Mormon religion. But is it wrong for me to do so? Am I not being “pluralistic” if I did that?

MirrorMan
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

There isn’t much I can add to this thread, but I will say this:

Jim, you are so wrong, and you don’t even see it, that I don’t know how to shine enough light on it.

Read the comments. That should educate you. And if it doesn’t, then get the hell off the internet. It isn’t for you.

Second: For love of all that is holy and good, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me never piss off StraightGrandmother!!!!!

I bow in awe of your amazingness!!!

FYoung
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

@MirrorMan “And if it doesn’t, then get the hell off the internet. It isn’t for you.”

I imagine that Jim, the editor of BTB, may wonder if it’s worth it, but that is entirely his decision, and I hope he perseveres with BTB.

StraightGrandmother
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

This is *what we did* and why *we should keep doing it*.

We used Social Pressure via Social Media to convince Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer to NOT sign the Freedom to Discriminate Bill based on My Religion.

We used Social Pressure via Social Media to ask Brendan Eichs to walk back his endorsement (it was an endorsement via his $1,000 contribution)of Discrimination against Sexual Minorities through the Power of the State. We didn’t ask him change his personal views, his personal beliefs. We simply asked him to respect the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He can keep his views on what he thinks Marriage is for himself, and we can keep our views, However he must support that the *Government* treat ALL Citizens Equally.

This is why above I said that this always was, and IS, a Civil Rights Battle. It is a battle of fighting for your seat at the lunch counter, or a place in the line at the County Clerks Office to get your Wedding License Application. Brendan Eich must respect your right to be treated Equally to any other Citizen *by your government* under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Brendan Eich endorses Government Discrimination based on Status, the status of a person’s sexual orientation which has no bearing on a person’s ability to be a good citizen, OR a good spouse.

Let’s talk about his rights, Brendan’s rights. He can stand on the city street corner and say whatever he believes, he has that right. But WE have the right to surround him and boo him and shout him down. We have the same right to stand on that city sidewalk and boo him down, to make anyone passing by not hear him because our boos are loud and vigorous. WE, unlike Brandon are not booing him for his status, his status as a straight person. We are booing him for his beliefs that the Status of being a sexual minority justifies UNEQUAL Civil Rights.

If our booing makes him so uncomfortable that he jumps off his soap box and runs away, well good, one less bigot on that street corner.

What about people who in their homes and with friends, NOT on a soapbox NOT on the city sidewalk, express the same opinion as Brendan Eich? For those people we have conversations with them. We try and persuade them that their opinion is wrong.

As long as Brendan Eich stayed off the soap box he was subject to our personal attempts at persuasion. But once he mounted that Soap Box by taking the CEO Position, in fact the Apex of the pyramid, position at Mozilla, the final arbiter of corporate right and wrong, he mounted the Soap Box and I along with a crowd of others Booed the HELL out of him. The longer he refused to recognize the Supremacy of the Fourteenth Amendment the louder we booed.

That is ALL I want out of him, respect for the Fourteenth Amendment. We can disagree on religion, we can disagree on what is moral but we cannot disagree on the Fourteenth Amendment.

This is what we did, and what we should keep doing, boo the HELL out of Leaders in Business and Politics who refuse to recognize the Fourteenth Amendment. Shout them off the stage, and off our street corners. Replace them by people who support the Fourteenth Amendment for this is how battles are won, you cut off the head until there are just wandering masses with no leadership.

You may say that Brendan was “no anti gay *Leader*” not the equivalent of Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer et al. True, however Brendan Eich was the Leader of a big business and he does NOT support the Fourteenth Amendment and thus is subject to public booing. We want no one in a position of leadership of anything, anywhere, to reject the Fourteenth Amendment. If you reject the Fourteenth Amendment you are not qualified to Lead. I’ll not give Amnesty to Brendan Eich while the war for Civil Rights still rages, is still being fought. No Amnesty. Amnesty is reserved for the Victors for when the battle is won, and we have Not.Won.Yet.
(*Note the Fourteenth Amendment does not require you to change your personal beliefs)

All any Leader in business or politics has to publicly say is this, “I support the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

esurience
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

I have yet to see an argument against pressuring Mozilla to reject Eich as CEO that addresses what it would need to address to make such case.

All the arguments seem to take it as a given that there’s some American or liberal value being violated here. But that’s exactly what you’re supposed to demonstrate, not just take as given.

I don’t need to tell the authors of this blog that when gay bars were raided and the patrons beaten and arrested, it was common practice to call the employers of those arrested so that they would be fired from their jobs.

