164 responses

  1. Timothy Kincaid
    April 7, 2014

    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.

  2. Neon Genesis
    April 7, 2014

    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.

  3. Neon Genesis
    April 7, 2014

    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.

  4. Baker
    April 7, 2014

    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.

  5. Mark F.
    April 7, 2014


    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.

  6. Mark F.
    April 7, 2014

    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?

  7. Neon Genesis
    April 8, 2014

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

  8. StraightGrandmother
    April 8, 2014

    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.

  9. Baker
    April 8, 2014

    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.

  10. Baker
    April 8, 2014

    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.

  11. Baker
    April 8, 2014

    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”.

  12. chiMaxx
    April 8, 2014

    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.

  13. Neon Genesis
    April 8, 2014

    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.

  14. Rob Tisinai
    April 8, 2014

    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.

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