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Marriage Equality, Bigotry…and Don Sterling

Rob Tisinai

April 29th, 2014

A great deal of opposition to marriage equality is based on anti-gay bigotry. I’ve read it, experienced it, documented it and called it out, again and again and again. Homophobia, like racism, anti-Semitism, and a host of other toxic bigotries, is a derangement, a flaw of judgment and character, quite enough to make us question a person’s ability (and suitability) to lead.

That’s never been in doubt for me. What I have doubted, though, is whether opposition to same-sex marriage always and automatically marks one as an anti-gay bigot. Some have argued, forcefully, that it does. As one commenter wrote:

Opposition to marriage equality doesn’t exist in a person for no reason. You can’t get to “I oppose equality” if you don’t first see gays as bad or inferior. They may not all hate us, but they most certainly all think they’re superior to us or that we’re bad in some way.

If my CEO thought gays to be bad or inferior, I’d want him removed, and I could make a strong case to a Board of Directors that he should be removed. But I don’t see the connection the commenter made. Many people don’t ever get to “I oppose equality.” Our opponents struggle to make sure they don’t think of it in those terms, shifting instead to, “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” It’s not a question of whether gays are good or bad. It’s a question of what their religion tells them about marriage.

In 2012, Gallup reported that 47% of Americans who oppose same-sex marriage gave the Bible or religion as their main reason (while only 12% of people with “no religious identity” opposed marriage equality). Barack Obama used this justification for a while. In The Audacity of Hope, he attributes his opposition to his religious beliefs and then weasels around to describe how bad he feels about it when talking to a lesbian, never bothering to explain why his religious beliefs should be enforced on everyone by rule of law.

When I read Audacity in 2006, I stopped right there. He’d lost my respect and it took a lot to bring me back to the point where I was excited for his candidacy. I suspect his opposition at the time was a political calculation, that he was being a shrewd political operator rather than a Constitutional incompetent — that he simply figured (probably correctly) a good many people would sympathize with this stance.

Many of these people opposed marriage equality because they followed the guidance of their pastor and priests. Why, then, have so many changed their minds? Because, like all human beings, they can live comfortably ensconced in familiar but contradictory beliefs — in this case: Marriage is between a man and a woman, and The gays I know are good and decent people. They opposed marriage equality not because of their view of gays and lesbians, but in spite of them. And they changed their minds when they could longer duck this discrepancy. That’s why change has come so fast. There’s little reason to change your bigoted beliefs when they’re backed up by your religious authority. But if you harbor a decent amount of good will, it can make you change your mind, even in defiance of your own religious leaders, if you’re forced to confront your contradictions.

This is also why so many people of all denominations are working hard to reconcile marriage equality with religion, even among evangelicals. Some folks are practically desperate for a way to support our rights without giving up their faith, and authors like Matthew Vines are beginning to show them how.

I wouldn’t argue this is true for all of our opponents. I’m spent too much time fighting in trenches to believe that, and you probably have you, too. But it is true of a good many, especially the swing vote, people who have recently changed their mind or who will soon do so.

This isn’t idle speculation. We’ve seen the truth of it in the strategies both sides of the debate have put forth. For instance, here’s some revealing advice the National Organization for Marriage used to offer (they’ve scrubbed it from their website, but you can still find it here):

Language to avoid at all costs: “Ban same-sex marriage.” Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.”

NOM actually lost support when they brought up same-sex marriage, and did best when gays and lesbians weren’t mentioned at all. Not what you would expect if all Prop 8 supporters considered gays and lesbians inferior. It’s as if they realized hard-core ads about evil gays may scare up donations from the bigots, but could cost them votes in the elections.

Many of us disparaged the “No on 8″ campaign for focusing on (important) abstractions like equality and fairness while strenuously avoiding images of actual gay people, as if our existence were some liability to be hidden away in the attic closet. That losing strategy has been replaced with one showcasing us and our families, and most of us have cheered that. These images merely infuriate anti-gay bigots. They can change the minds only of voters who don’t despise us.

After Prop 8 passed, we took to the streets. I know first hand that these protests can change minds. Not the bigots’, of course — they just double down when they see uppity minorities fight for their rights. No, those protests, with their anger and their pain, changed the minds of people by forcing us into their view, so they could no longer bracket off their views on marriage from the way these bans hurt us.

Then there’s this:

Having persuasive face-to-face conversations with someone who supports same-sex marriage can lead opponents to have significant and long-lasting shifts in their views about marriage equality, especially when the person they’re talking to is gay, according to a new study by two political science professors.

From the study:

Again looking at change scores, we see that those contacted by straight canvassers became 0.21 scale points more supportive of same-sex marriage … The jump was even larger among treatment subjects who conversed with gay canvassers: support for same-sex marriage rose 0.35 scale points … Evidently, the treatment not only increased policy support and warmth toward gays; it also set subjects on a path to further attitude change in the wake of the Court’s ruling on behalf of gay plaintiffs.

You can’t change bigotry with a single conversation. What you can do is expand someone’s awareness and force them to confront the harm a policy can inflict on people who deserve better treatment.

Finally, you might remember Chris Geidner’s great article on how we swept the 5 states voting on our rights in 2012:

Commitment trumps rights, a point made in prior research by Freedom to Marry as well: “Leading with commitment will show the middle that gay people want to join the institution of marriage, not change it.”

We can’t persuade bigots with this strategy. Homophobes who equate homosexuality with pedophilia would just mock our stories of commitment. So would the idiots who chant, Homosexuality is about sex, not love. Sex is right there in the middle of the word! No, this only works with people who are willing to believe we can commit to each other the same way they do, with a depth that deserves the honorific marriage.

It’s not wishful thinking, or even naive, to say a substantial chunk of those who opposed marriage equality weren’t acting out of anti-gay bigotry. Rather, it’s exactly this hope that we’re building our strategy on. And the thing is — we’re winning with it!

So is Brendan Eich one of the bigots or not? I see a few troubling signs. He didn’t just oppose same-sex marriage in 2008, but still seems to oppose it today. And his donation to Pat Buchanan, though it occurred 22 years ago, is still enough to give pause.

On the other hand, as far I know, that’s all we have: two troubling decisions almost two decades apart. Real bigotry — that derangement, that flaw of both judgment and character — corrodes the spirit and blinds the mind. It surfaces again and again, infecting choice after choice, leaving behind it a long, slimy trail. Lord knows we saw that with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, and now we’re seeing it with Clippers’ owner Don Sterling.

Sterling’s comments, of course, revealed a shocking contempt for African-Americans (how deranged does a basketball team owner have to be to not want Magic Johnson at his games because of his race?). And Sterling, it turns out, does possess that long, slimy trail. For instance:

What’s striking about Sterling’s rant and its hours of coverage is the extent to which it isn’t new. To wit, in 2003, 19 plaintiffs sued Sterling for housing discrimination. In the suit, Sterling is accused of telling his staff that he did not like blacks and Hispanics, citing their behavior. “Hispanics smoke, drink, and just hang around the building,” he allegedly said.

What’s more, the lawsuit said, Sterling told his staff that he only wanted to rent his apartments to Koreans and forced black tenants to sign in when they entered the building. “Is she one of those black people that stink?” he allegedly asked of an elderly black tenant who needed repairs to her apartment. “I am not going to do that. Just evict the bitch.” His wife, Rochelle Sterling, also participated, posing as a health inspector to harass tenants and record their ethnicities.

And because bigotry is so corrosive, we shouldn’t be surprise at his contempt for women, too.

ESPN’s Peter Keating, Amanda Younger, and Alyssa Roenick detailed Sterling’s abhorrent history with women in 2012: in 1996, a former employee sued him for sexual harassment. The woman alleged that Sterling “offered her clothes and an expense account in return for sexual favors.” The suit alleged that Sterling often “touched her in ways that made her uncomfortable and asked her to visit friends of his for sex.” In addition, Sterling has used the Clippers to hire “hostesses,” whom he evaluated based on their looks at his own home. One later said that “working for Donald Sterling was the most demoralizing, dehumanizing experience of my life.” He later testified that he paid another woman for regular sexual favors and said, “When you pay a woman for sex, you are not together with her.” He’s asked female employees to hook him up with masseuses who will provide sexual favors. It seems obvious from his history that Sterling views women as vehicles for his own enjoyment rather than as actual human beings.

Sterling can’t be trusted as a leader. Blacks can’t trust him, women can’t trust him, and neither can any decent person who wants a fair and equitable workplace. Hell, neither can any slimeball shareholder who gives not one good goddamn about fairness and equity, but just wants to avoid lawsuits while attracting the best talent out there.

Homophobia is every bit as vile as racism and sexism, and if Eich had the kind of history with gays that Sterling has with blacks and women, I’d have happily agitated for his ouster. Instead, we have a donation in support of Prop 8, forcing us to ask if opposition to same-sex marriage is proof positive of anti-gay bigotry. I think it’s not, recent history shows it’s not, and our current winning strategy makes a powerful case it’s not.

That will change. As time passes, as the unbigoted move from opposition to uncertainty to support for our marriages, bigots will be the only ones left in that camp, people whose opposition to same-sex marriage is perfectly aligned with their contempt for lesbians and gays. We see this happening even now as their moderate voices fall into silence (or fall away all together) and those who remain speak in tones ever more paranoid and shrill. This will continue, and the day will come when opposition to marriage equality is enough to mark you as a bigot. It’s just not today.

 

ADDENDUM: I’ve been asked by someone I respect to point out the Obama actually publicly opposed Prop 8. This, however, reinforces the point I was trying to make: That Obama probably did not oppose marriage equality when he wrote his book; rather, his framing of the issue was a shrewd political ploy, based on the idea that a good fraction of his potential supporters (in 2006, at least) thought it possible to oppose marriage equality without having animus toward gay people (hence his, “I felt bad, and told her [the lesbian who criticized him] so in a return call”).

Comments

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Ben M
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Interesting points Rob. I still believe Eich was correct to resign and I wish he would have been more open about his beliefs, since he seems to be one of the odd conundrums.

I doubt this will change any minds (or end the name calling), but I hope people will consider the points.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, that’s a lot to read. Maybe I’ll get to it later.

Bose in St. Peter MN
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Another well-done, thoughtful piece, Rob.

I accept that some people will continue to believe that being LGBT is less than optimal and hope they won’t have to deal with us in their families. Having religious beliefs as the basis, or just a gut instinct supporting the gender binary and role stereotypes, doesn’t matter, and it’s not for me to say those thoughts are wrong.

The line, for me, is the intention and action that will rise from that. If you’re uncomfortable with interracial or interfaith relationships, OK. If it means you’re intent and actions are also geared toward disadvantaging or penalizing the marriages/families you don’t lie, not so OK.

Similarly on the LGBT front, then, think whatever you wish about me as a gay man. Not really my business what anyone things of me. But do you also live in a pluralistic country where different beliefs are to be respected? Because the alternative is that you see us sharing a public square in which my beliefs are to be held as untenable and unworthy of respect.

I expect it to be messy for a good while yet, but the small step I’m looking/hoping/working for is general consensus that freedom and equality are real, and people of good will don’t act, and don’t plan to act, to prevent or diminish them.

Steve in Claremont
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Rob seems tied to the belief that being a bigot requires animus or hatred. I do not believe that is true.

Many years ago I got into an e-mail argument with a friend over marriage equality. When I told him I thought his views were bigoted, he replied that he preferred to reserve the term bigot for those who truly hated.

It caused me to step back and think, but I ultimately concluded that most bigotry – and most of the damage it does – is perpetuated by people with no real animus. Instead, it is simply perpetuated by people who believe unquestioningly in accepted social constructs.

My little desktop dictionary defines a bigot as “a person who is intolerant of any creed, belief or race that is not his or her own.” By that definition we’re certainly all bigots, to some extent.

That early experience caused me to widen my view of what it meant to be a bigot, but to be much more cautious about casting the word around as an invective. As this post indicated, I’ve found it much more persuasive to simply let people know why marriage equality is important to me.

Ben
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, five posts now about this (apparently) pitiable straight white wealthy cisgendered CEO.

In the words of one of BtB’s writers, “this is totally different because… um, um, it’s totally different!”

To elaborate further, slow changing at the grassroots level of hearts and minds is certainly A tactic, and it does appear to be slowly working. Conversely, we can look back at the rights of blacks in America, and the simple ruling of SCOTUS caused more than a 30% swing from unfavorable to favorable among these same swing voters to a majority supporting desegregation in a matter of months. That is how America’s protections of minorities and supposed adherence to equality is supposed to work.

If there was workplace protection, legal equality, and across the board even-prosecution of hate crimes, I seriously doubt a single person would object to Eich being hired or even staying on as CEO. Since there is still not federal equality, and GLBT youth are still being made homeless and attempting suicide at a higher rate than their straight peers, it takes grassroots efforts to reach this since the mechanics that should have imposed this are failing us.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Ben your last paragraph contradicts the reality that in California, and at Mozilla, there were such conditions as equate to workplace protection, legal equality, and if not across the board prosecution of hate crimes (which I fail to see affecting a CEO being accepted or not based upon his Prop 8 donation), at least CA’s non-hostile environment workplace law, the strictest in the US. Eich was toast regardless of any of the things you raise in your closing and would be even if they were all in place.

Boris Hirsi
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

So Sterling can be ousted (from outside and because of outside pressure because as Rob pust is “he cannot be trusted”) because of SPEECH but Eich can not be ousted because of ACTIONS (by his own company and hiw own choice after losing the trust of those he was supposed to serve)?

Your hypocrisy (yours and Andrew Sullivan’s know no bounds). But you might be happy to know that Christian Post is using your letter as a stick to beat gay marriage proponents. You must be proud.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Please, Eich was not “ousted” like Sterling was just literally ousted. Eich resigned under adverse business pressure on the enterprise he had co-founded, caused by boycotts and protests. The NBA just not only banned Sterling but fined him $2.5M. I don’t see the outcomes as at all alike.

I wish Rob and all the signers of the letter had more carefully written it to address what Steve in Claremont’s nuanced comment above says about bigotry and hate. There was a lot of hateful language directed at Eich, for what those who used it insisted was his inherently bigoted actions, that is completely alienating me.

Ben
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat, how is it that a few fringe posters on another blog entirely define the entirety of those objecting to Eich as CEO, but somehow the actual (much more numerous) hateful and callous anti-marriage bigots don’t define the group that funded and pushed for Proposition 8. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Steve in Claremont, I have heard the “really real bigot/racist/homophobe” argument before, and the problem is that very few people will proudly wear the label even when they clearly behave in a bigoted/sexist/racist way. I find the most effective tactic of when someone objects to being called a bigot, to say that their actions and/or words sound like what a bigot would say/do.

Do you really think even people like Gallager or LaBarbara think their objectively bigoted behavior toward GLBT merits the label of bigot? One doesn’t have to literally burn crosses or beat gays with a tire iron to be motivated by irrational animus.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I said ”
Opposition to marriage equality doesn’t exist in a person for no reason. You can’t get to “I oppose equality” if you don’t first see gays as bad or inferior. They may not all hate us, but they most certainly all think they’re superior to us or that we’re bad in some way.”

Rob said “If my CEO thought gays to be bad or inferior, I’d want him removed, and I could make a strong case to a Board of Directors that he should be removed. But I don’t see the connection the commenter made. Many people don’t ever get to “I oppose equality.”

I should have phrased that more carefully. I should have said “Opposition to marriage between gays doesn’t exist in a person for no reason. You can’t get to “I oppose marriage between gays” if you don’t first see gays as bad or inferior.

Whether you refer to it as “opposing equality” or “opposing marriage between gays” you can’t get there if you don’t first see gays as bad or inferior.

Sorry I didn’t phrase that better.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Ben, I’ve always cited Tweets as well as blog comments and not only ones on JMG as worrisome examples of mob behavior encouraging use of extreme language and ratcheting up of rhetoric. Twitter in particular seemed to be a force for destruction more than any constructive engagement in the Eich episode. And I never said it defines the entirety of those objecting to Eich as CEO, it just was for me a shockingly bigger dimension of the language of the opposition than I would have expected. Also I never characterized the anti marriage equality totality any particular way in these threads, and I try not to in general.