The point is, we’ve never had an American value that has said one should not be face social consequences, including employment consequences, for morally outrageous behavior. What has changed is simply what we find morally outrageous.

The gay rights movement has not created some new, previously non-existing value that people shouldn’t face social consequences for morally outrageous behavior. Instead, it has instilled in much of America the value that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, and therefore being gay is undeserving of social punishment.

I think there’s a case to be made that when you have a country still closely divided over marriage equality, it is too soon to be calling for employment consequences for anti-gay bigotry. You could argue that although racist positions and anti-gay positions are equally morally wrong, the racist position is more of a fringe extreme, and therefore deserves more opprobrium. That imposing employment consequences on positions which are not yet extreme, not yet a tiny fringe, is going to create more social strife and not be worth it.

Maybe in 30 years it will make sense to impose those consequences, but not now.

I’d like to hear that argument. I might even be persuaded by it. But no one is making that argument. We just get these very disingenuous and poorly thought-out positions that it is ALWAYS wrong to judge a person’s suitability for a particular job on anything that has ever happened outside of work.

And that’s clearly false. I expect better arguments from this blog, and I’m very disappointed in this post.

Lucrece
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Sorry, I disagree.

As an employee of the organization I would not be too fond of taking orders and interacting with a man who with a simple donation made it clear to me he found a huge aspect of my life inferior to his.

This is no different than having a CEO who donated to a cause advocating that women be kept out of technology jobs because he believes women make inferior scientists and engineers.

Women would be in all their right to protest the appointment of such a CEO, even if the company is not involved in the STEM fields and could just be a grocery store.

Merv
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Great summary, esurience. Like you, It’s not the conclusion that bothers me the most, but the poorly thought out arguments used to get there.

I went into this whole thing feeling very apprehensive about what was happening to Eich, but the side that supported pressuring Mozilla simply had better and more convincing arguments. I still never took part in any boycotts (I never used FireFox), but I won’t criticize those who do.

charlie
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

I have enjoyed reading the comments on this and I am torn on how I feel. A large part of me feels that those who are intolerant do not deserve tolerance. They should not be coddled into feeling that their belief or opinion has equal footing with the fact that gay people are born as who they are and are every bit the same as straight people.

On the flip side, I am just not sure that donating to a campaign on Prop 8 that has been relegated to the garbage bin of history is something that should cost someone their job. I know there were other factors at play and I also know that he wasn’t fired, but he was forced out of his job.

I think this was a teachable moment and I saw in his comments that he was willing to let it be one. I don’t really care it all about the right screaming of homofascism or any of their other silly slurs. I do think that on an individual level, people can change with the times.

Thanks for the article and the well reasoned commentaries; both for and against.

chiMaxx
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Rob Tisinai: I think what you’re missing is that many of us see this as being exactly within the OTHER part of the First Amendment–that of free association. Much of this discussion has glossed over the fact that Eich’s donation to Proposition 8 was known since 2012, and no one thought it was an issue worth talking about while he was CTO. It was only when he was raised to CEO–the leader of the company–that people considered it relevant. While he was CTO, people were happy working alongside Brendan Eich regardless of his views on this issue or the fact of the action he had taken with regard to others’ rights. It was only after he was made CEO that the employees of Mozilla started to say: “No, we do not want to follow this man as our leader.” Then. developers who contributed their time to the project started to say: “No, we do not want to contribute to this project whole he is the leader” and users of the product and other firms whose customers used the project said “No, we don’t want to associate with Mozilla while he is the leader.”

What about the first amendment should make employees, volunteers, customers, and connected firms feel obligated to follow and support a leader whose values they abhor? Why does his right to free speech trump their right to free association?

Priya Lynn
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Esurience said ” You could argue that although racist positions and anti-gay positions are equally morally wrong, the racist position is more of a fringe extreme, and therefore deserves more opprobrium.”.

That’s B.S. The popularity of a type of bigotry does not determine the degree of opprobrium it deserves. Its just as wrong to be anti-gay as it is to be racist – they deserve to be treated in the same way.

Priya Lynn
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

That’s like saying slavery didn’t deserve as much oprobrium when it was popular. Whether something is popular or not doesn’t determine its rightness or wrongness.

Baker
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

StraightGrandmother,

You say, “Once he mounted that Soap Box by taking the CEO Position [...] I along with a crowd of others Booed the HELL out of him.”

“We simply asked him to respect the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Which was it — “we simply asked him”, or “we booed the hell out of him”?