Rob posits here that friendly persuasion will winnow those opponents down to true bigots eventually. I’ve intimated in my comments that I doubt that, as different religions ranging from Islam to Catholicism to Orthodox Jewry will never in my lifetime, I predict, budge an inch on marriage. That is why I advocate for ever better (in every sense of the word) behavior, argumentation and advocacy from our side, and against either cheap hateful names or Orwellian demands that opponents can only publicly support marriage equality to be in any way accepted (as StraightGrandmother has done, while allowing any opponent to admit to personal opposition, thus rendering themselves idiots at best, which might be the genius objective of that demand). This is a fundamental disagreement on strategy and tactics.

Lucrece
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I don’t find the argument convincing. You’re assuming most of those people are too stupid or ignorant to understand that they’re banning gay marriage instead of just supporting straight marriage.

If you read any of these amendments, especially the one in my state of Florida, you will read clearly that ONLY marriages between a man and a woman would be recognized. Recognized.

They voted for the concept of only recognizing the marriages they deemed good for society. And in their judgement we were not as good as them.

Because if someone ever considered you to be good as them, there would be no amount of sophistry from a pastor that could convince them to vote to prohibit the recognition of your marriages, or your adoption of children (which was also voted for in Florida).

I find that you’re too optimistic about this scenario, when I see ourselves for the primates we are. Part of the animal kingdom and with an inherited impulse for establishing hierarchies. And racism/homophobia/sexism is just a manifestation of that hierarchy building inclination that is so common among so many species in this world.

It will pass for us, but it will remain for transgender people. And when it passes for transgender people it will just be somebody else. Because most people can’t seem to feel good without feeling superior to other people; they’re not good enough if they’re not better.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Priya Lynn, I have had long debates with family members who hold conservative religious views about the superiority question. Though it is clear from, for example, Catholic dogma, that there is a superior viewpoint, I’ve gotten at least one relative to agree that it is not superior for a gay person to either a) pretend they are straight and marry an opposite gendered person; or b) for that gay person to have no protections or incentives to be in a protected and secure relationship. They just see men and women as essentially different and want therefore to treat same-gendered couples as “separate but equal”. I have not made any progress past this standoff, and have frankly given up on trying, as it is too exhausting. This is one reason among many though that I urge all of us to get ever better at our advocacy and argumentation, because someone better at it than I may well get the opposition to change more than I have done.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Rob said “In 2012, Gallup reported that 47% of Americans who oppose same-sex marriage gave the Bible or religion as their main reason”.

And the bible tells them gays are bad and inferior. As I said, you can’t get to “I oppose marriage between gays” without first thinking gays are bad or inferior.

Rob said “Many of these people opposed marriage equality because they followed the guidance of their pastor and priests. Why, then, have so many changed their minds? Because, like all human beings, they can live comfortably ensconced in familiar but contradictory beliefs — in this case: Marriage is between a man and a woman, and The gays I know are good and decent people. They opposed marriage equality not because of their view of gays and lesbians, but in spite of them.”.

Wrong. They believe marriage is between a man and a woman because their bible and pastor told them gayness is a wrondoing. They think “The gays I know are good and decent people and I’m a sinner too but they are committing a wrongdoing by having same sex relationships and so they shouldn’t be allowed to marry each other.

They’ve changed their minds because they’ve come to the realization that their pastor and the religion they’ve been taught are wrong, being in a same sex marriage is not a bad thing and there is nothing wrong with being gay. The teachings of anti-gay religion couldn’t maintain their hold on these people as they kept asking “Who is being hurt by gayness or gay marriage?”.
Rob said “here’s some revealing advice the National Organization for Marriage used to offer (they’ve scrubbed it from their website, but you can still find it here):

“Language to avoid at all costs: “Ban same-sex marriage.” Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.””

NOM actually lost support when they brought up same-sex marriage, and did best when gays and lesbians weren’t mentioned at all. Not what you would expect if all Prop 8 supporters considered gays and lesbians inferior. It’s as if they realized hard-core ads about evil gays may scare up donations from the bigots, but could cost them votes in the elections.”.

You’re right, that 5% that changed their minds aren’t and never were bigots. They were also never opposed to marriage between gays. When you ask them if they oppose “redefining marriage” or if they favour marriage as the union of a husband and wife they say yes because they aren’t thinking about gays at all. All this proves is that anyone who says “I support the right of gays to marry” is not a bigot, a position I’ve held all along. Eich made a campaign contribution to deny gays the right to marry, he wasn’t one of those people who supports same sex marriage but also favours marriage between a man and a woman when the question is suddenly put to him and they haven’t had time to think it through. He required a fair amount of consideration to make that anti-gay donation and to refuse to support same sex marriage when asked and to say he he had to consider where anti-gay bigots in other countries stood. The position he took wasn’t an unthinking off-the-cuff “I support something good that has nothing to do with gays” decision – he is a bigot.

Rob said “Commitment trumps rights, a point made in prior research by Freedom to Marry as well: “Leading with commitment will show the middle that gay people want to join the institution of marriage, not change it.”
We can’t persuade bigots with this strategy. Homophobes who equate homosexuality with pedophilia would just mock our stories of commitment.”

Not every bigot equates gayness with pedophilia. There’s a continuum with some people being much more anti-gay than others, but they’re all bigots to some degree. So, yes people who are less bigoted are easier to convince, but they’re still bigots.

Rob said “Real bigotry — that derangement, that flaw of both judgment and character — corrodes the spirit and blinds the mind. It surfaces again and again, infecting choice after choice, leaving behind it a long, slimy trail. Lord knows we saw that with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, and now we’re seeing it with Clippers’ owner Don Sterling.”.

That’s the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. Bigotry is on a continuum Eich may not be as bigoted as Sterling but he’s still a bigot.

Rob said “Sterling can’t be trusted as a leader. Blacks can’t trust him, women can’t trust him, and neither can any decent person who wants a fair and equitable workplace.”.

And Eich can’t be trusted as a leader either. He (maybe) differs from Sterling in degree, but not in kind. Anyone who thinks gays are inferior, even a little bit, can’t be trusted as a leader. And this most certainly means Eich and anyone else who opposes marriages between same sex couples.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Now, if you want to argue that its a better tactic to pretend bigots are nice, not anti-gay and their anti-marriage position is respectable that’s a different story. But let’s not pretend that anyone who opposes marriage equality isn’t a bigot.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Priya Lynn, very well written response to Rob and I agree with all of it except when you go to particular individuals trustworthyness as a leader. I am curious, were you accepting of Eich as CTO of Mozilla, and soon after SVP of Engineering, during the two years between the revelation of his Prop 8 donation in April 2012 (and his blog post about it that was found to be wholly non-responsive), and only opposed to his elevation to CEO? I would also agree with that, but that is the Mozilla board’s error, not Eich’s. He corrected it by resigning, and as I’ve said in another comment, that has no similarity to the Sterling situation.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat said “I’ve gotten at least one relative to agree that it is not superior for a gay person to either a) pretend they are straight and marry an opposite gendered person; or b) for that gay person to have no protections or incentives to be in a protected and secure relationship. They just see men and women as essentially different and want therefore to treat same-gendered couples as “separate but equal”.

Sounds like when Michael Glatze was arguing that God is the authority over man, man is the authority over woman, god is superior to man but man and woman are equal – it doesn’t fly. You don’t feel a need to seperate gay and lesbian unions as seperate from heterosexual unions if you don’t see them as unequal. Its not like a public shower where there’d be potentially problems if you allowed the “different” men and women to use the same shower.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

And the bible tells them gays are bad and inferior.

I think that most ministers would disagree with you, irrespective of their views on marriage, sex, or “the homosexual agenda”.

Most Christian ministers I’ve heard or read on the subject tend to say that all people are cherished Children of God and are to be loved and treated with compassion. Most include a bit here about how all people are sinners – themselves included. The uber-vile Franklin Graham said something of the sort just this week.

I know that it can be difficult to differentiate between “I think you are bad and inferior” and “I think that God is not pleased with your sexual expression”. For many of us, being gay is such an integral part of our being and for many of them it’s hard to see that acknowledging one’s orientation is not a sex act.

Nevertheless, I don’t think you serve your argument well by making statements about Christians. They tend not to mirror the experiences of people who actually know Christians. It may be that you know less about Christians than you suppose.

RainbowPhoenix
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I’m afraid I’m not comforted when someone smiles to my face and tells me they love me before stabbing me in the back. Maybe I’m just weird that way.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat asked “Priya Lynn, very well written response to Rob and I agree with all of it except when you go to particular individuals trustworthyness as a leader. I am curious, were you accepting of Eich as CTO of Mozilla, and soon after SVP of Engineering, during the two years between the revelation of his Prop 8 donation in April 2012 (and his blog post about it that was found to be wholly non-responsive), and only opposed to his elevation to CEO? I would also agree with that, but that is the Mozilla board’s error, not Eich’s. He corrected it by resigning, and as I’ve said in another comment, that has no similarity to the Sterling situation.”.

The first I heard of Eich and Mozilla was the post on BTB about his resignation. Had I known about it prior to that I wouldn’t have taken a position on whether or not he should be fired, I’d leave it up to the company and that’s the same way I feel about Sterling. I’m content to let both organizations decide how they want to handle this.

However, I certainly can’t agree that there’s no similarity between the Eich and Sterling situation. To me they’re equivalent and only the target differs.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I said “And the bible tells them gays are bad and inferior.

Timothy said “I think that most ministers would disagree with you, irrespective of their views on marriage, sex, or “the homosexual agenda”.”.

Well, I don’t think that.

Timothy said “Most Christian ministers I’ve heard or read on the subject tend to say that all people are cherished Children of God and are to be loved and treated with compassion. Most include a bit here about how all people are sinners – themselves included.”.

Yes, they would say that and this is one of the reasons I hold people who make such professions in disdain. Those people would also say murderers and rapists are cherished children of god who are just as valuable as people as anyone else. And in fact those loving christians often say things like “Gayness is a sin just like murder, adultery, and theft are sins.”

This is congnitive dissonance again, they compartmentalize contradictory thoughts in order to maintain them. All things being equal I have no doubt all those christians think a murderer is bad compared to a sinner who hasn’t murdered. I certainly don’t believe anyone who says “All gods children are equal” truly doesn’t also see someone who has committed a particular sin inferior to somone who hasn’t committed that particular sin (all else being equal).

So, I could rephrase my statement to fit in with christian double-talk and say “You can’t get to “I oppose same sex marriage” if you don’t first see gayness as a sin. They may not all hate us, but they most certainly all think its worse to be gay than it is to be heterosexual.” and it would amount to the same thing.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks for your reply. I said on another comment that I don’t see the outcomes of the Eich and Sterling situations as equivalent. Sterling is being levied a large fine ($2.5M) as well as being banned from the League. Eich resigned. Hardly equivalent. As for whether the causes were equivalent and only the target (of their bigotry I infer) different, I don’t agree there either. Several commenters on JMG’s thread on this topic are saying Eich’s offense was the greater because he donated to Prop 8, which resulted in actions affecting gay people directly.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat, I don’t see their punishments as equivalent, I see their crimes as equivalent.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, you didn’t answer the question I posed to you a few different times although on one of those times you suggested you’d cover it in this post.

Do you believe some people that oppose equal rights for blacks are not bigots?

Cause I don’t know how you can say some people who oppose marriage equality aren’t bigots and not say some people who oppose equality for blacks aren’t bigots.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy said ” It may be that you know less about Christians than you suppose.”.

The typical American christian doesn’t attend church regularly and isn’t that religious. You on the other hand are deeply religious and deeply involved in the minutia of christian dogma, ritual, and language.

I have no doubt my understanding of christianity has far more in common with the typical American christian than yours.

Rob Tisinai
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Do you believe some people that oppose equal rights for blacks are not bigots?

Crap — in my original answer to this I got caught up in the double negative (“oppose equal rights…not bigots”).

I do believe that all those who oppose equal right for blacks are bigots.

I believe that many of the people who oppose same sex marriage are bigots, but not all of them, as I explained in this post.

CPT_Doom
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Most white Southerners during the Civil Rights movements were not members of the KKK, were not actively lynching African-Americans and were not brutalizing Civil Rights protesters in the streets. A good percentage of them had African-Americans, typically employees, who were around them every day, and those white people could appreciate the talents, skills and other positive aspects of those African-American lives.

Yet those Southerners, for the most part, did not actively work to end racial segregation, and their children and grandchildren are still responding to the racist dog whistles of conservative politicians. If you asked them, they would not say that they hated African-Americans or even considered them inferior, per se. What they would say is that they thought whites and blacks were simply different, and moved in different circles, and they were fine with that status quo.

What I’m saying is that one does not need to be a bigot to hold bigoted beliefs. Those people who went to the ballot box and voted to strip Californians of their rights, not to mention all those who voted in other states to ban same-sex marriage and to amend the Arkansas Constitution to label gays and lesbians as unfit human beings, were not likely to go out and bash LGBT people; they may even have happily worked alongside them, or celebrate family events with them. That does not mean they did not hold bigoted views on men, women, and our roles in society.

It is true that most such people can be persuaded, once they realize that their views are not only wrong, but harming those people with whom they work, or who may be parts of their families and social circles. Eich proved he was not persuadable. He discussed the pain he knew he had caused, but was unmoveable, or at least unwilling to admit he might have been wrong, or that donating to a hate-filled propaganda campaign could be an issue in a economic sector that is overwhelmingly progressive on social issues.

We should also remember that Eich proved himself to be an absolute failure at CEO’ing during the brief time he was at the helm of Mozilla. A few simple actions could have made the whole problem go away. He refused to take those actions, and then made things even worse by giving an widely circulated interview that made him look like and ass.

We cannot expect everyone to quickly overcome the lifetime of sexist and heteronormative social lessons we’ve all experience growing up in this society. We can expect, and in fact demand, that once confronted with the ramifications of those social lessons and their incorrectness, people will learn and grow. Failure to do so, especially in an environment that expects it, is not going to be a winning strategy.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, if its possible for people to oppose equal rights for gays and not be bigots then its possible for people to oppose equal rights for blacks and not be bigots.

The idea that a certain mental process can occur to make a person a non-bigoted anti-gay but the same process cannot occurr to make a person non-bigoted anti-black is nonsensical on the face of it.

I don’t believe its possible to oppose equal rights for anyone and not be a bigot, but you’re a hypocrite. You can’t have it both ways.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Cpt_doom said “Yet those Southerners, for the most part, did not actively work to end racial segregation, and their children and grandchildren are still responding to the racist dog whistles of conservative politicians. If you asked them, they would not say that they hated African-Americans or even considered them inferior, per se. What they would say is that they thought whites and blacks were simply different, and moved in different circles, and they were fine with that status quo.”.

There’s a big difference between not working to end segregation and opposing the end of segregation. Anyone who opposed the end of segregation or thought blacks shouldn’t have the same rights as whites is a bigot. Similarly the anti-gay bigots don’t just passively accept that gays are treated unequally, they oppose the equal treatment of gays.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

So Priya Lynn, to the example you repeat from Cpt_doom, how do you characterize those Southerners who “If you asked them, they would not say that they hated African-Americans or even considered them inferior, per se. What they would say is that they thought whites and blacks were simply different, and moved in different circles, and they were fine with that status quo.”?

As bigots? As bigoted as those who did consider blacks inferior? I ask because as I indicate above I have relatives who think about LGBT as these white Southerners did about blacks. You say there is a big difference and only those who opposed the end of segregation were bigots, so what were those others?

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

So, I could rephrase my statement to fit in with christian double-talk and say “You can’t get to “I oppose same sex marriage” if you don’t first see gayness as a sin.

And you would still be wrong.

Though your own personal experiences and biases might suggest otherwise, Christian doctrine – whether liberal or conservative – distinguishes between a state of being and behavior. And while a good many denominations do not recognize the existence of orientation (gayness), many do including the Catholic Church, Mainline Protestant Churches, and even – if reports from their latest conference is correct – the Southern Baptist Church is beginning to distinguish between ‘the homosexual person’ and homosexual behavior.

A dominant and growing theological position within conservative theological circles is that the homosexual person is called to celibacy. There are interesting (and as yet mostly unexplored) theological implications to suggesting that God has a specific calling for homosexual persons, but that’s another point.

Though this may be a difficult concept to consider from an outsiders viewpoint, but for conservative Christians, it’s less about the who and more about the what. Someone believing that your calling in life is celibacy is not evidence that they hate you. It might be evidence that they are not willing to comprehend the enormity of what they request, it might evidence that are far too willing to place on you a burden they would be unwilling to shoulder, but it is not evidence of malice, hate, bigotry or necessarily even superiority.

You may, of course, not believe any of this. And that is your right. I’m only basing this on experience, research, communication, listening, and actually knowing conservative Christian people. Perhaps your bases for making your determinations have greater validity than those.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat said “So Priya Lynn, to the example you repeat from Cpt_doom, how do you characterize those Southerners who “If you asked them, they would not say that they hated African-Americans or even considered them inferior, per se. What they would say is that they thought whites and blacks were simply different, and moved in different circles, and they were fine with that status quo.”?

As bigots? As bigoted as those who did consider blacks inferior?”.

I’d characterize them as bigots, not as bigoted as Sterling but bigots nevertheless. Just as I see it with Christians. You can’t get to “They are different and so its acceptable to be segregated” without thinking they are inferior.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I am not trying to be dense or torture you, just to understand your thinking in detail — can you elaborate on how they must think LGBT inferior to think them different? I don’t want to make any assumptions. Thanks.

vergil arma
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

lol. tisani keeps falling further down the crapper with his jaw dropping sophistry and naivete.

the bigots use their opposition to marriage as a way to mask/avoid expressing/avowing their deeper opposition to homosexuality in general. they do see it as sinful and inferior to heterosexuality.

they’ve figured out that they can seem respectable by appearing to be defending a thousands year old tradition of gendered marriage without having to admit what they think/have been taught about the evil of homosexuality.

you don’t have to argue very long on youtube without having someone say “i don’t agree with homosexuality.”

and following a bigoted faith tradition in no way absolves people from the charge of being bigots.

tisani fails again.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy said “Though your own personal experiences and biases might suggest otherwise, Christian doctrine – whether liberal or conservative – distinguishes between a state of being and behavior”.

See, here is where you keep making unwarrented assumptions about me. I am all too well aware (and have been since I was a child) that christian doctrine distinguishes between a state of being and behavior. It it is utter bullsh*t.

The old Love the sinner hate the sin bullsh*t.

As I’ve said on this blog many, many times:

Our behaviors are not divorced from who we are as people. Gayness is a core part of a person, if you hate the gayness you necessarily hate the person. What we do (including any “sin”) springs from who we are as people. There is no seperating the two. There is no such thing as “love the sinner, hate the sin” or “You’re not a bad person, your behavior is bad”.

Timothy said “A dominant and growing theological position within conservative theological circles is that the homosexual person is called to celibacy…Though this may be a difficult concept to consider from an outsiders viewpoint, but for conservative Christians, it’s less about the who and more about the what.”.

Again with the patronization. I’ve heard that tired old saw countless times. You are obviously far out of touch with what I know about christianity.

Timothy said “Someone believing that your calling in life is celibacy is not evidence that they hate you. It might be evidence that they are not willing to comprehend the enormity of what they request, it might evidence that are far too willing to place on you a burden they would be unwilling to shoulder, but it is not evidence of malice, hate, bigotry or necessarily even superiority.”.

They may not hate you but the belief that gays are “called to celibacy” arises out of the biblical passages that say gays should be put to death and that gays are worthy of death (new testament). You cannot get to “You are called to celibacy” without first believing its a bad thing to have a same sex relationship and that it would be better not to be same sex attracted. This IS necessarily bigotry and superiority.

You can give me all the christian euphemisms and double speak you want, you can tell me black is white and up is down but you’re never going to convince me of this.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Pat said “I am not trying to be dense or torture you, just to understand your thinking in detail — can you elaborate on how they must think LGBT inferior to think them different? I don’t want to make any assumptions. Thanks.”.

Let me be blunt. I believe we’re all racists to at least a small degree Everyone of us. You, me, Rob, and Timothy. I believe it is human nature to prefer or be more comfortable with people like you than people that are different then you. And for this reason it behooves us all to be unguard for our inner racist so we can conciously fight against our natural impulse and work towards the ideal of treating all equally.

So, if you want to say I’m a bit of a racist bigot myself I’ll agree with you. And I’ll say the same is true for you.

Boris Hirsi
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Hear, hear Priya Lynn.

Timothy said:

“… but it is not evidence of malice, hate, bigotry or necessarily even superiority.”

Really? I guess not. As they would say it, it is a question of “love”. Love in the same meaning as man beating his wife says to her in between strikes:

“I do this because I love you so much”.

If you enjoy that “love” and are inmcapbale of discriminating between spiritual abuse and love the problen is all yours.

Pat
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks for that reply, I do agree with it (about all of us being a little bit…). And thanks for your candor. Just trying to understand your thinking and you helped me to do that. My own is open to new framings for age old arguments. The only thing I am still debating is whether this acknowledgement is a way to persuade…

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

I notice that when you speak of others, the terms are black and white. They are bigots.

But you are “a bit of a racist bigot”. A bit.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy, I’ve said many, many times on this blog there is a continuum of bigotry. I believe in and will fight to see that all people have equal rights. So, yes of course I am a great deal less of a bigot than a person that opposes marriage equality

Christians bastardize the ordinary meaning of words. Lots of christians will tell you they love a murderer. But they don’t mean love the way it normally occurs. They don’t mean that they’re filled with delight and happiness when they’re in the company of that murderer. They don’t mean they can’t wait to be in their presence again and feel anxious when they are not. No, they’ve turned love into an empty meaningless term that they apply indiscriminately to everyone.

And its the same way with “I accept you as my equal even though I think you are called to celibacy and shouldn’t be allowed to marry a same sex partner”. They’ve bastardized the meaning of those words so that they’re just a tired, obligatory sop.

RainbowPhoenix
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Actually, Timothy, you’ll find many of us do have an insider’s viewpoint. Do I really have to remind you just how many of us were raised in those types of environments?

For my part, I was raised Catholic. I heard it all; it’s just a rephrasing of the “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” BS we’ve seen and refuted thousands of times.

It’s not about people trying to reconcile their religion with knowing us. One day, they woke up and saw that the usual Fire and Brimstone was making them look bad, so they repackaged themselves so they could try to portray themselves as victims instead of what they really are: cruel bigots out to attack a minority with no provocation. It is sophistry, plain and simple, and I do not buy it from you any more than I bought it from my priest.

Neil
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, you wrote:

So is Brendan Eich one of the bigots or not? I see a few troubling signs. He didn’t just oppose same-sex marriage in 2008, but still seems to oppose it today.

He was quite clear that his support for a policy of equality within the Mozilla Foundation did not extend to society as a whole. But you then immediately gloss over this fact.

On the other hand, as far I know, that’s all we have: two troubling decisions almost two decades apart.

It wasn’t just a case that his critics wouldn’t forgive him for those past decisions. He made comments during his 11 days in the job as CEO to reaffirm his opposition to LGBT equality.

I’m guessing that Brendan Eich is such a nice guy that the board didn’t foresee how his appointment would play out. He may not have had to fully explain his attitudes on LGBT rights because he was an evident true believer in Mozilla and its values. Then it turned out he looked awful as the CEO because he really did only see equality as something in house.

The Sterling case is an interesting comparison but a complicated one. The trigger for his removal was privately recorded speech. On the face of it, the NBA’s response looks like punishing a thought crime. But as has been shown, it was probably more a case of the last straw.

In Eich’s case, the man was elevated to CEO, problems arose within the Mozilla community (and wider commentary) and discussions happened that led to him deciding it best to resign, although the board wanted him to stay on in another C-level position.

In Sterling’s case, he was the long standing owner with a bad track record who was caught making vile remarks and finally banned.

It’s hard to make direct comparisons. The former is a subtle case that turned sour because the context of a foundation like Mozilla called for a high standard of commitment to values of inclusion and diversity. Eich may not be an easily categorised bigot but he looked like one enough to trouble the community he was to lead.

The latter is a coarse example all the way through and it was probably just a matter of time. An obvious bigot.

The former community, the socially aspirational software developers, is likely rather more sensitive to bigotry than the hard-nosed world of sports business. So it took a fairly extreme instance of bigotry, leading to a very decisive response when it finally came.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

Yes RainboxPhoenix, it is the old “love the sinner, hate the sin” BS we’ve seen and refuted thousands of times. And by all means don’t buy it from me, I’m not selling it. In my experience it tends to be translated more along the lines of “hate the sin, treat the sinner like he’s doing something you hate”.

But nevertheless we were addressing Priya Lynn’s assertion that “And the bible tells them gays are bad and inferior.” I thought she meant people who had some familiarity with the bible and what it might tell a believer.

But, as it turns out, what Priya Lynn was talking about is what the bible tells people who don’t attend church and aren’t religious, about which she assures me that she is a greater authority. And when it comes to what the bible says to people who don’t read it, I’ll defer.

vergil arma
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

the interesting question here is not rob “oscar lopez” tisani’s fallacious arguments per se, but rather the psychological question of what has prompted him to pursue this self-destructive course of pissing on the lgbt community and giving the bigots soundbites at this crucial moment, thus erasing much of the good will and trust he has earned in the past.

in light of his responses the open letter could have been titled, “freedom to marry (he says this is right), freedom to dissent (he says dissenting is wrong, though they have the right), freedom to ‘punish’ (he says “punishing” i.e. imposing consequences is wrong, though they have the right).

he is making points which are either trivially true, or psychologically naive, while insisting on casting the 90% of the lgbt community that disagrees with his nonsense as bullies, feeding the bigots’ dangerous persecution meme.

tisani’s a narcissistic mess.

Scott Rose
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Who cares what Box Turtle Bulletin writers think?

RainbowPhoenix
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Yeah, Priya was pretty on the nose. I say this from a combination of experience, and not taking everything I hear at face value.

Adam
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

I’ll start off with saying, for the umpteenth time, that the Eich situation did not arise from his mere opposition to gay marriage, but his concrete act of donating $1,000 to obliterate the existing right to same sex marriage. I’ve gathered you guys are ignoring this, so I’ll move on.

I will say that I have a lot of respect for you, Rob, and that this post and others of yours shows you to be generous and kind-hearted, even if I think it misplaced and perhaps too easily given. It’s hardly a fault.

I think it would have been a bridge to far to expect Mozilla employees and contributors to work to enrich Eich, or acquiesce to his representation of them as their leader. Here are a few quotes.

From the CNET interview with Eich a couple days before he decided to resign:

[W]ithout getting into my personal beliefs, which I separate from my Mozilla work — when people learned of the donation, they felt pain. I saw that in friends’ eyes, [friends] who are LGBT. I saw that in 2012. I am sorry for causing that pain.

This sounds so promising, right! I was glad to read that.

He later answered a question about how important it was to judge people on how they treat others and “to overcome barriers that marginalize people,” and how his role was different now as CEO, he was asked if he would donate to Prop 8:

“I hadn’t thought about that. It seems that’s a dead issue. I don’t want to answer hypotheticals. Separating personal beliefs here is the real key here. The threat we’re facing isn’t to me or my reputation, it’s to Mozilla.”

Uhhh, what? He just said that you were sorry to cause pain that you saw in people’s eyes, then when asked if he would cause that same pain again, he said “I don’t want to answer hypotheticals” and that he wanted to separate his personal beliefs? Oh no. What is an apology if you can’t even say you wouldn’t do harm again? Even in a new role that he said himself was different as a leader?

Then he was asked point blank about his feelings on gay marriage rights:

I prefer not to talk about my beliefs.

Now, I am usually SUPER willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. But he seems wholly unable to empathize with us that Pro 8 was a body blow to our community. Regardless of his views on gay marriage rights, why would he be willing to inflict that kind of pain again, on people who he says are his friends?

I would have had big problems working for a CEO who acted this way. LGBT workers shouldn’t have to subsidize the destruction of their own rights and the denial of your own humanity.

You should read the blog post from the guys are Rarebit who were the first to withdraw from Mozilla. They never wanted Eich to resign, but they met with him, and he wouldn’t even say he never intended Prop 8 to cause them problems. They make a lot of the same points you do. http://www.teamrarebit.com/blog/2014/04/03/a-sad-victory

Sorry to be so prolix.

Merv
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Liberal Christians seem to have developed a blind spot, believing that there is still a battle being waged for the soul of Christianity in the US. In actuality, that battle was decided decades ago. The regressive forces won, and what has emerged is a near-monolithic religio-political ideology formed from a fusion of fundamentalist Christianity and right wing politics. For anyone outside of liberal Christianity (i.e., all other Christians and non-Christians besides them), this is the true face of Christianity today. Christianity is the Republican party, and the Republican party is Christianity. The remnant liberal denominations exist as nothing more than a quaint reminder of a quickly vanishing past, their political and cultural influence all but spent.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Liberals need to wake up and stop allowing political correctness to have so much power. Quit hiding behind weasel word cliches like “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences” and “Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerance at all”. The fact is that you are being intolerant, by making it de facto impossible to hold a job or have a good reputation if you express certain views.

This kind of political correctness used to be used as a weapon against gays and other minorities, and there’s no reason to believe the pendulum won’t swing back again. Liberals seem to think that it’s okay to act like complete dicks to the people they disagree with, because their opinions are wrong and/or bigoted. The power of the weapon is what’s wrong – not who it’s aimed at.

Ben in Oakland
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay conservative. Political correctness. Bleeccch.

What you call political correctness, the rest of us refer to as the court of public opinion.

Try saying “I’m gay” in one of these antigay environments and you’ll learn all about political correctness.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

And I am saying the court of public opinion should not be so powerful. It is wrong when antigay bigots do it and it is wrong when progressives do it. Americans need to learn how to disagree and debate with each other again like mature adults.

CPT_Doom
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

@ Gay Conservative – It’s “impossible to hold a job or have a good reputation if you express certain views”? In what country? Millions of Americans hold anti-gay views, including several dozen members of Congress who have no problem getting reelected. Companies like Chik-fil-a and Hobby Lobby have owners who routinely express anti-gay views. None of these people can hold jobs or have good reputations? Once again we behold the power of TEH GAY, in which a tiny minority that still lacks basic rights in over half the states can, on a whim, destroy people. Don’t know what you’re smoking, but it sounds like some good sh*t.

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

A very interesting piece; the amount of thought you’ve given to the question of latent, unconscious homophobia and overt racial bigotry is evident.

However, in your opening paragraphs, you state:

… Many people don’t ever get to “I oppose equality.” Our opponents struggle to make sure they don’t think of it in those terms, shifting instead to, “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” It’s not a question of whether gays are good or bad. It’s a question of what their religion tells them about marriage.

For me, that statement is tantamount to saying: “Oh. You don’t support equality because of your religion. Well, then, you’re obviously not bigoted, and I apologize for ever thinking you were! Never mind!”

Are you serious??

Religious belief can be consciously changed. If someone opposes any group of persons having equal access to, and equal protection from, their government for whatever reason, they are a bigot. The use of religious belief to support that bias is, simply, justification on their part.

When an argument is begun with such a flimsy support, the rest of your argument, however well researched or well intended, is unsupportable.

JohnInTheBayArea
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

I think you are focusing far more on the quality and tone of the “dog whistle,” and ignoring the whole political point of using the “dog whistle.”

Sperling was direct about his bigotry. Using phrases like protecting marriage or preserving marriage is just dog whistle politics. Everyone knows (on both sides) what the real message is: bigotry in someone unwilling or afraid to be as blunt as Sperling.

I think it is fine to argue the tactic of not directly confronting people about their bigotry in order to avoid hardening them in their bigoted positions. But I think it hurts the credibility of your argument to pretend that Eich’s actions during Prop 8 don’t represent anti-gay bigotry.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

@CPT_DOOM

I find Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee’s views far more distasteful than someone like Brendan Eich whose whole life has been full of positive contributions, who’s been at Mozilla for years, Mozilla being a company with an excellent track record online privacy and internet freedom. What I saw is one good cause being used to hurt another good cause and that disgusts me.