Exactly what legal authority decreed that Mr. Eich does not “respect” the Fourteenth Amendment? Some kangaroo court? As far as I can tell, he hasn’t violated the Fourteenth Amendment. And the Fourteen Amendment does not require that “Brendan Eich must respect your right to be treated Equally to any other Citizen by your government under the Fourteenth Amendment.” Instead, that seems to be your requirement. You admit, “Note the Fourteenth Amendment does not require you to change your personal beliefs.” So who is requiring that Mr. Eich change his personal beliefs? You (and the “gaystapo”).

You claim “That is ALL I want out of him, respect for the Fourteenth Amendment. We can disagree on religion”, but what if his brand of religion does not support equal treatment by the government for all that is called “marriage”? How then are you permitting him to disagree with you on religion if you’re demanding that his religious beliefs on government must match yours?

RexTIII
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Brendan Eich resigned his position as CEO, a choice he made as the CEO and more than likely a very large Stockholder of the Company. He achieved this position as a result of his performance, all well and good.

His departure from Mozilla is a matter of his personal responsibility as a Human Being. No one has ‘done anything’ to him, other than object to his having supported Prop 8 (Cash and obvious, His Position on the Matter of Equal Rights), that’s what happens in life, your past on important issues may come back and create a challenge. He failed to handle this challenge successfully, it happens frequently in life. Once again, this is all His Life, and He’s made His Choices and only He is Responsible.

NOM certainly did it’s best to condemn his company, the only ‘Organized’ boycott effort being NOM’s. We, the LGBT Community spoke up, why would we not? If the internal heat for this man in his new job was more than he was able to manage, he did the right thing and left. You don’t get to these positions in ANY Company without your eyes wide open. He did not go forward blindly, he went forward UNPREPARED to manage himself in a difficult situation, in fact, he simply Failed.

ertdfg
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

“Ursomniac April 4th, 2014

There’s a very simple answer to the author’s first question:

the statue of limitation ENDS when the person responsible for the behavior: a) apologizes; b) reconciles; and c) makes amends for the inappropriate behavior/actions.

Had Eich done any of those things at any time, then the controversy would have not happened.”

BULL squat. Complete and utter horse pockey, and I can prove that is untrue.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/05/us-usa-mozilla-fallout-idUKBREA3402320140405

‘Before his resignation, Eich posted an apology on his blog for the “pain” he said his views had caused. He vowed to uphold a culture of equality as Mozilla’s CEO, including maintaining the nonprofit’s health benefits for same-sex couples.’

Eich apologized, recanted, and clarifies he’d never do anything to harm the gay community at Mozilla.

Your witch hunt ignored it, and the attack continued… so lets not pretend “if he’d apologized” is a real thing. He DID apologize, and nobody cared.

He HAD to be fired. Sure he never actually discriminated against anyone, AND he apologized; but that’s not good enough.

When promoting diversity, nobody can ever have held any view that is not the sole accepted one… as that is how we promote “diversity’ now.

Conformity of thought, and shunning the outsider. I guess that’s something the gay community is now supporting as a view. If someone is in any way different, they should be attacked for their differences…

Good plan, I can’t see how it could possibly ever backfire.

StraightGrandmother
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Baker, “but what if his brand of religion does not support equal treatment by the government for all that is called “marriage”?

Because we do not make our Laws or self govern based on Religion. If we did that we would have a Hell of a time decising which religions beliefs should be priory. We are not forcing Eich to get Gay Married in opposition to his religion.

There are a LOT of things I disagree with, pornography for example. I think pornography is horrible but I respect the First Amendment and peoples Liberty Rights to make it and view it even though it goes against my religious beliefs. Do you really want to go there Baker? Do you think I should be able to BAN pornography even though it is protected under the First Amendment because it goes against my own personal religion?

I respect the United States Constitution ALL Amendments to it, including the Fourteenth Amendment which guarantees the the Government must treat ALL Citizens Equally.

StraightGrandmother
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

ertdfg
It is not what Eich said, it is what he didn’t say.
He never said that he now supports the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Are you American? If not perhaps you do not have a grasp of our Constitutional.

“I’m sorry I caused you pain with my donation to the American Nazi Party.
Not one person has ever caught me on the job treating Jews poorly and I promise I never will as your new CEO”
Signed Brendan Eich

Is this okay? Are you okay with this ertdfg?

esurience
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

ertdfg,

Eich said he regretted causing pain. I can believe that. I can believe he is sincere when he wishes that his opposition to marriage equality did not cause anyone pain. But he still opposes marriage equality. He just wishes that we didn’t care, or feel any pain, that he does so.