It is weird how liberals tolerate the professional hate peddlers on Fox News and right-wing talk radio, yet they spit in the face of those who are already 90% of the way there and punch down.

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Scott Rose said “Who cares what Box Turtle Bulletin writers think?”

Apparently you and many others. If you didn’t you would have moved on.

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay Conservative writes:

It is weird how liberals tolerate the professional hate peddlers on Fox News and right-wing talk radio, yet they spit in the face of those who are already 90% of the way there and punch down.

Where have you been since… oh… the day after Fox News went on-air?

Liberals (heck, even some progressive conservatives) have been treating the “hate peddlers on Fox News and right-wing talk radio” in the same way those who “are already 90% there” have been treated.

We go public with the inanities of their statements; their commentaries are dismantled by proofs and evidence those hard-right commentators choose to ignore.

Ever heard of Laura “I am my kids’ Mom” Schlessinger? Good ol’ “Doctor” Laura… once one of the most popular radio personalities, now all-but a memory, shuffled off to a relative handful of stations, airing well outside of prime-time, and can’t get a television spot, even on Fox News.

Or, maybe, you’ve never visited Right Wing Watch (http://http://www.rightwingwatch.org>?

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Eric Payne – I think there is a difference between trying to understand why people might opposed equality and forgiving those reasons. I did not get that Rob was excusing religious beliefs. I suspect at its core, this argument is boiling down to the definition of bigot. Perhaps Rob definition is to narrow, perhaps PL’s is to broad. Is one a bigot or does one hold bigoted beliefs? To me those are two very different things.

Richard Rush
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

Someone believing that your calling in life is celibacy is not evidence that they hate you. It might be evidence that they are not willing to comprehend the enormity of what they request, it might [be] evidence that [they] are far too willing to place on you a burden they would be unwilling to shoulder, but it is not evidence of malice, hate, bigotry or necessarily even superiority.

But it IS evidence that they are obsessive/compulsive busybodies who cling tenaciously to the convenient delusion of a divine right of dominion/sovereignty over our lives (and the lives of everyone else).

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M states:

I did not get that Rob was excusing religious beliefs. I suspect at its core, this argument is boiling down to the definition of bigot. Perhaps Rob definition is to narrow, perhaps PL’s is too broad. Is one a bigot or does one hold bigoted beliefs? To me those are two very different things.

And, to me, they’re not.

If “one holds bigoted beliefs” then one is a bigot; it would be kind of impossible to not hold “bigoted beliefs” and be a bigot, wouldn’t it, since a person’s bigotry would be based on some belief they held, even if it were so minor as to seem, to the holder of that belief, to be picayune.

Robert
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Rob Tisinai missed his calling. He should be writing briefs for ProtectMarriage.com, for he has bought their argument in the Prop 8 case. They too said that 7,000,000 Californians couldn’t be guilty of animus.

His excuse bigots–that “Many of these people opposed marriage equality because they followed the guidance of their pastor and priests”–is equally true of the racists who opposed civil rights in the 1960s. Are we now supposed to say that they were not really racists? I know my grandmother was a good person and often did good deeds to help black people, but she had religious reasons for opposing the mixing of the races. I don’t think her religious beliefs make her less of a racist.

Stirling could conceivably be a nice guy despite that ugly rhetoric. Why would you assume that he HATES black people? After all, he owns a franchise that employs a great number of black players and pays them very well and he donates to the NAACP. That doesn’t sound like hatred to me. Why aren’t you defending his free speech? His right not to be banned from the NBA just because of a private conversation?

Jay
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Interesting enough piece. One can make a good case as a matter of tactics that one should make nice with people like Eich as a means of hastening our victory. That is mostly what GayInc. did by not calling for a boycott or any action against Eich, not even asking for his resignation.

But this tone is not the tone Tisinai and Burroway and Kincaid and the other authors of the infamous scolding letter took.

Instead, they revealed their own contempt for the gay grassroots, who they characterized as pitchfork-wielding mobs intent on stifling free speech.

And, of course, they defended not only Eich, but also, of all people, Pete LaBarbera, whose history of bigtory and hatred leaves no question.

Are we now also supposed to embrace, in addition to LaBarbera and Eich, Maggie Gallagher, Robert George, Robert Oscar Lopez, Brian Brian, and the entire anti-gay industry?

Hypatia's Girl
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

My wife’s mother is a Texan Methodist. Worries she’s going to hell because of wine and divorce. Drinks too much wine at Christmas and holds my hand pleading with me to just believe in something. Didn’t accept that Hypatia’s Wife was gay until HW told her that she had the choice to get on board or be left behind. Texan Methodist.

Occasionally, now, while my MIL is at work someone (new, who clearly doesn’t know what they’re opening up) will ask her how she can call herself a Christian and “support” her daughter’s “lifestyle”. MIL’s response is not gentle, is not involved in convoluted sophisticated theology about sinners and sin, acts and status. Instead, she tells those idiots that they’re g-d fools who have picked a god that doesn’t know the first thing about love or Jesus.

Hypatia’s MIL, you see, doesn’t have time for fools. Particularly fools who try to use her Jesus as an excuse to play holier than someone. And while my wife and I still have to educate her some of the finer points of anti-gay discrimination, we have her love and support because my wife told her mother that she was being a g-d bigot. Sophisticated theology and gentle correction would have done nothing but give a very smart woman room for a fight. Unambiguous honesty, in this case, gave her a better mirror.

Hypatia's Girl
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

All of that is to say, there is something especially dishonest to claim “oh, I love *you*, and I really wish that I could want you to have the full citizenship that I have, but gosh darn it, God says no.”

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Eric Payne – I suppose I fall more in line with what I perceive Rob’s view of bigotry to be, and you appear to fall more in line with Priya Lynn (everyone is a bigot). I tend to think that an unexamined prejudice (which we all have) is a bigoted belief, but does not make the holder a bigot. It is once someone is forced to examine their prejudiced beliefs (and possibly act on them) that they become bigots. Under my theory, Eich was a bigot (though of a lessor sort than the various others mentioned). That we don’t agree on this is fine with me, but I still think there is value in trying to understand the cause of someones prejudice when crafting arguments.

Jay – Please point out an exampled of BTB defending LaBarbera beyond saying he should have the right (and not be jailed) to his buffoonery.

As much as I think the “scolding letter” was ill-conceived, the hyperbole of what people seem to think it says is just over the top. Since the letter was published I have seen several posts from BTB authors that criticize/lampoon the AFA, Robert Oscar Lopez and I expect to continue to see those (maybe less of Maggie – she seems to be giving up). Again, I think there are some excellent criticisms of the the (as I like to call it) “freedom to be wrong” letter, but they get lost in the hyperbole of other comments.

Hypatia's Girl
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben, try thinking it in terms of charitable interpretation and reasonable ignorance.

Sterling’s comments obviously violated the possibility of a charitable interpretation. And, given the culture of 2014 USA, also did not have access to being reasonably ignorant about the context, content, likely interpretation, and tone of his comments.

The question about the intersection of Eich and Sterling, is whether there is a charitable interpretation or reasonable ignorance about opposition to marriage equality or if such opposition lacks both in the way that belief in white supremacy and investment in institutional racism does.

I will grant that it is *possible* (although, very unlikely) that there could have been both in the past. However, today, 10 years into at least some formalized marriage equality in the USA, there is not charitable interpretation for opposing full citizenship rights for members of the LGBT communities. Nor can a person be thought reasonably ignorant that a call to “protect traditional marriage” is anything other than a call to actively discriminate and exclude the LGBT communities from full civil inclusion.

Assuming someone doesn’t understand that “protecting traditional marriage” is actively excluding and discriminating against LGBT communities is an uncharitable interpretation. It assumes that such a person is unreasonably ignorant about the consequences and cultural connotations of their position and their actions.

If I were to say that, while I love all people, I just want to protect the white race and then actively and materially contributed to a campaign that took away preexisting rights from members of another race (let’s say, voting restrictions) I might not like to be called out on it, but I’m a racist and my actions do not have the cover of polite ignorance. (and even that analogy isn’t apposite as the voting restrictions aren’t quite *so* obvious as the marriage restrictions)

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy said “But, as it turns out, what Priya Lynn was talking about is what the bible tells people who don’t attend church and aren’t religious, about which she assures me that she is a greater authority. And when it comes to what the bible says to people who don’t read it, I’ll defer.”.

That’s the best you’ve got? Grossly distorting what I said because you can’t dispute it? What I said was most American christians aren’t particularly religious and don’t attend church regularly. And I never said anything about whether they read the bible or not.

You should be ashamed of yourself. But then, unlike me I’ve never seen you admit you’re anything less than perfect.

Timothy Kincaid
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

There has as of late been a great deal of discussion about who is and who is not a bigot. Some have a narrower interpretation, others happily include half the population, while some insist that everyone is a bigot.

I wonder whether our desire to define bigots says more about ourselves than those we are defining.

We, here, all agree that it is necessary to counter bigoted positions and to fight within ourselves and others bigoted attitudes. We agree that bigoted behaviors are counterproductive to a happy society. And we all know that we have the capacity to engage in such attitudes and behaviors.

So it seems to me that perhaps the necessity of applying the label “bigot” to someone is not a tool of identifying a potential threat so much as it is a method for excusing or justifying our own attitudes and behaviors.

We need not treat this or that person in the same way we want to be treated or how we would treat ourselves, our spouse, or our political ally. Because he’s a bigot. And we are allowed to treat bigots with contempt and derision. The rules of decency and civility go out the window once the subject ceases to be a person – just like you or me – and is, instead, a bigot.

I know of myself, if I think of others as being intolerant and bigoted and as possessing ill will, it makes it much easier for me to discount them and forget how I wish to be treated. I know that while I may counter with civility opinions expressed by someone who lacks understanding on issues of gay equality, when it comes to someone like Laurie Higgins or Linda Harvey, the gloves come off. Because they are bigots (and, yes, they truly are).

The fact that they hate me (literally) makes it somehow okay to deride not just their opinions, but their person. In my emotional space, their hate justifies mine.

I wonder then, if our drive to see others through the lens of bigotry is not really a drive to see ourselves in better light. Those rather incivil thoughts and words I fling at them… well, they aren’t so bad. Really. Cuz, you know, I’m only behaving badly to bigots.

And the more people I define as a bigot, the more free I am to indulge my own biases, dislikes, and (if I’m to be honest) my own prejudices towards others. So I can certainly see a motivation – for me, at least – to define anyone whom I want to hate as a bigot.

I think that I’ll be more conscious of this going forward.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay conservative said “Liberals need to wake up and stop allowing political correctness to have so much power. Quit hiding behind weasel word cliches like “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences” and “Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerance at all”. The fact is that you are being intolerant, by making it de facto impossible to hold a job or have a good reputation if you express certain views.”.

First off *cough** bullsh*t **cough**

As Cpt_Doom pointed out, millions of bigots are employed without consequence. Its extremely rare for any anti-gay bigot to suffer any consequences for their viewpoint.

Secondly, what you’re saying is that we’re being intolerant of anti-gay bigots in the same way the vast majority of people are intolerant of racists.

I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin for those anti-gay bigots.

Ben_M said “I suspect at its core, this argument is boiling down to the definition of bigot. Perhaps Rob definition is to narrow, perhaps PL’s is to broad.”.

I say anyone who opposes others having the same rights they do is a bigot. My definition is spot on.

Ben_m said “Is one a bigot or does one hold bigoted beliefs? To me those are two very different things.”.

Bigoted beliefs don’t appear in anyone’s mind absent other related thoughts. You can’t get to “I don’t think gays should be allowed to marry” if you don’t first think of gays as bad or inferior in some way.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M said “Eric Payne – I suppose I fall more in line with what I perceive Rob’s view of bigotry to be, and you appear to fall more in line with Priya Lynn (everyone is a bigot).”.

I’m sorry I made the comment about everyone being at least a little bit racist. While I think that’s true I didn’t want to convey the message that I’m going to regularly say everyone is a bigot. If I were to do that then the word has lost most of its meaning.

For the sake of posterity my position is that only people who seek to deny others the same rights they have are bigots. The black person who is a little nervous in an all white party but who opposes segregation and supports whites having equal rights should not be called a bigot.

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Hypatia’s Girl – I actually have never been particularly charitable to Eich in my comments. I have several scattered across the articles.

No doubt I will get a lot of flack for this, but from someone who is outside of California and lives in a state with no legal recognition of relationships, I can say that in many interactions I’ve had with people (then), they honestly didn’t understand why the word ‘marriage’ was a big deal when gays and lesbians had ‘everything but the name’ partnerships in CA, and is to me, one of the issues with the whole Civil Unions/Partnership movement. I think that this belief is wrong headed, but it was one that I think reasonable people could hide their prejudice behind. I recall Rob did a whole clip on why the word matters. To be clear, this is not at ALL what I Eich’s believed.

Priya Lynn – I guess I just don’t think people are as logical as you seem to. Pretty much everyone I know has some form of cognitive dissonance about something.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy said “So it seems to me that perhaps the necessity of applying the label “bigot” to someone is not a tool of identifying a potential threat so much as it is a method for excusing or justifying our own attitudes and behaviors.

We need not treat this or that person in the same way we want to be treated or how we would treat ourselves, our spouse, or our political ally. Because he’s a bigot. And we are allowed to treat bigots with contempt and derision.”.

If I were to support denying anyone else the same right I have I would want people to treat me with contempt and derision and bring me back down to earth. And that very thing happened to me in my early 20′s. I made some extremely bigoted statments about a minority group and my friends showed extreme contempt for me and it shocked me into examining what I had said and realizing “They’re right, that was crazy.”

Timothy said “I wonder then, if our drive to see others through the lens of bigotry is not really a drive to see ourselves in better light. Those rather incivil thoughts and words I fling at them… well, they aren’t so bad. Really. Cuz, you know, I’m only behaving badly to bigots.”.

Unlike you, I don’t hold myself in particularly high esteem. I see a lot of flaws, failings, and shortcomings. I don’t have a need to hide from that or pretend I’m a better person than I really am, I accept myself as the person I am and I’m comfortable in that I’m doing the best I can to be a good person. So, no, I don’t put others down just to pump myself up. I put those down who don’t even live up to the low standard I set for myself. I stridently support equality for all people and I justifiably hold in contempt those that don’t. Those “uncivil words and thoughts that I fling at them”, I don’t think they are “not so bad”, I think they are bad, I want them to be bad and I want them to slap those bigots in the face, wake them up and make them think about the injustice they’re supporting.

Timothy said “And the more people I define as a bigot, the more free I am to indulge my own biases, dislikes, and (if I’m to be honest) my own prejudices towards others. So I can certainly see a motivation – for me, at least – to define anyone whom I want to hate as a bigot.”.

I don’t indulge my biases or all my dislikes, I actively work to recognize them and work against any unjust tendencies I have. I do not define anyone I dislike as a bigot. I dislike most religious people but it has never occured to me to think of any but the ones who’d seek to deny others the same rights they have as bigots.

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Priya Lynn – I assumed you had a more nuanced view, I’m sorry I simplified down for my point. I actually prefer to define bigotry by action rather than thoughts. Unlike Jim, I don’t think voting/political activity are free from social pressure. I hope that if there were an initiative to round up all the conservatives in CA we could hold people accountable for their donations.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M said “Priya Lynn – I guess I just don’t think people are as logical as you seem to. Pretty much everyone I know has some form of cognitive dissonance about something.”

I’ve given you a rather incomplete impression as to what I think. I think its pretty rare for people to think in a substantially logical fashion. The vast majority of people I know have some sort of cognititve dissonance. So, yes, I believe many of these less radical anti-gay bigots simultaneously hold contradictory beliefs like “Gays should be treated equally” and “There’s something wrong in the mind of anyone who is same sex attracted, its icky and they shouldn’t be allowed to marry”. The existence of the first belief (which they don’t really believe in deep down inside) does not mitigate the existence of the second belief.

So, while they may at times express the idea that gays should be treated equally and believe it to a degree, that doesn’t undo their belief that gays are bad or inferior, that doesn’t mean they aren’t bigots. The belief that gays are bad or inferior is the one that’s making them oppose marriage equality. That belief is the one that really matters.

Ben M said “I can say that in many interactions I’ve had with people (then), they honestly didn’t understand why the word ‘marriage’ was a big deal when gays and lesbians had ‘everything but the name’ partnerships in CA, and is to me, one of the issues with the whole Civil Unions/Partnership movement. I think that this belief is wrong headed, but it was one that I think reasonable people could hide their prejudice behind.”

And that’s what I’m trying to say. Even though they were telling themselves they believe they’re advocating equal treatment for gays, at some level they know they’re rationalizing and hiding their prejudice. They are willfully blind to their own bigotry.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M said “Priya Lynn – I assumed you had a more nuanced view, I’m sorry I simplified down for my point. I actually prefer to define bigotry by action rather than thoughts.”.

To me it is entirely a state of mind. As I said earlier to claim actions and thoughts are two different things is to claim there’s a non-existant divide. Our actions aren’t divorced from who we are as people, our actions spring from who we are, from what we think. You can’t seperate one from the other. There is no such thing as “He performed a bigoted action, but he is not a bigot.”

Ben M
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Priya Lynn – I guess I prefer to judge on actions (speech is an action), because while it may be impossible to divorce bigoted actions from bigoted thoughts, I don’t think it is as hard to… behave(?) in a non-bigoted way while still having bigoted thoughts. Indeed, I think that is what many people were calling for regarding Eich.

Anyhow, I feel like we are discussing hairsbreadths of differences at this point and sadly, I should go back to work.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M said ” I don’t think it is as hard to… behave(?) in a non-bigoted way while still having bigoted thoughts.”.

I’ll agree with that.

NancyP
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Eich as CEO flunked damage control.

Todd
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

If you advocate for discrimination based on an intrinsic trait (something you have no control over, whether that’s being black, or gay, or having brown eyes) then you are a bigot.

People in the anti-equality camp are bigots. Not in their own minds of course, but they’re still bigots.

Jay
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

I like what Michelangelo Signorile says in the Huffington Post about Eich and Stirling.

“When given an opportunity to apologize for his Prop 8 donation after it got attention earlier this month, a week after he was named CEO, Eich refused, and even implied to The Guardian that he and people like him were an asset at the company since Mozilla is global and anti-gay regimes are prevalent around the world, using the example of Indonesia. He refused to comment to The Guardian on his support of Pat Buchanan, a man who’s been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks as well and engaged in diminution of the Holocaust, in addition to attacks on other groups. When you can’t take back having supported Pat Buchanan and other virulently anti-gay politicians, there’s only word for you: bigot.

“Donald Sterling is a bigot too. He also has free speech. And that speech, as the owner of a professional sports team, has consequences that most of us agree are warranted. Brendan Eich has free speech as well. But when he faced the consequences of that speech — brought on by the free market, not forced by any intervention — many applied a double standard, defending him. And that reveals how, no matter how many books are written by ambitious heterosexual reporters about how we gays have supposedly won, homophobia is alive and well — and openly tolerated — in America.” –

I would add that homophobia is alive and well and openly tolerated in some gay blogs, including BTB.

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Ben M, you directed this comment to me:

Eric Payne – I suppose I fall more in line with what I perceive Rob’s view of bigotry to be, and you appear to fall more in line with Priya Lynn (everyone is a bigot). I tend to think that an unexamined prejudice (which we all have) is a bigoted belief, but does not make the holder a bigot. It is once someone is forced to examine their prejudiced beliefs (and possibly act on them) that they become bigots. Under my theory, Eich was a bigot (though of a lessor sort than the various others mentioned). That we don’t agree on this is fine with me, but I still think there is value in trying to understand the cause of someones prejudice when crafting arguments.

Ben, if someone simply has a belief and keeps that belief to themselves without ever turning that belief into a reality, then no, they are not a bigot, as they’ve not impacted someone else’s life with their personal belief.

If someone has a “bigoted belief,” though, and makes an attempt to impact someone else’s life with that belief… then they are a bigot.

To me, it doesn’t matter if that impact is as severe as tying someone of another race to the bumper of a car and dragging them over miles of road, or simply saying “I believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman,”

There is a differentiation between the actions of the bigots and the civil penalties for participation in those actions are vastly different, as they should be. That doesn’t change the fact, though, both the actions were prompted by than underlying, bigoted, belief.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

@Eric Payne:

>Liberals (heck, even some progressive conservatives) have been treating the “hate peddlers on Fox News and right-wing talk radio” in the same way those who “are already 90% there” have been treated.

>We go public with the inanities of their statements; their commentaries are dismantled by proofs and evidence those hard-right commentators choose to ignore.

The “hate peddlers on Fox News” make millions of dollars in speaking engagements, have an audience of millions, and are some of the most powerful people in the country. And the left seems to tolerate their existences because it furthers theirs. It is much easier for you to exist and make money when you have a bogeyman on the other side who people are afraid of.

Someone like Brendan Eich, who works for one of the best tech companies in the world, and to my knowledge has been an excellent defender of online privacy personally, lost his job and had his reputation tarnished because of a very minor political belief, which was irrelevant to his job. His personal beliefs didn’t affect how he treated gay people at Mozilla. I have read he even helped write several of the LGBT protections Mozilla has today. If you can be a “traditional marriage conservative”, yet put that aside and support gay rights in the workplace, that should be encouraged not hated. We should be reaching out to those people and encourage them to come the rest of the way here, not dehumanize them and humiliate them.

It is very scary for me to see gay political correctness to become a tool to hurt good guys while ignoring the bad guys. It doesn’t just apply to gay rights, or racism. It’s the whole idea of “Shut up and don’t say anything unpopular, or else” that is very scary for me. You and others must not have a very good imagination, because less than 50 years ago, that was used as a weapon AGAINST gay people, and sometimes it still is!

>Or, maybe, you’ve never visited Right Wing Watch (http://http://www.rightwingwatch.org>?

“Right Wing Watch” is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an excellent example of the intolerance of the left. Those people think /all/ conservatives should lose their jobs and be publicly humiliated. They are just as intolerant as the bigots they claim are ruining the country. I believe in open debate and respecting people with different opinions than you, just like you want to be treated.

Jay
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid, it is bad enough that you and the other bloggers here seem to give the most generous interpretation to the treatment of bigots (and the definition thereof), but the contempt that is betrayed here is more often for gay people than for our enemies. That is what so many of us find so infuriating. Whereas you all treat the question of defining bigots as difficult as determining the number of angels who can fit on the tip of a needle, you have no compunction about describing your own readers as pitchfork-bearing mobs out to attack innocent dissenters and to stifle the free speech of PornoPete and to impose a totalitarian regime (like that of Canada, for God’s sake!) on the greatest nation in the world. It is the grassroots of our movement that has led us to the verge of victory in the culture wars, yet you people despise us.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

@Todd

>If you advocate for discrimination based on an intrinsic trait (something you have no control over, whether that’s being black, or gay, or having brown eyes) then you are a bigot.

Is it a bigot if you advocate for discrimination on a non-intrinsic trait, like religion? Not “bigotry disguised as religion”, just religion. Religion is one of the protected classes along with race and sex, so this “intrinsic trait” bit seems like it shouldn’t be relevant to me.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

@Jay

>Timothy Kincaid, it is bad enough that you and the other bloggers here seem to give the most generous interpretation to the treatment of bigots (and the definition thereof), but the contempt that is betrayed here is more often for gay people than for our enemies. That is what so many of us find so infuriating. Whereas you all treat the question of defining bigots as difficult as determining the number of angels who can fit on the tip of a needle, you have no compunction about describing your own readers as pitchfork-bearing mobs out to attack innocent dissenters and to stifle the free speech of PornoPete and to impose a totalitarian regime (like that of Canada, for God’s sake!) on the greatest nation in the world.

Maybe you should stop acting like pitchfork mobs. The grassroots didn’t get to where they are today by being intolerant, and firing or shaming people who disagrees with us. We used to be the underdog.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay conservative said “Someone like Brendan Eich, who works for one of the best tech companies in the world, and to my knowledge has been an excellent defender of online privacy personally, lost his job and had his reputation tarnished because of a very minor political belief,”.

Very minor personal belief?! You call wanting to deny a minority equal rights a “very mineor personal belief” and you want us to think you’re on the side of justice. You’re totally useless to the caue of justice.

Gay conservative said “Right Wing Watch” is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an excellent example of the intolerance of the left. Those people think /all/ conservatives should lose their jobs and be publicly humiliated.”.

You use that kind of absurd hyperbole and you expect us to take you seriously? You’ve made it clear just how extreme your bias is. With “friends” like you the LGBT community doesn’t need enemies. All your condemnation is saved for the victims of anti-gay discrimination, you have no criticism for those who’d deny justice.

Gay conservative said “Is it a bigot if you advocate for discrimination on a non-intrinsic trait, like religion?”.

Yes. Its bigotry when you advocate for discrimination based on any harmless trait.

Ben
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

All this ridiculous tone policing from Kincaide and crew reminds me of this famous quote from MLK,

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

— Letter From Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Timothy (TRiG)
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

A lot of these posts seem to be missing the fairly simple fact that Mozilla is not in the business of making money. Mozilla is, in fact, an activist organization. It’s an activist organization in a field many people don’t care about, or even understand, but it’s an activist organization nonetheless. And, as such, a distraction at the helm had to go.

Eich could not be CEO of Mozilla any more than he could be CEO of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the GNU Project, the Free Software Foundation, or any similar activist organization. He simply was not tenable in that role.

As M. Fay said,

Mozilla is not a money making corporation, it’s an activist corporation. The primary role of the CEO in an activist organization is to galvanize the community. Instead, Eich’s actions were splintering, and therefore he had to resign for the good of the community.

TRiG.

Gay Conservative
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

There was nothing that made him untenable for working at Mozilla. Your opinions on social/culturewar issues are irrelevant to your opinions on internet freedom and online privacy. Heck, someone who is a so-called “bigot” according to society has a much better reason to be for privacy rights and anonymity than someone whose views are already popular in society. Again, gays should understand this better than anybody, since until very recently it was a complete necessity to remain in the closet or else you risked your job and reputation.

Baker
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

TRiG, it’s time for a fact check. According the Wikipedia, “The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization” BUT “It owns a taxable subsidiary: the Mozilla Corporation [...] responsible for product development, marketing and distribution of Mozilla products [...] Unlike the Mozilla Foundation, the Mozilla Corporation is a tax-paying entity, which gives it much greater freedom in the revenue and business activities it can pursue. The majority of the revenues comes from Google Inc., which is the default search engine on Mozilla Firefox.” Mozilla Corporation revenue was reportedly “$163.4 million” in 2011 with a net income of “$21.6 million” and “1000+” employees. As to Mr. Eich, “he cofounded the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation, and served as the Mozilla Corporation’s chief technical officer and briefly its chief executive officer.”

Richard Rush
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Jay, I think you need a reality check. If you spend some time at GayPatriot, it should put BTB in a whole new light. ( http://www.gaypatriot.net/ )

Timothy (TRiG)
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay Conservative:

There was nothing that made him untenable for working at Mozilla.

How do you get the best developers? Mozilla is competing with Google and Apple not just for customers, but for developers. And it can’t compete on price: it pays developers an utterly paltry sum compared to the big tech giants. So how does it get the best? By telling them they’re working on a mission. By motivating them with activism. Eich was a distraction. Quite simply: he wasn’t capable of doing the job he was hired to do. Really.

Farhad Manjoo says,

Mr. Eich’s position on gay marriage wasn’t some outré personal stance unrelated to his job; it was a potentially hazardous bit of negative branding in the labor pool, one that was making life difficult for current employees and plausibly reducing Mozilla’s draw to prospective workers.

(Go read the article. The following paragraph provides evidence to back up that claim,)

TRiG.

Priya Lynn
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Gay conservative said ” someone who is a so-called “bigot” according to society has a much better reason to be for privacy rights and anonymity than someone whose views are already popular in society. Again, gays should understand this better than anybody, since until very recently it was a complete necessity to remain in the closet or else you risked your job and reputation.”.

You really are out of touch. The culture war is far from won. Many, probably most gays and lesbians still need to stay in the closet to avoid risking their jobs and reputation. If a gay or lesbian wants to hide who they are its a much more difficult task than a bigot merely hiding his bigoted attitudes.

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

I had never heard of GayPatriot.net, so I popped over there to see what viewpoints “the internet home for the American gay conservative had to offer.

The first headline, bylines by someone named “V the K” read: “Massachusetts Democrat Senator Proposes Government Monitoring of Citizens’ Speech” ; the item, proper, begins:

Senator Ed Markey … a terrible Democrat Senator from a State notorious for electing terrible Democrat senators (I think residents of Massachusetts just really hate the other 56 states)…

Huh?. Umm… 56 States??

So much for credibility.

Stephen
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

You signed on to that crap along with Charles Murray who advocates that black Americans are congenitally inferior. Shame on you. Shame. YEs, you, Rob: Shame.

Timothy Kincaid
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

That was, I suspect, a dig at President Obama who in 2008 made a gaffe in which he said he’d visited 57 states with one to go.

But you are right that the site has no credibility. It is basically a space for haters of a particular brand to get together and vent their spleen. There are such sites for pretty much every political ideology, even conservative gays.

We fight very hard to not let BTB become a hate site. Sometimes I get tired of monitoring but then I’ll find myself somewhere reading comments in some thread in which I may agree with the position of the thread but am disgusted that it’s not about what they believe but instead just expressing over and over how much they hate those who disagree. And I want there to be some place on the net where people who may disagree with us can still see our views and give them consideration without being driven away by being told how awful and vile they are.

Eric Payne
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid,

Not being a supporter of the President, I was unaware of the “57 states” quote. Though I did vote for the President during his re-election campaign, that vote was cast more in-line with it being a vote against Romney.

And though, in 2008, I felt it was time someone not named “Bush” nor “Clinton” become our next President, I voted for no candidate. McCain/Palin scared me and the actions of Obama to wrest the nomination from Ms Clinton were reprehensible.

Neil
April 30th, 2014 | LINK

Understanding the Eich case rests on apprehending the context of the Mozilla project, wonderfully summarised above by Timothy (TRiG).

There seems to be a reaction of horror that LGBT campaigning has created a monster, the evidence for which, the toppling of a CEO – as if top execs at Union Carbide and Exxon will be next.

Of course Eich isn’t in the same league as Sterling when it comes to evident bigotry. But it seems there’s a strong case to make that Eich would prove a liability as CEO of Mozilla. Perhaps he could become the new owner of the LA Clippers. Some people might not like it but he’d have an awfully long way to go before it would bother the NBA executive.

vergil arma
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

just let the btb boys and their anti-gay advocacy fade back into the obscurity they deserve.

luckily the dangerous idea of pissing on the lgbt movement with their petition has found few adherents outside of the professional anti-gay industry.

Signorile
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Hi Rob. You’re always thoughtful, even if I disagree. I wanted to share my piece on all of this, posted yesterday on HuffPost. And also just lay out a few more facts.

Eich’s contributions to politicians to said horrendous things about gay people didn’t end with Buchanan in ’92.

He gave money to Washington Senate candidate Linda Smith in ’98, a Pentacostlist who ran on an antigay agenda (her words are quoted in my piece), and to Tom McClintock in ’08. His comments to the Guardian about Indonesia and anti-gay regiimes and Mozilla having to be competitive in them are also very telling.

But most importantly, he refused comment on the Buchanan donations. To me, that brings them from ’92 right up to 2014. If you cannot take back giving money to a racist, anti-semitic, immigrant-bashing, gay-hater whose views were always repugnant but are even seen as more vile today, well, sorry, you’re a bigot. I think his contributions and his refusal to renounce them spoke volumes more than anything Donald Sterling said.

Anyway, here’s my piece for anyone who wants another view. Thanks again Rob for your thoughts.

Best,
Michelangelo Signorile

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/donald-sterling-brendan-eich-and-how-homophobia-gets-a-pass_b_5239389.html

Priya Lynn
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Neil said “Of course Eich isn’t in the same league as Sterling when it comes to evident bigotry.”.