That is not an apology. You’ve been tricked by one of those “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” non-apologies.

He never admitted any fault for donating to Prop8, and he’s never claimed to have had a change in position.

It is quite clear from his interview with CNET

http://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-ceo-gay-marriage-firestorm-could-hurt-firefox-cause-q-a/

That he has neither changed position, nor views his prop8 donation as wrong.

Baker
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

StraightGrandmother, you’re not answering my questions. But I’m happy to answer yours:

Q. “Do you think I should be able to BAN pornography even though it is protected under the First Amendment because it goes against my own personal religion?”

A. You can and “should be able” to go to the polls and VOTE in accordance with your conscience, your religion. And yet, in light of the Constitution, what you’re able, and indeed what you “should be able” to do at the polls is not the final authority on the law (as you’ve already seen with respect to Prop 8). And thus, you and Joe Blow can and should be able go to the polls and VOTE as each of you sees fit -and- also maintain respect for ALL of the Constitution as it provides that whatever you folks do at the polls is not necessarily the final dictate of government.

Therefore, your question needs some correction so that it conforms to how the process works. Here’s one rewording:

Q: Do you think I should be able to VOTE to ban XYZ if XYZ goes against my own personal religion even though XYZ is protected under the First Amendment?

A: As long as you’re qualified to vote, I find no prohibition in the Constitution against you having the ability to VOTE to ban things protected by the First Amendment (or any other). You should be able to go to the polls and VOTE in accordance with your conscience, your religion. That said, the enforceability of a ballot proposition and whether a particular proposition should ever have been placed on the ballot to begin are separate issues.

P.S. You say, “It is not what Eich said, it is what he didn’t say.” No, it is your speculation. I see a reported donation to NOM and lots of people speculating as to what that means.

StraightGrandmother
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Only bigots would vote for a law that *they know* is Constitutionally invalid. That would be voting out of spite, a spite vote.

Today, not back when Eich gave his $1,000 contribution, Today April of 2014 surely Eich knows (he’s a smart man) that denying Civil Marriage to Sexual Minorities violates the 14th Amendment. We are asking that he re-affirm the 14th Amendment today. And if he can’t, if he still does NOT believe that sexual minorities are entitled to Equal Treatment by their Government under the law, then he is unfit to lead Mozilla.

It is not *Political Speech* it is Civil Rights.

Baker
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

StraightGrandmother, Mr. Eich’s donation never denied civil marriage to anyone. A donation does not have the power of law and it does not violate the 14th Amendment. And today, in 2014, in most states it currently remains that “denying civil marriage to sexual minorities” is not held to violate the 14th Amendment, and it might still be decided that way for all states. I don’t “know” how judges will decide before they decide, and I don’t conflate guessing with knowledge.

StraightGrandmother
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Well 15 FEDERAL Judges in a ROW have ruled in Favor of Equal Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities, even Maggie Gallagher says that this is the way the Courts will rule, but dunno maybe for you it still is murky. More likely you are simply in denial.

I don’t have anything further to argue with you, you are not making sufficiently persuasive points to take up even more commenting space for me to respond to. Have a good day.

Baker
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

Ok, nice chatting with you.

Neil
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

ertdfg,

Eich apologized, recanted, and clarifies he’d never do anything to harm the gay community at Mozilla.

He apologised in an equivocal way that led staff at his company and other critics unconvinced that he didn’t still have a lower opinion of LGBT people.

There was an apology of sorts, an attempt at reassurance, but he muddied any clarification he might have issued and most certainly did not recant.

Eich refused to be drawn on whether he would donate to a Proposition 8 style campaign again in the future. “I don’t want to do hypotheticals,” he said. “I haven’t thought about that issue and I really don’t want to speculate because it’s not relevant.”

John30013
April 6th, 2014 | LINK

There is, of course, another way of looking at this that completely avoids any discussion or judgment of Eich’s personal views. This was a test of his leadership skills, his ability to defuse a crisis and take his company beyond it. And he failed.

Yes, this was a difficult issue, since it revolved around his own prior actions and the perceptions various people in and outside of Mozilla had formed about him. Nevertheless, he was unable to rise to the challenge, and Mozilla’s board of directors saw that he could not contain the situation. That seems like reasonable grounds to ask for his resignation (assuming resigning wasn’t truly his own idea–and I’m not naïve enough to believe it was).