I’m not seeing any significant difference. If anything Eich’s crime was greater in that he tried to deprive a minority of the right to marry whereas Sterling didn’t.

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Michelangelo,

I am more troubled now than before. I can understand the anger and outrage resulting from a contribution to a proposition. But you seem to be saying that employment can and should be based on what politicians an employee supports. And, not coincidentally, Eich supported politicians in one party, the one with which he affiliates.

That is a very troubling direction in which to go. It is a very very short step from there to pure partisanship in employment and history shows that rewarding or punishing party support or membership does not lend itself well to freedom or civil rights.

Priya Lynn
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

“I am more troubled now than before. I can understand the anger and outrage resulting from a contribution to a proposition. But you seem to be saying that employment can and should be based on what politicians an employee supports.”.

It doesn’t seem that way to me in the slightest. What he is saying is that when you support a politician who’s well known for extreme bigotry it says you have no problem with extreme bigotry and having no problem with extreme bigotry combined with your own bigotted words and actions makes you unsuitable for a leadership position such as Eich was in.

etseq
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Does Google Translate handle Libertarian to English? Is there a special dialect for Gay Libertarianism? It is obviously much more than a mere political philosophy – more like a religion that includes ethics, epistemology, ontology, metaphysics, etc. Actually, I know what it reminds me of – Tanya Erzen bizarre Queer Theory interpretation of Ex-gay as gay person who has “queer conversion” that socially constructs a liminal unstable identity that requires constant “performance” (ala Judith Butler) to adhere to its contradictory and disciplinary totalizing worldview. Maybe the better comparison would be to Queer Theory itself – it too has little connection with reality…

Signorile
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Not saying that at all Timothy. First of all, this isn’t just any employee. It’s the CEO, the face of the company, someone probably held to a different standard than anyone in the company.

Secondly, this isn’t any company. It’s a very unique experiment of a company, where the developers, employees have a lot of say. This isn’t Exxon-Mobil — where there’s no anti-discrimination policy and nothing the LGBT employees do seems to change that and where the CEO is doing just fine and is in no danger from the gays or their allies.

Thirdly, This was about business and the free market, a very conservative principal. I’m still baffled by the criticisms you all have made because you have not addressed this. Should this company have just bled developers, seen employees leave in the highly competitive field, lose users and money? I’m really not following you here. Do you feel a law should have stopped them from firing him? I just don’t get it. None of us called for him to be fired. So, short of a law stopping them from engaging in their free market business practices, I’m not sure what you wanted.

Signorile
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

And let me just clarify for accuracy, he wasn’t fired, he resigned, and probably saw it as best for his own interests regarding Mozilla as well. So, should there be a law that didn’t allow them to fire him and one that didn’t allow him to resign? Should there have a law that didn’t allow the developers to make their free choice not to donate their time? Should there have been a law that doesn’t allow the employees in this company to speak up (when that actually is part of the mission of Mozilla)? A lot of laws and regulation, I’d say, and something I don’t think conservatives would want.

And since no group did call for him to resign or no pundit, again, short of these laws I’m not sure what you wanted? The employees just to keep it to themselves and be quiet?

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Michelangelo,

My concern is not and has never been about what Mozilla did or didn’t do. Nor has it been about what position he held or whether he was fired or resigned. It is not about whether employees or contributors or business partners used free market practices to pressure Mozilla. It’s not about what HRC did or didn’t do.

I do not and have not defended Eich. For me this is not about Eich. It is about us.

My concern has been and remains about what some voices in our community demanded and on what basis.

There were calls – by people who were not Mozilla employees, vendors, partners, customers, or who had never used Firefox – demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8. That is factual. It’s not up for dispute.

It is to that which I object. I believe that is a step too far.

You are now expanding your complaints – the reason justifying the voices who called for his ouster – to include political contributions to various politicians using the logic that supporting these politicians is evidence of bigotry.

That is, to me, absurd. And, it is even more troubling because it demands not merely an absolutist position on the issue of marriage equality but on all possible objectionable positions within the broad range of a politician’s interest.

You suggest that these specific candidates are extremists, beyond the pale, and by example you show that these politicians also oppose marriage equality.

So I guess the question to ask is this: does a contribution in the past to George W. Bush disqualify a person from a position of CEO at a company?

Signorile
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Timothy, you will have to name for me these people who called for him to be outsted. Were they prominent? Were they groups? Do they really have impact? You say it is not in dispute. Who are they? Sorry, but five unknown people on twitter doesn’t count.

Sorry you think it’s absurd to deduce Eich’s beliefs now when he won’t renounce the Buchanan support. That’s pretty easy to see. He still supports him. And Buchanan is pretty clear cut. There are only two kinds of people who would support him — bigoted, and ignorant. I don’t think Eich is ignorant.

Again — it is about what he is saying now, in 2014. We all did silly and stupid things in the past. I’ve apologized for mine. He should too — but it seems he still agrees.

Anyway, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I see this as progress. You can see it your way. Thanks for the discussion.

Eric Payne
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

@Timothy Kincaid,

You write:

There were calls – by people who were not Mozilla employees, vendors, partners, customers, or who had never used Firefox – demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8. That is factual. It’s not up for dispute.

I just did a quick Google, using the terma “eich should step down mozilla”, and want to know what came up? I’m 7 pages into the results, and what I’ve found, so far:

1. “Staff at Mozilla call for new CEO Brendan Eich to ‘step down’” (http://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/03/27/staff-mozilla-call-new-ceo-brendan-eich-step/)

2. “Some Mozilla employees ask CEO to resign for his support of Prop 8″ (http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/28/business/la-fi-tn-mozilla-ceo-brendan-eich-step-down-antigay-prop-8-20140328)

3. “Mozilla employees tell Brendan Eich he needs to ‘step down’” (http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/mozilla-employees-to-brendan-eich-step-down/)

All three are variants of the same news story; Mozilla employees asking Eich to tender his resignation. Hold, on, though, theres 8 pages more to go..

Hmmm… there IS this, from the Washington Examiner: “Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich forced to resign for supporting traditional marriage laws” (http://washingtonexaminer.com/mozilla-ceo-brendan-eich-forced-to-resign-for-supporting-traditional-marriage-laws/article/2546770), and while the body of that news story does use the term “gay rights activists,” to wit:

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned under pressure after gay rights activists demanded that he step down or recant his support of traditional marriage laws.

Nowhere in the rest of the story does it mention, by name, any singular activist nor activist organization.

OK.. I’m not looking anymore; I went through 10 pages of results. The overwhelming majority were, of course, news that Eich had stepped down, so were written after the fact. Some of those had quotes from their friendly neighborhood gay activists about Eich’s resignation, but absolutely nowhere, PRIOR to the resignation were any activists mentioned, by name, singularly or collectively. Even after the resignation, conservative outlets, both gay and straight, mention unnamed gay activists, or simply write of “gay activists” as if they were some invisible, omniscient amorphous threat.

So, Timothy, please tell us: Just who were the gay individuals/groups, gay-friendly individuals/groups, outside of the well-known, well-advertised OKCupid and those Mozilla employees/contractors, who, publicly, called for Eich’s ouster?

C’mon. It must be a matter of public knowledge and, if not, it oughta be… so names. And if you can’t come up with any — and I say this most respectfully, as I recognize Box Turtle Bulletin is your property/domain/blog and thus, your playpen — please stop making that claim. I realize to abandon the claim of the man being harassed out of his job guts the petition you so publicly signed, but doesn’t your own Terms of Service say something about unfounded claims?

Oh, yeah… here it is…

Unsubstantiated claims, for example, claims which are not backed by direct quotes, links, or bibliographic references from independent sources.

Priya Lynn
May 1st, 2014 | LINK

Great job Eric.

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Are you unfamiliar with the Credo petition?

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

CREDO is where trolls go to blow off steam. Aren’t you familiar with Mozilla’s public statement they were paying no attention to it?

So how about some real names? Activists, or activist organizations, whose names carry some heft, who called, publicly, for Mozilla to replace Eich aside from the 70K private individuals who “signed” a CREDO?

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

From Mozilla’s “FAQ on CEO Resignation”

Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?

A: No, Brendan Eich resigned. Brendan himself said:

“I have decided to resign as CEO effective April 3rd, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.”

Brendan Eich also blogged on this topic.

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

A: No. It was Brendan’s idea to resign, and in fact, once he submitted his resignation, Board members tried to get Brendan to stay at Mozilla in another C-level role.

Q: Was Brendan Eich forced out by employee pressure?

A: No. Mozilla employees expressed a wide range of views on Brendan’s appointment as CEO: the majority of them positive and in support of his leadership, or expressing disappointment in Brendan’s support of Proposition 8 but that they nonetheless felt he would be a good leader for Mozilla. A small number (fewer than 10) called for his resignation, none of whom reported to Brendan directly. However media coverage focused disproportionately on the small number of negative comments — largely ignoring the wide range of reactions across the Mozilla community.

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

The same FAQ also casually mentions the CREDO petition.

Or is that just what Mozilla’s supposed to say! and the writer(s) of the petition you guys signed know better because, you know, gay activists can be so mean?

So, crimson, Timothy — what are the names of the activists! individuals or groups! who impressed themselves on Mozilla so badly, Mozilla would terminate their just hired Chief Executive Officer?

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Gosh darned iPad spell check!

What appeared:

So, crimson, Timothy — what are the names of the activists! individuals or groups! who impressed themselves on Mozilla so badly, Mozilla would terminate their just hired Chief Executive Officer?

What I wrote:

So, c’mon, Timothy — what are the names of the activists! individuals or groups! who impressed themselves on Mozilla so badly, Mozilla would terminate their just hired Chief Executive Officer?

Ben
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

“There were calls – by people who were not Mozilla employees, vendors, partners, customers, or who had never used Firefox – demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8. That is factual. It’s not up for dispute.”

It is completely up for dispute. How do you know that no one on that Credo petition (your only fallback) is a firefox user? You will have to prove that these are angry, unrelated activists, and you cannot. That is not up for dispute.

You are trying to square your love of the “free market” with your other conservative principles. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. This was absolutely the result of free market mechanics, end consumers voting with their wallets and voices, something conservative libertarians propose to love until it bites their own butt and then they have to come up with complicated justifications of why it’s not ok in this instance.

Ben
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Also I love the fact that Timothy is waving around the Credo petition like some kind of voodoo doll. It conjures up the end scene from Scooby Doo where the foiled baddy screams about those darn kids.

Forget Mozilla’s public press releases (they are suspect, but apparently Eich’s press releases he doesn’t discriminate needs no reading between the lines), the writers of this petition know better. It was those darn twitter activists (which they cannot produce) and that credo petition!

Brian
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Ben and Eric,
This petition assumed the right-wing straw man of “PC thugs” silencing viewpoints with which they disagree. That’s all there is to it and if they need to shoehorn the facts of this case into the narrative, they will.

“This was absolutely the result of free market mechanics, end consumers voting with their wallets and voices, something conservative libertarians propose to love until it bites their own butt and then they have to come up with complicated justifications of why it’s not ok in this instance.”

Yup. The free market can only be used to disadvantage minorities and marginalized groups, but when those groups harness it to get the upper hand “fascism!” “totalitarianism!” “Hitler!” “Stalin!”

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Brian, loved your comment:

Yup. The free market can only be used to disadvantage minorities and marginalized groups, but when those groups harness it to get the upper hand “fascism!” “totalitarianism!” “Hitler!” “Stalin!”

But you forgot about Putin.

Oh, wait… most American straight conservatives have gone on the record, and they like Putin.

Never mind.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Right Eric. American conservatives love to talk about “American exceptionalism” and the first amendment which makes the United States the greatest country on earth but they love and praise Putin who’s passed a law that denies gays the right to talk about themselves and promote equality.

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

One of the casualties of cut-and-paste argument is that too often if focuses on a sentence and omits the meaning of the comment. And it is too often born in a desire to find something to “prove wrong” so as to “win” rather than in any discussion of ideas.

I did not say that named high-level activists, other than people on Credo, “impressed themselves on Mozilla”. You added all of that.

If it is your assertion that there were NOT calls demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8, that’s going to be a hard sell.

Every reader here has likely seen them.

etseq
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

So all this sturm and drum was just one more manifestation of Timothy’s bizarre tendency to coddle our enemies and chastise us for being the real villains. He attacks us as religous bigots and labels us intolerant for objecting to our enemies intolerance. As usual, when pressed for details, he relies on random internet comments or petitions or just makes things up.
None of this surprises me but I am still baffled as to why the rest of the BTB bloggers, as well as the usual homocon suspects, decided to launch basically a political attack campaign that employs alot of the same rhetoric of our enemies, including a ridiculous public “statement” for people to sign which eerily reminded me of the Manhattan Declaration, against their own community. Are all of them no naive as not see that this was gold to our opponents. Even if there criticism had some validity, when make such a public statement rather than engage in reasoned discussion inside the community.

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid writes:

Eric,

One of the casualties of cut-and-paste argument is that too often if focuses on a sentence and omits the meaning of the comment. And it is too often born in a desire to find something to “prove wrong” so as to “win” rather than in any discussion of ideas.

I did not say that named high-level activists, other than people on Credo, “impressed themselves on Mozilla”. You added all of that.

If it is your assertion that there were NOT calls demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8, that’s going to be a hard sell.

Every reader here has likely seen them.

Alright, then, Tim, I won’t cut-and-paste any of your messages to which I respond, but will repost them, en toto.

You make statements concerning Eich and the actions of people PRIOR TO Eich’s resignation. Your proofs boill down to CREDO, and simply, essentially, saying “Everybody knows it, so, Eric, disprove what I’m saying.”

And yet, Box Turtle Bulletin, in no uncertain terms! expressly disallows such blanket statements.

Yes, individuals may have signed the CREDO petition; I would assume you’re not saying signing the CREDO petition should not have been allowed, are you? But what individual persons’ signatures, taken singularly or in groups, indicated any prominent gay rights activist, or gay rights organization, publicly called for Eich’s resignation?

And you’ve not answered the question about Mozilla’s own FAQ on the matter — if Mozilla publicly denies Eich’s resignation was forced because of any public call for his resignation, then what do YOU know that disputes them?

So, again, the question you’ve (pardon me for speaking frankly) ducked! repeatedly: What gay activists, or group, that was/is not associated, professionally, with Mozilla, besides OKCupid, led to Eich resigning?

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric, could you please elaborate on what this credo petition was? I did a search and it just seems to be a site that facilitates all manner of petitions and is not an LGBT organization in any way. Was this credo petition set up by an LGBT organization or individual and what would lead us to believe all, or most of the signatories were LGBT?

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

As I have repeatedly said, I’m not discussing what specific groups did or didn’t do. I’m not discussing why Eich resigned. That is of far less interest to me.

I know you want me to discuss these things. I know that you think it would prove some point or other.

But I’ve been clear from the beginning what I found objectionable. If it isn’t what you want me to find objectionable so that you can refute it, that’s just an unfortunate reality.

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Oriya,

CREDO is a cell-phone company that is dedicated to raising money for social change.

For some of those “To donate money, text xx-xxx” campaigns, they are the company through which those texts are channeled.

They also host “petitions” people can “sign” via the same “text this number” set-up.

(In both instances — to donate money or sign a petition — website addresses are normally provided for those who do not want to use text-messaging.)

The day before OKCupid requested their users abandon the Firefox browser, CREDI hosted a petition calling for Eich’s resignation/removal unless Eich agreed to repudiate his marriage equality beliefs. Over 75,000 people “signed” this petition via text messages or on-line.

There was/is no limit to the number of times someone can “sign” a CREDI petition — every text message acts as a “signature.” And this petition was not a CREDO user petition, but a petition written by CREDO, themselves.

What CREDO failed to mention in their petition, though, is a long standing beef they’ve had with Mozilla concerning the Firefox browser: A free download for that browser is a “plug-in” called “AdBlock,” which does what the name implies. In it’s default setting, AdBlock prevents a CREDO “signature page” from displaying; the user, if they wish to sign a petition and/or donate money, must re-configure AdBlock to display the page. It’s just a couple of extra clicks… but the user needs to know where/what to click… and since AdBlock works, invisibly, in the background, most users don’t.