Paul Douglas
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Jim: Love BTB but I think you got it wrong big-time on this one. The LGBT community is now and historically has always been pretty damn magnanimous. We simply have to see some heartfelt admission of acknowledging a mistake and acceptance that LGBT people are entitled to a full seat at the table. This guy couldn’t do that, even after 4 years of mounting evidence of societal change and a cultural shift that apparently passed him by & left him unmoved.
Good riddance.
(I would bet he is either über-roman catholic or mormon, by the way and I haven’t even tried to find out. Just a suspicion).

Baker
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

The public comments:

https://input.mozilla.org/en-/US

Vira
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

How magnanimous do LGBT persons have to be toward pro-Prop 8 donors? Short of physical gay-bashing, donating to a campaign in support of a ballot initiative to deny LGBTs their rights is just about as violent an anti-gay act as I can think of.

The other day, I noticed the name of a former professor of mine as a donor on the list. When I was in his class, I would say that I was only vaguely aware of his politics, though there were certain demographic indicators that would have been consistent with strong support for an anti-gay position. Would I feel comfortable in his class now, seeing that he made a larger than average donation to deny me and other LGBTs their rights? Would I feel the need to hide my identity or suppress opinions in his class in order to avoid being evaluated with an unfair anti-gay bias? Does being ‘magnanimous’ mean denying the tangible evidence of this man’s anti-gay bias, and somehow ‘trusting’ that he’ll be fair in class when he has demonstrated a clear capacity to support patently unfair legislation outside class? That would be an awfully large breach to mend for me, far beyond ‘magnanimous’ and well into ‘naive’.

Should LGBT students be so magnanimous as to flock to the class of discredited (and sex-obsessed) “academic” Mark Regnerus, to sit at the foot of the learned professor and absorb a conservative perspective on the evils of long-term same sex couplings? Do you have confidence that he would treat an openly LGBT student fairly? Do you think that Regnerus would accept well-founded counter-arguments against anti-gay opinions that he might articulate in his class lectures (however shrouded in academic jargon he might try to phrase them)? Given Regnerus’ record, I most certainly would NOT trust him to treat the topic of sexuality fairly in his classes, nor would I expect to be evaluated fairly. I certainly would not want a vulnerable, college-aged LGBT son or daughter subjected to Regnerus’ strain of conservative sociological flim-flam.

And what about a high school teacher who expresses virulently anti-gay opinions on a Facebook post? Should parents of LGBT students just magnanimously “trust” that such a teacher will treat their students respectfully in class, and evaluate their work fairly? Where does magnanimity end and common sense begin?

These are but three micro-examples, not completely analogous to Eich, but not entirely off-the-mark either. There is no guarantee that when a person exercises his/her right to free speech, that he/she won’t compromise his ability to lead in certain contexts, be it a university classroom, a highschool classroom, or a high-profile tech nonprofit. Eich LOST his credibility as a leader, which for a CEO is at least as crucial as technical competence.

Another thing about this that is beginning to raise questions for is the nagging suspicion that the LGBT movement may be being used as a sort of ‘false flag’ for deposing Eich. That there were people who opposed his elevation to CEO for legitimate business reasons, who were outvoted (or outmaneuvered), who then threw down the anti-gay card against Eich as a sort of counterplay. Eich gets ousted, and the LGBT community reaps the backlash. The more that comes out about Eich’s resignation, the more credible such a scenario seems.

Finally, I am violently nauseated by the grandstanding, pearl-clutching, hyper-righteous, self-promoting, faux-outrage of the likes of Andrew Sullivan who tries to elevate himself above the fray as a voice of reasoned ‘magnanimity’, the better to be asked back to the polite company of the Sunday morning political talk shows. I don’t think that BTB is necessarily similarly motivated, but the analysis in Burroway’s post is just as off-base.

John
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

What Vira says so eloquently above explains why we cannot afford to be “magnanimous” at this crucial stage in our quest for equal rights.

TampaZeke
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Ari Ezra Waldman over at Towleroad has an excellent response to the Andrew Sullivans/Jim Burroways/Timothy Kincaids/Rob Tisinais who have mischaracterized this entire event and then misplaced “blame” upon the gay community and gay civil rights leaders/organizations for Eich’s RESIGNATION.

http://www.towleroad.com/2014/04/the-fall-of-brendan-eich-happened-without-us.html#comments

Adam
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Just a quick comment to express my disappointment that you’ve completely adopted the right-wing’s framing of this issue.

People are right to reject calls for magnanimity when Eich said he’d donate to Prop 8 again if it came up in the future. He could have dealt with this issue so easily by saying that it was a mistake to donate. He even could have said that he wouldn’t do it again as CEO, given he was the public face of the company.

Neither of those options would mean he had to change his views or opinions.

NancyP
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

A CEO of a tech company hires and employs a lot of well-educated younger workers, and these workers trend heavily toward acceptance of same sex marriage. I can easily see straight applicants wondering if they have applied to a rigid workplace, and perhaps taking an alternate job offer. If I worked there, I might be buffing my CV and contacts now, just in case. A CEO of a tech company also ought to understand that the combination of campaign finance law and computer technology makes it inevitable that any larger political donations will be identifiable. Prop 8 was recent enough that he should have understood that his donation might go public. He should also have been considering a possible try for the CEO position. He screwed up.

Baker
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

TampaZeke, Mr. Waldman’s opinion that “Mr. Eich was asked to step down because the members of his board of directors made the decision that he could no longer govern their company” seems to be in direct disagreement with the public statement already made by Mozilla:

“Q: Was Brendan asked to resign by the Board?

“A: No. In fact, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another role. Brendan decided that it was better for himself and for Mozilla to sever all ties, at least for now.”

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

Chris McCoy
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

It’s interesting to see the parallels in this conversation with 2012 Controversy over Gallaudet University‘s suspension of their Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill.

Neon Genesis
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Oh please, cry me a river. There are evangelical Christians in Russia who are discriminated by Putin’s government for merely not being apart of the Russian Orthodox Church and Christians are regularly a victim of extremist Muslim violence throughout the Middle East. You may disagree with Eich’s decision to resign, but he certainly was not fired by the LGBT community nor is he the victim of intolerance. In fact, it was Mozilla who begged him to stay and he resigned of his own free will and I don’t recall anyone at OKCupid calling for him to resign. All that gay rights activists asked for was an apology. He made the decision to resign himself, but antigay Christians think any criticism of their actions at all is persecution, so apparently freedom to them means the silencing of anyone who opposes them.

Neon Genesis
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

And gay rights activists haven’t been using the word “tolerance” for decades now, so if this is what finally tips BTB into not using the word after the rest of the gay rights world has moved on from using it, I question their commitment to equality.

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

One thing that should be clarified is that firing Eich would have been in clear violation of California law. That’s why Mozilla didn’t fire him.

1102. No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

Do the commenters here favor repealing this law?

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

There can be no doubt he resigned because the public and many Mozilla employees effectively made it impossible for him to continue. He was not literally “forced” to do it, but he was de facto compelled to step down for the good of the company. There was no real “choice” on his part.

So, is this all good or not? I’m not entirely convinced this whole affair was a net positive for our community, on reflection.

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Since numerous people were determined to drive Mozilla out of business had he stayed, it’s silly to consider his action “voluntary” in any meaningful sense.

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

By the way, I don’t take seriously anyone who includes personal insults in his comments.

StraightGrandmother
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

I can’t disagree with any of Mark F’s comments. This should then CHILL anybody else who has aspirations for leading a public company, or even just moving on up, to think twice about supporting Anti Gay Civil Rights.

Are we at the same stage then in this movement, this fight, for Equal Civil Rights, the same time as when in the 1960′s Racists got publicly named and shamed, and their job prospects were limited for UNREPENTANT support of Segregation? I think we have just crossed the Rubicon.

Is Brendan Eich’s resignation another huge piece of the wall of Discrimination being torn down? Is this a watershed moment? I hope it IS. I hope this has a deep CHILLING effect. We may take some undeserved short term heat for it, but it looks to me like the long term gain will be worth it.

I want the Christians to stay in their lane and respect the rights of sexual minorities to Equal Protection Under the Law. They need to accept the fact that their religion is for THEM and that the Government will not privilege their religious point of view. They gotta lay down their animus and stop fighting for Discrimination via the Power of the State.

Timothy Kincaid
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Generally, when we say that something has a “chilling effect” on independent thought, diverging opinions, or free speech, it is not considered a good thing. Generally, “chilling effect” is used when we are speaking in terms of oppression, autocratism, or fascism.

Perhaps you meant another term. Or perhaps not.

Neon Genesis
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

This is all yet another fake media controversy drummed up by the Religious Right who have always claimed to be persecuted by we meanie gay people, but I can gurantee you that this whole “controversy” will blow over in another week or so when the media finds another fake controversy to obsess over, like they did with that whole Duck Dynasty nonsense and the Ender’s Game boycott. It’s just a slow news week and the media is running out of ways to milk the Malayasian aircraft controversy and nobody cares about Obamacare anymore now that it’s the law. This is not a new low for the LGBT community nor have we reached some new threshold in the gay rights battle. It’s just the media making a mountain out of a molehill and gays who are siding with the Religious Right’s cries of persecution are allowing themselves to be used as puppets by the mainstream media.