So CREDO had its own, unmentioned agenda concerning Mozilla and Firefox; one that had absolutely nothing to do with gay rights, marriage equality or Prop 8.

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid responds:

Eric,

As I have repeatedly said, I’m not discussing what specific groups did or didn’t do. I’m not discussing why Eich resigned. That is of far less interest to me.

I know you want me to discuss these things. I know that you think it would prove some point or other.

But I’ve been clear from the beginning what I found objectionable. If it isn’t what you want me to find objectionable so that you can refute it, that’s just an unfortunate reality.

Timothy, just yesterday, in a response earlier in this thread, in a response to Signorile (and here, I apologize for length, but since you’ve objected to cut-and-paste “snippets,” inferring comments were taken out of context):

Michelangelo,

My concern is not and has never been about what Mozilla did or didn’t do. Nor has it been about what position he held or whether he was fired or resigned. It is not about whether employees or contributors or business partners used free market practices to pressure Mozilla. It’s not about what HRC did or didn’t do.

I do not and have not defended Eich. For me this is not about Eich. It is about us.

My concern has been and remains about what some voices in our community demanded and on what basis.

There were calls – by people who were not Mozilla employees, vendors, partners, customers, or who had never used Firefox – demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8. That is factual. It’s not up for dispute.

It is to that which I object. I believe that is a step too far.

You are now expanding your complaints – the reason justifying the voices who called for his ouster – to include political contributions to various politicians using the logic that supporting these politicians is evidence of bigotry.

That is, to me, absurd. And, it is even more troubling because it demands not merely an absolutist position on the issue of marriage equality but on all possible objectionable positions within the broad range of a politician’s interest.

You suggest that these specific candidates are extremists, beyond the pale, and by example you show that these politicians also oppose marriage equality.

So I guess the question to ask is this: does a contribution in the past to George W. Bush disqualify a person from a position of CEO at a company?

You say “there were calls” from the community for Eich’s resignation. You made a blanket assertion.

The rules of commenting at BTB expressly disallow such blanket expressions in very specific language.

So… are BTB public commenters/users held to a different standard than BTB contributors and editors? I’m rather new to posting here, though I’ve been a daily reader for years, and I’d just like to know the ground rules up front.

Rob Tisinai
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric, I think you’re off base here. To quote Timothy:

My concern has been and remains about what some voices in our community demanded and on what basis.

There were calls – by people who were not Mozilla employees, vendors, partners, customers, or who had never used Firefox – demanding that Eich be ousted from a position of leadership at a company specifically because of a contribution to Proposition 8.

Not only is this not a blanket assertion (“there were calls” does not mean “there were calls from everyone”), but Timothy actually makes it explicit that this is not a blanket assertion by saying, “what some voices in our community…”

“Some.” Not all. Not a blanket statement.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Rob said “Not only is this not a blanket assertion (“there were calls” does not mean “there were calls from everyone”), but Timothy actually makes it explicit that this is not a blanket assertion by saying, “what some voices in our community…””.

I think from what Eric said, its a bit of a stretch to go from the credo petition which wasn’t from an LGBT organization or LGBT person to “some in our community” to your petition which is a general castigation of the LGBT community for calling for Eich’s resignation. Your petition made it sound like LGBT people were significantly involved in calling for Eich’s resignation and castigated the community in too broad terms when only isolated LGBT individuals were involved at most.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

I guess what I’m trying to say is that with the very limited involvement of LGBT people in calling for Eich to resign the petition BTB boys signed was a distortion of reality and excessive.

Eric Payne
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Rob,

Timothy Kincaid is the person who stated “there were calls.”

Box Turtle Bulletin‘s “Comments Policy, in no uncertain terms, states:

Unsubstantiated claims, for example, claims which are not backed by direct quotes, links, or bibliographic references from independent sources.

So… how about some substantiation of his claims — and, whether he realizes it or not — his assertion “there were calls” coupled with other comments, and the wording of the petition itself, indicate those “calls” directly led to Eich’s resignation — or are BTB users/commenters held to a standard different from those of BTB contributors/editors? Hey… it’s your guys’ playpen. If there’s a difference… fine. I’m cool with that. I just want to know, going in.

Rob Tisinai
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Eric, so we agree it was not a blanket assertion. Now, as for whether there were calls for Eich’s resignation based on the donation, Timothy has referenced the CREDO petition and its 75,000 signers. I understand you have some issues with this substantiation, but it’s unfair to say Timothy did not provide it.

As for whether those calls direct led to Eich’s resignation, Timothy has said (several times, and at least once to you specifically) that this is not his point, so he does not have to substantiate a point he is not making.

Brian
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

I think what people are upset about is that the petition took what “some” have done to concoct a letter that reinforces this “gays are intolerant” meme our enemies have been spewing for years–and the letter’s signers continue to be tone deaf about the fact that they’ve done this.

It is as if when the “bug chaser” phenomenon became a news story, someone released a petition exclaiming concern about a turn by “some” in our community towards becoming sexually reckless and irresponsible. The problem is that bug chasers are a miniscule part of our community, and the circulation of the petition actually would reinforce the hysteria around them more than anything.

If the authors of this fictional petition had defended themselves by saying “well we only said ‘some’,” that would not be the point. The point is that the petition feeds the hysteria about bug chasers and fuels the exaggeration of their size and influence.

The same is true of this petition. The petition feeds the image of a mob of angry PC-thug gays with pitchforks and torches, when the response from the community was in many ways restrained.

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Brian,

It is a fair point that there are people who believes that this feeds an untrue meme. And I find your comparison to the bug chaser myth to be an interesting one.

I guess the difference for me is that should someone have chastised those tiny few who were being sexually reckless, pretty much everyone would have (I think) agreed that the behavior was, indeed, reckless. Even those who object to being so chided or who thought that the chastisement played into a larger political picture.

In contrast, I’m not seeing agreement that calling for Eich’s ouster solely for his Prop 8 contibution is being universally agreed upon as inappropriate.

Rather – while simultaneously being told that gay people were not materially involved in calling for his ouster – comments here have implied (if not outright stated) that his contribution to Prop 8 and refusal to recant his political position was, indeed, justification in and of itself to call for his ouster.

I do not agree with this position.

I do know that some now have other reasons – other political contributions, concerns by Mozilla employees – which to them justify the effort that was undertaken. If that is their point, I’ll not quibble.

But there are still some who appear to me to be saying that irrespective of Eich’s other political contributions, his Prop 8 contribution (coupled with his refusal to recount his political position) were sufficient to exclude him from employment at that level.

That is where I think the comparison fails. While I agree that the bug chasers were a tempest in a teacup, I don’t think that we would see anyone trying to justify their bad behavior.

And so long as there are those who think Eich’s Prop 8 contribution and refusal to recant his political position on marriage are enough to bar employment, then my saying otherwise is relevant.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

Timothy, the petition and the posts BTB has made on it still exagerate the size of the “community” who called for Eich’s firing.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

I’m pretty sure that was the point Brian was trying to make, not that the condemnation in the two situations were the same.

etseq
May 2nd, 2014 | LINK

So Timothy thinks that “bugchasing” and gay activism against a homophobic CEO are equivalent “sins” of the gay community (or “some” of the gay community). Has the religious right infiltrated this blog because these arguments are very familiar – its just that they usually come from our enemies rather than from within.
Here is my counter-narrative:
A group of mostly middle class gay white men, politically libertarian to conservative (with a few exceptions – up until now it was assumed that Rob and Jim were liberals but they obviously share a libertarian view of “free speech” and a narrow view of acceptable political protest strategies – I wonder if they would have chastised ACT-UP for being too belligerent to the Reagan Administration, FDA, ED Koch, etc.) and their straight libertarian & conservative political allies (including such paragons of moderate virtue such as Charles “Blacks are genetically inferior” Murray, Ken Mehlman, Eugene “Gays want to convert straights” Volock, Christina Hoff Summers, Will “Regnerus is victim of liberal war on science” “gay conversion therapy should be allowed for those who want it” Saletan, etc.) have a very narrow definition of homophobia that is grounded in a personal irrational animus and requires a very high burden of proof (such as recorded statements using disparaging language) rather than that of the majority of the LGBT community, a structural view akin to racism or sexism. As public opinion has shifted radically these last few years, homophobia that had previously been ignored or even approved of by the public at large is now becoming socially unacceptable, as is the case with racism and sexism. The signatories to the Manhattan Declaration, er, I mean, Freedom to Dissent manifesto view these social changes with such alarm that they felt it necessary to publicly scold the LGBT community for its intolerance (heterophobia?) of behaviour they insist is not homophobic but merely religious or moral objections to homosexuality, which we must respect in order to maintain a robust pluralism that fosters both a limited tolerance for LGBT people that must be balanced by religious or moral objections to what they view as immorality. This is similar to conservatives critique of structural racism and sexism and the view that accusations of racism and sexism are morally equivalent to actual racism or sexism, unless such accusations can be proven by an extremely high burden of proof.
Of course, I could wrong and it would be imprudent of me to say, draft a manifesto based on such speculation and post it publicly in an attempt to, whats the word, “shame” those I disagreed with and restrict their future political options. That would be viewed by most as a petty, sectarian, intra-communal attack, which is exactly how I would describe the actions of the “Manifesto” signatories. Of course, those signatories included not only LGBT members but also potential political adversaries on other LGBT issues (I doubt Charles Murray would support trans rights) which makes this attack unprecedented in some ways – its one thing to have a “family” dispute, its another to join with conservative critics to further right wing memes about the intolerance of the “gay lobby” I hope the gay men who joined in this right wing attack on the LGBT community got some emotional satisfaction out of the fiasco because the rest of us will be paying the price for their betrayal.

Ben
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

First Rob, so long as we include a weasel word like “most” or “almost all” we can make blanket statements all we want? Got it.

“Almost all of these Auntie Toms are privileged wealthy gay male quislings who have never faced a day of actual discrimination in their adult life, so they care more about the freedom to hold literally any despicable view without it threatening their livelihood as long as their job is middle management or above.”

Second, I have never seen such long skid marks from backtracking as I see from Timothy in his comments. He has painted himself into a corner to the point his only objection now (which would never have supported the original word salad, I mean petition) is that gay people just shouldn’t be worried about anti gay leaders. His worry that a few tweets, blog posts, and a credo petition are going to slide into an Orwellian control of anyone who dissents from party line being in risk of losing their job is ridiculous and exists only in his fevered conservative brain that spends twenty times as long on the plight of wealthy white men as it does on huge swaths of discriminated Americans who despite actual laws to protect them from discrimination, are discriminated against anyway because they lack the money or social standing to gain these protections.

And thirdly, I am still wondering why Timothy is allowed to read between the Mozilla PR announcement for what they “really meant”, while GLBT can’t deduce that Eich is more than likely still a bigot who would discriminate against his gay and lesbian underlings even if he says he won’t in a press friendly sound-bite.

vergil arma
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

it’s clear what rob et al. did in signing this was morally wrong. a by-product of their narcissism and internalized homophobia.

Rob Tisinai
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

Ben, I pointed out the Tim said “some,” not “most” or “almost all.” You criticism would have more force if you accurately represented what’s been said.

Ben
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

Pendanticism aside, you know what I meant by “weasel word”. It’s a way to make a spurious claim you cannot back up, and if someone calls you on it, you can go, “But ah-hah! I did not say all, I said some/most/many/etc.”

Still waiting for an answer as to why Mozilla’s press release can be interpreted but Eich’s cannot.

Rob Tisinai
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

No, Ben, it’s not pedanticism. First, there’s a world of difference between “some” and “almost all.” Second, I’ve been incorrectly represented by my critics repeatedly, and I’m not incline to let it slide right now.

As for why Timothy is allowed to read between the lines of the Mozilla announcement, that’s a question for Timothy. And as for why I don’t think you can be certain Eich is a bigot, I addressed that in the post above.

Timothy Kincaid
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

etseq,

It is not even close to true that “Timothy thinks that “bugchasing” and gay activism against a homophobic CEO are equivalent “sins” of the gay community”. Not even close.

Ben,

As for why I ‘interpreted Mozilla’s press release’, I haven’t the slightest clue what you’re talking about. I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned their press release, much less tried to guess what it “really meant”.

Ben
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

If Eich didn’t resign from public protest, than the entire point of all five posts and this petition fall completely flat.

Mozilla has a special FAQ saying neither public actions, nor internal employee resignations had anything to do with his resigning.

Either the implication is that they cannot be believed and he “really resigned because of gay activists” OR if it’s as Mozilla says and is completely unrelated, you and the rest of this group is upset that a few internet users object to an anti gay campaign/politician donor being made CEO of a popular company.

What is much more likely is that the publicity had *something* to do with his resignation, but in the same way we can deduce that, we can also deduce that someone so virulently anti gay that they would donate to prop8, Buchanon, AND the other anti-gay politicians Signorile pointed out, would also let that flavor his judgement of his gay and lesbian subordinates or how the company interfaces with similar issues. Something definitely worth getting upset over, unless group-think is fine as long a we toe your party line.

Pat
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

Ben,

Your conclusion about Eich being anti gay at Mozilla is belied by the LGBT colleagues who defended his record, for example Christie Koehler. Her blog post links to other Mozilla LBGT who defended Eich while he was still CEO at the bottom for those who care to read: http://subfictional.com/2014/03/24/on-brendan-eich-as-ceo-of-mozilla/

The fact is that the Credo boycott followed by the OK Cupid protest and tweets and facebook posts by Perez Hilton and George Takei with huge followings about same were badly reducing Firefox downloads, from what I hear. Mozilla and its co-founder Eich could not bear a sustained impact along those lines, especially with the Google negotiation coming up at year end.

So who gets credit for the cumulative impact on Mozilla amongst all the actors? Certainly not “big gay” activist groups, who indeed said nothing before Eich resigned, nor the less than ten Mozilla Foundation employees who tweeted lockstep demands that Eich step down (despite their not having any management or personal relationship in any way with him). And Hampton Catlin, the independent programmer who first protested by removing one of his and his partner’s games from Mozilla Marketplace, has repeatedly tweeted that he did not want to start or foment a boycott, and only wanted “more empathy” from Eich and would have been satisfied with him remaining CEO if he’s felt that in their one-on-one (this is all still in his twitter stream).

I think the letter that Timothy, Jim, and Rob signed is sloppily written and poorly framed. It does not let a lot of people on both twitter and in blog post comments, as well as nasty hysterics like J Bryan Lowder on Slate, off the hook, in my view, for their beyond angry hateful and demeaning words about Eich, and in many cases wreckless misinformation about Mozilla (implying Eich was a big stockholder, is still employed there, that Mozilla had just hired him to be CEO instead of him being CTO and co-founder). I’ve concluded twitter, at least in the US, is a force for social destruction.

etseq
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

Pat takes self-loathing to new heights but his basic argument is the same as the BTB bloggers – he is just more blunt and obnoxious about it.

Timothy, as usual, picks one line out of a comment and claims its wrong without offering any explanation or analysis.

PS – Maggie Gallagher has recognized the signatories of the so-called Letter of Protest as “good gays” who validate her claims of religious oppression in contrast to those “nasty gays” who have destroyed traditional morality in a fit of jacobin revolutionary terror.

Rob Tisinai
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

I’ve never considered Maggie Gallagher a reliable source of truth on any subject, and I don’t see why I should start now.

Pat
May 3rd, 2014 | LINK

Etseq, please explain how my comments are self loathing, and be clear and explicit. I loathe the hive mind that calls our opponents “Nazi”, “fat pig”, “gay-faced” and smears without evidence or reason. Everything I say about the situation at Mozilla is true, including that gay activist organizations had nothing to do with his resignation. And yet you smear me as self loathing and liken my arguments to the BTB bloggers, when my comment clearly cited the difference in my argument. Please by all means, elaborate and explain your nasty generalizations.

Timothy Kincaid
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Etseq,

can you please provide a link to where Maggie Gallagher has said that the signatories are “good gays” and that others are “nasty gays”?