Neon Genesis
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

We should question why this is the most talked about gay rights issue of the week in the lamestream media and not the persecution of gays in Jamacia or the story about the gay teen in Uganda who committed suicide.

Baker
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

Mark F, in regard to the law you cited, if an employer fires or threatens to fire someone because that person did not or cannot effectively do his job, it does not establish that the employer was (1) using “threat of discharge or loss of employment” to (2) get employees “to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.” Rather, it shows that the employer expects employees to do their jobs. Therefore, because the law you cited requires that both (1) and (2) must be proven, and because I do not find “clear” evidence of either (1) or (2), I don’t conclude “that firing Eich would have been in clear violation” of the law you cited.

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

@Baker

Your reading of the law would mean you could effectively fire anyone from their jobs if enough people complained about their political activity/views and therefore made it “unable” for them to do their jobs. That would seem to eviscerate what the law is intended to do: protect people from getting fired for unpopular political activity and opinions. Suppose a Eich donated to the Romney campaign and people were complaining about it and threatening to boycott the company? You seem to be supporting a de facto Heckler’s Veto.

Mark F.
April 7th, 2014 | LINK

I also don’t see much of a distinction between giving money to the Prop 8 Campaign and voting for it. In both cases you were supporting taking away the rights of gay people. If you think Eich should be pressured into resigning, I don’t see why anyone who was on record as supporting Prop 8 shouldn’t also be pressured to resign. Maybe we should require all CEOs to disclose how they voted?

Neon Genesis
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

You’re forgetting that many people who voted yes on Prop 8 were also mislead by the ambigous way the ballot was worded.

StraightGrandmother
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

I am using the word CHILL in the same context of “the chilling effects of high prices.” The chilling effect of high prices means that less people will be buying.

Obviously not used in the legal sense of a Law that Chills Free Speech. In other words Government Chilling Free Speech. I am using it in a Market Driven, Social Pressure context. I’m happy to clarify this for you Tim.

I don’t know, I am not inside the head of Jim, Rob or Tim, but my guess is that they are uncomfortable with delegitimatizing religious objections as a rational basis for people supporting laws that deny Constitutional Rights to Sexual Minorities. In other words they kind of buy into “But my sincerely held religious beliefs,” good people who merely disagree, Brendan Eich a good person who merely disagrees. That we should allow our opponents to speak, and then we speak, and in the end more people will go along with us than with them. We are winning they might say, let the conversation continue. (I am going totally hypothetical now but I notice that they have stopped commenting and explaining their views.)

Just as we point to Tim Cook CEO of Apple computer and say, “Look gays aren’t perverts like you say, the head of Apple Computer is gay. Or, the first woman in space, Sally Ride was gay.” We can point to Gays who are respected Leaders. On the other side I want to take that away from your “But my religion” friends, neighbors, family members. I want them to not be able to point to any person in a Non Religious Leadership Position, to not be able to point out any Leader in Business or Education who holds their same views. This is what I meant above when I said cut off the head and what is left is unconnected roaming masses.

You deny respectability of their position by pointing out that no one with any accomplishment agrees with them, and you socially pressure business and organizations to NOT put into Leadership positions anyone with anti gay/racist/anti Semitic views. Sure Joe in accounting may agree with your aunt’s views, but Joe in accounting is NOT the CEO of the business Joe & your aunt work at, he’s only Joe in accounting. Using religion as an excuse to take away Civil Rights is illegitimate.

It is perfectly legitimate to use Social Pressure in a social justice movement to publicly point out, shout down, and question leaders who are racist/ anti gay/ anti Semitic. People who are black do not hesitate at ALL to expose racists, and say that they are not fit to Lead, why should we hesitate? The Anti Defamation League does not hesitate at all to expose Anti Semitics and say that they are not fit to Lead, why should we hesitate?

Let there only remain, Presidents of Catholic Universities, Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer, Scott Lively, Peter LaBarbera, and Brian Brown for these people to look up to. That is when it is proved that it really IS a Religious War against Sexual Minorities and the public, the movable middle will not support a theocracy. I don’t believe the movable middle, even those who hold fast to their faith will support a Theocracy. They used to have Dan Cathy at Chik-Fil-A, now they don’t, he has clammed up, and he clammed up because of social pressure. Elane photography was taken away from them yesterday when the Supreme Court denied cert.

A key reason we shouted down the Arizona Law was because business came in and spoke for our side. And we pressure business to do that. I’ll give you an example, Pet Smart who is HQ in Arizona. I Tweeted the Hell to Pet Smart who originally started with the typical, “We value ALL Customers and All employees.” Myself along with a LOT of other people didn’t let Pet Smart off the hook, we kept on them, and they turned around at the end. Eventually they publicly said that they reject the new Arizona Law.

Let there be not ONE Leader of a business of any significant size or influence who makes phone calls for our opposition or STAYS SILENT. Not one. Yes, Socially Pressure businesses to NOT promote into top leadership positions people who are racists/anti gay/anti Semitic. Yes do that. The non biased CEO’s will deal with Joe in accounting in the appropriate way.

Baker
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

Mark F, in the words of the California courts, section 1102 of the California Labor Code was “designed to protect the fundamental right of employees in general to engage in political activity without interference by employers,” and that “to constitute a violation, there must be a coercive element to the employer’s conduct.” And so again, there must be both (1) “a coercive element” (e.g. a “threat of discharge”) by the employer and (2) (attempted or actual) interference by the employer in employees’ efforts “to engage in political activity”.

As I’ve said, I don’t see “clear” evidence of either (1) or (2); I’m not aware of any threats by Mr. Eich’s employer to fire him or anyone else, and I’m not aware of any recent efforts or desires by him (or anyone else at Mozilla for that matter) “to engage in political activity”.

I appreciate your scheme of “you could effectively fire anyone from their jobs if enough people complained about their political activity/views and therefore made it ‘unable’ for them to do their jobs”, but it lacks the real life circumstances and peculiarities upon which cases are generally decided. The court in individual cases has said that the “key question” would center on the employer’s reason / motive for the termination. Was the employer’s motive to interfere in employees’ right to engage in political activity? Or did the employer have a legitimate business reason, “valid grounds on which the employer may take action that are not based on the employee’s political activity or affiliation.” Maybe it’s your wording, but as written, your scheme comes across as having a bad motive.

Baker
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

Mark F, you also wrote, “I also don’t see much of a distinction between giving money to the Prop 8 Campaign and voting for it. In both cases you were supporting taking away the rights of gay people.”

I support a healthy debate, and neither side of the Prop 8 debate was/is entirely knowledgeable or truthful. Also, if it’s acceptable to fund one liar, is it not acceptable to fund the other for a better debate? And if it’s acceptable to fund the legal defense of accused pedophiles, is it not also acceptable to fund the Prop 8 defense?

I appreciate that people were free to fund neither, either or both sides of the debate and vote freely in accordance with their conscience. And I appreciate that the Constitution also provides for the involvement of the courts to protect the rights of the minority, because the popular vote is not designed for that purpose.

You talk about pressuring people into resigning, but the Golden Rule comes to my mind.

Baker
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

And of course, there’s also California Elections Code section 18540 wbereby bullying someone to “vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or measure, OR BECAUSE any person [...] voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or measure at any election” can be “a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years.” And by bullying, I mean “makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence, or TACTIC OF COERCION OR INTIMIDATION”.

chiMaxx
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

Everyone seems to keep forgetting that this didn’t start with gay rights groups or even grassroots gay rights group organizing. It all happened too quickly for that. Before OKCupid jumped on the bandwagon, this started with Mozilla employees and contributors to the Mozilla project saying: “This is not the man we want to lead us; this is not the man that we want to have as the public face of this company that we contribute to.”

It was his free speech rights versus the rights of the employees and contributors to have a say in who would lead them and represent them to the world.

Attempts to make his Prop 8 donation an issue when he was CTO went nowhere, because most people were fine working alongside him and having him execute policy, and those who were bothered weren’t able to convince enough of their co-workers to stand with them. But when he moved from behind the curtain to the spotlight, when he became the man who would set policy, they weren’t comfortable with him in that position.

Why should the employees and contributors to the project feel obliged to quash their own rights to free speech and to have leadership and a public figurehead that reflects their values in order to protect his free speech rights?

There is no constitutional right–not even conceptually or philosophically–to have others accept you as their leader and public representative.

Neon Genesis
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

It’s also hypocritical for the Religious Right to be crying persecution when they’ve made a career out of squashing any discrimination protections for LGBT employees no matter how watered down all in the name of the free market yet when the free market works against them, suddenly they start complaining about how unfair it all is.

Rob Tisinai
April 8th, 2014 | LINK

Straight Grandmother, I’m going to write on this further, but let me say that I don’t privilege religious beliefs over secular beliefs and I don’t have a position at all on whether he’s a good person.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.