Eric Payne
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid asks:

Etseq,

can you please provide a link to where Maggie Gallagher has said that the signatories are “good gays” and that others are “nasty gays”?

Timothy,

I’m sure Etseq was interpreting Gallagher’s comments with a personal spin… you know, like, oh, saying members of the community must have been showing intolerance toward political discourse, because, certainly, some gays must have “signed” that darned CREDO petition.

Anyway, Gallagher’s entire essay, which Etseq referenced, can be read here: http://maggiegallagher.com/2014/05/cooper-mozilla-firefox/

And it’s particularly snide… especially when Gallagher insists on correcting Prop 8 Attorney Charles Cooper — who defended Prop 8 before the 9th Circuit — on the legal relationship between Cooper and member(s) of Cooper’s own family.

Ben
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Pat, actions speak louder than words. I know a few homophobes who I would never work under or with, who have gay friends that would testify for their character. I bet Allen West will testify that Ann Coulter isn’t a racist if you asked him what he thinks.

In the same way we can look past Mozilla’s press release and surmise that the bruhahah at least contributed to Eich’s resigning, we can see past his PR claiming that he doesn’t and would never discriminate, his gay friend character references, and see the long list of virulently anti-gay donations (not to mention most of those politicians were atrocious on other areas of human rights).

The whole idea of objecting to someone being fired for “merely an idea” is false because first it wasn’t just that, he actively helped make life worse for a huge class of people with his money, and second, this supposed fair and equal system has historically only protected people like Eich, not the poor and downtrodden. This is why it makes me barf in my mouth to see so much word salad dedicated to this waste of a CEO who didn’t even have the smarts to backpedal when given a public platform. How much business acumen and calories would it take to say in his last interview, “No I would not donate to an anti gay measure again?”. It’s very clear he’s a homophobe, and I would not trust him for one moment to lead a company I worked for, and as a firefox user, I object as well.

Pat
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I don’t claim Eich was fired, and I would agree the letter is a word salad. I actually respect Eich for resigning, when he clearly was not going to succeed as CEO, and I would not respect (or believe) him if he “back pedaled”, which would not be a sign of business acumen in my book, though it would be a cynical move typical of today’s politicized leadership class.

As I said in another comment, the right were already protesting Eich’s reassertion of Mozilla’s diversity policies, and I don’t believe had he “evolved” and renounced his donation, he would have survived as CEO even if it pleased those that just wanted to hear the “right” words from him (some of whom have who also have said, here on this forum, that they would not care what he really believed). It was quite clear from his 2012 blog post that Eich rejects being framed as a bigot or hater for his donation, so why would you trust him as CEO if he merely changed his tune once the pressure was at a maximum?

The board were idiots to make him CEO in the first place, and irresponsible in not being prepared for this issue to come up again once they did. He’s clearly not stupid, and rather than play the martyr as the right would have had him do, he has consistently refused to speak out for anything except for the user sovereignty and the open web.

Ben
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I never claimed he was fired, I clearly wrote resigned.

On a spectrum from *what he actually did* over to a *sincere apology showing actual change* (which I do believe is possible) there are actions and words he could have undertaken that would leave me fine with him as CEO. What I am saying is that his words in that interview, along with his past actions, show him to be a pretty shitty person when it comes to respecting gay rights, and that leaves me unable to view him as a capable CEO.

When someone behaves as he did, I think it is absolutely within the right of Mozilla employees (even ones not working directly under him, his actions as CEO will still affect them) and Mozilla product users to make their complaints known via social media. It seems you agree at least on this part, that painting this as a pitchfork wielding gaystapo that needs to be distanced from by respectable gays is a ridiculous parody that should have been expected from Timothy (despite the hypocrisy), but is disappointing to see the other BtB writers sign onto.

Pat
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

And I am curious Ben: do you also know any homophobes whom you would work under or with? I suspect you do work under or with some and just don’t know it. Would you like to have a homophobe litmus test to ferret out the secret ones in the workplace? Would you institute one if you were CEO?

Pat
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I do agree with your last comment, and my point clarifying that Eich was not fired was not to imply you claimed he was, but was to contradict the letter the editors signed. Sorry that was not clear.

Ben
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I have a startup company, my husband and I are the co-founders, and the other two are definitely not homophobic. My litmus test would be anti gay comments, or actions, including if I remembered any applicants from recent anti-gay political movements or saw them on a list that funded them. (luckily we are well past that in Iceland)

If I were to discover that, I would absolutely pass on hiring them. As a co-founder, I’d be totally fine with asking point blank, what do you think about we co-founders being gay men, married, sometimes with foster kids in our house. If they expressed disagreement, I’d also pass. Again though, Iceland has taken much more concrete steps to curtail anti-gay actions, including passing full marriage equality and electing a lesbian prime minister, so these are not real life worries, and none of the chicken little Orwellian worry scenarios have played out here. (nor would they stateside if the ideas of protecting the weak were actually followed)

Ben
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Let’s follow this strawman all the way through. Let’s imagine on your resume you have to answer questions determining if you are a racist, anti-semite, homophobe, misogynist, etc, and that was grounds for not hiring. Is this really a slippery slope that people think 10-20 years later will be some kind of fascist regime punishing regular people for otherwise benign political views?

We *already* have a system in the US that punishes the weak when they check *felon* on their resume, or when they have a non-white sounding last name, or when they are born the wrong color, gender, or orientation. These are actual existing problems in 2014, and people are hand wringing about some hypothetical future when discouraging bigotry will morph into some kind of pseudo fascist regime of PC group-think. It’s ridiculous.

Pat
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I’m not wringing my hands over anything. I just don’t presume that my co-workers or leaders hold the same views as I do. And I don’t think there is a slippery slope, I think we live in an increasingly intolerant world, across all spectra.

Good for you for starting your own business. If it’s in California, know that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on an employee’s political views or action by state law (the labor code):

1101. No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:
(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.
(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

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.

I agree with and am in favor of such laws.

Pat
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Having said that, when you combine CA 1101 and 1102 with California’s “no hostile workplace” law along with its mandatory disclosure of political donations of $100 or more, and employers walk a bit of a mine field. How hostile could one claim a workplace is where many of their co-workers donated for a cause they felt threatened by? It’s an HR nightmare potentially.

Eric Payne
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Earlier today, in a 10-minute span of time, I posted 3 comments in 3 different threads here at BTB.

In two of those threads; in the third, my “message (was) being held for moderation.” So, in the Daily Agenda thread, I wrote (and immediately posted):

So… I’m on moderation? What conditions did I violate?

It was soon answered by Jim Burroway (welcome back, Jim. How was the trip?):

No, the spam software sometimes acts up. I’ve retrieved your comment.

I’ve spent a few hours mulling that answer over, and even questioned it, in private correspondence with Jim.

But…

1. Why would parameters of any software suddenly change without an operator changing the parameters of that software?

2. Software can experience “glitches,” but those glitches are normally consistent throughout the use of the software; if your media player suddenly won’t play mp4 files, it won’t play mp4 files.. not it won’t play the mp4 files of the Metropolitan Opera, but will play the mp4 files of The Grand Ol’ Opry.

3. Why would the software moderate me in only ONE thread… and it just happens to be the thread in which I’d been butting heads with Timothy (and to a lesser extent, Rob)?

I make this comment publicly on for the sake of complete transparency.

Eric Payne
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

I mean… wouldn’t it have been hypocritical, and extremely ironic, if I had been placed on moderation in a conversation which dealt with the possibility of someone’s job being threatened for the things they’d said/done as a private person?

Richard Rush
May 4th, 2014 | LINK

Eric, welcome to the club. I’ve been on moderation here at BTB, and had comments deleted.

Jim Burroway
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

I cannot explain why the anti-spam software places some comments in moderation, why it sends others straight to the spam queue (it does that with about 200-300 comments per hour), or why it allows others to pass without problems. The software appears to be about 99% accurate, but it’s far from perfect. Sometimes a legitimate comment goes straight to spam, sometimes it goes to the moderation queue. When the latter happens, it generates an email which I try to respond to as quickly as possible. Probably about 4/5s of the time it’s spam (as it was when I got another comment moderation email notification moments ago — anyone want a link for cheap Louis Vuitton luggage?), but sometimes it’s not.

The spam software, I believe, is adaptive, but I have no idea how it works. All I know is that its databases are being continually updated, and the software itself undergoes an update a few times a month.

I am the only one who places people on pre-emptive moderation. I haven’t placed anyone on moderation for several months, and it cannot be done on a thread-by-thread basis. WordPress simply does not provide that capability.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Jim,

Thank you for that explanation. When I hadn’t gotten an e-mail reply to, essentially, the same questions I posted in-thread, my inquisitive mind started questioning what “might” have happened. It was not my intent to cause any feelings of ill will with any of BTB‘s editors/contributors and, sincerely, hope that has not happened.

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

I’m still puzzled as to why this event triggered such a publicly political response and what the authors were hoping to achieve with what amounts to little more than a fit of pique. What line was theoretically crossed that would justify such a nasty squabble that only benefits out enemies? The BTB bloggers, who insist they are not right wingers (well, Timothy is libertarian, which is sui generis) suddenly aligning with the likes of Blankenhorn (and several of the also rans of the Institute for American Values), Charles Murray, and a slew of Homocons in such a public rebuke of gay activism is just bizarre. Did you guys not realize how bad the optics on this are for your credibility in gay rights and for gay rights in general? It’s like handing the religious right confirmation of one of their major memes.
I just don’t get it…Nothing stated in the letter or posted here has justified such a drastic move.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Etseq,

I understand, theoretically, “what line was crossed.” There are some who think a sort of “litmus test” was being put in place… the ultimate in “political correctness,” where a person’s employment could be terminated for espousing a political view which could, later, be an unpopular viewpoint, and being unwilling to publicly recant that viewpoint.

I understand that and, frankly, that’s a viewpoint with which I agree.

I think, though, this attempt was clumsy at best, and pandering at its worst. It assumed facts not in evidence; in fact, those very assumptions were directly refuted by everyone personally and directly involved with the matter the petition addresses.

This boiled down to a corporation — part philanthropic, part private business — that failed to vet a candidate for its CEO position as thoroughly as it should have. That, coupled with the mouth of an infamous conservative gay persona, snowballed into the actions taken by BTB and others.

I have to admit to enjoying the debate this thread engendered, and reading (and having a hand in) the twisting-in-the-wind of some of the commenters. But until some future action by our community’s enemies… until this petition is embraced from those who would deny our equality… I think it’s time to let it go.

It’s been fun; it’s been real. At times, it’s been real fun, but with marriage equality cases either now in, or headed to, every Federal Circuit court in the country, a SCOTUS re-visit will, almost definitely, be on the 2015 docket. If the Court fails to calendar a case in 2015… do we really want to risk a change in Washington, and have a case heard in a Presidential election year? While, to our faces, our “friends” claim to be equality minded, and have begun to prove that in state elections, the federal election history is the communit and pollsters are told one thing by voters… who, when they pull the curtain shut in their voting booth, then cast a ballot against us.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Ben,

I did not write the pitchfork commentary. Your recollection fails you.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

No I have not put any of your comments on moderation. I’ve had a busy weekend.

But thank you for making your paranoia completely transparent

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Etseq,

I have asked you to please link to where you found Maggie Gallagher making direct quotes. You have not done so. Let me clarify for you why I made that request.

If you wish to express what you think Gallagher thinks about various people, guess away. But you cannot (as in, it’s neither honest not allowed here) claim that she or anyone else said something and put it in quotes unless the words in quotes are, well, a quote. That’s what quotation marks are for: quotes.

So if you have a link to somewhere that she said that the signatories are “nice gays” and the non-signatories are “nasty gays”, please provide it. Otherwise, please refrain from putting words in anyone else’s mouth. Thank you.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

As I said in an e-mail earlier this morning to Jim:

Jim,

You state you are the only person at BTB who places anyone on moderation.

Yet, Timothy Kincaid has already threatened me with moderation, once, in response to http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2014/04/29/64265#comment-378022

Surprisingly, that is NOT in the Donald Sterling thread. But, in the Sterling thread, I had been taking Timothy Kincaid to task for not providing cites to back up his citations — a seeming violation of BTB’s rules for making comments.

Just from a user’s point of view, Jim… it looks like something fishy’s going on…. especially when I consider another salient point. Timothy Kincaid’s first threat of moderation was made on the trip where you were “unplugged.” Moderation in the Sterling thread began on your next trip to pick up your car… one on which I presume you were again unplugged.

I was a newspaper reporter in the Bay Area for a looong time. If the above set-of-facts had dropped on my desk, then… well, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck… but it could be a chicken with a cold.

So, Timothy, your quickness at labeling something, in others, a mental health issue is quite telling.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

As I said in an e-mail earlier this morning to Jim:

Jim,

You state you are the only person at BTB who places anyone on moderation.

Yet, Timothy Kincaid has already threatened me with moderation, once, in response to http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2014/04/29/64265#comment-378022

Surprisingly, that is NOT in the Donald Sterling thread. But, in the Sterling thread, I had been taking Timothy Kincaid to task for not providing cites to back up his citations — a seeming violation of BTB’s rules for making comments.

Just from a user’s point of view, Jim… it looks like something fishy’s going on…. especially when I consider another salient point. Timothy Kincaid’s first threat of moderation was made on the trip where you were “unplugged.” Moderation in the Sterling thread began on your next trip to pick up your car… one on which I presume you were again unplugged.

I was a newspaper reporter in the Bay Area for a looong time. If the above set-of-facts had dropped on my desk, then… well, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck… but it could be a chicken with a cold.

So, Timothy, your quickness at labeling something, in others, a mental health issue is quite telling.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

When you get a “your comment is awaiting moderation” its a reasonable assumption that someone has done that. It may be an erroneous assumption but it is reasonable nevertheless.

vergil arma
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

etseq

the petition was an exercise in a)intellecutal narcissism, wanting to seem morally superior and lecture others in the gay rights movement about a non-existent extremism–tisani is a narcissist extraordinaire– and b)political naivete and self-destructiveness, gratuitously feeding the gay mafia meme which will be used against us.

at least corvino has admitted that he wavered before jumping aboard this disaster.

but what’s done is done, and this blatant demonstration of lack of political judgment and the willingness to turn and fire on their fellow soldiers will mar whatever past contributions the signers may have made to our movement.

they have demonstrated beyond all doubt they are no longer to be trusted.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

Believe whatever you like.

Priya Lynn,

Perhaps it might have been more useful for you to recall that you’ve emailed us in the past when a comment got stuck in moderation by the spam filter and we immediately went and cleared it.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy, I don’t ever recall getting a “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message. As I recall everytime I emailed you about a comment that didn’t post I didn’t get any message at all, the comment just didn’t appear and when I tried to post it again I got the message “Duplicate comment detected – it looks like you’ve already said that.”.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

I don’t know whether our site uses “your comment is awaiting moderation” or not. I’m inclined to think that it doesn’t as usually the emails are along the lines of “my comment didn’t show up. why not?”.

As you’ve both been put on moderation and also had your comments held by the spam filter, you probably know better than anyone else if it does.

Maybe someone else has seen a notice like that here? Or perhaps Eric got our site confused with somewhere else.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Yes, you get a “Your comment is awaiting moderation” when you are placed on moderation. I only ever remember seeing that message after I was informed I was on moderation.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Odd.

Well Jim is the only one who can put someone on preemptive moderation (I can put a comment on hold, but only after it’s posted).

And I believe Jim.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

Before you embarrass yourself any further questioning the mental health and/or veracity of BTB‘s readers, perhaps it may behoove you to speak with Jim?

Just a suggestion. Take it, or leave it, as you see fit.

Just one thing though: As someone who was a successful free-lance writer, based out of the Bay Area for many years (I actually made a living out of it, and ghosted a NYT‘s nonfiction best-seller that, though 21 years old, you’ve, probably, read), it may behoove you not to question the mental health of your readers.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

I’m not saying Jim is lying, what I’m saying is that to the best of my recollection I’ve never gotten a “your comment is awaiting moderation” message unless I had previously been informed by Jim that I was on moderation.

Jim Burroway
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

I will simply restate what I’ve said many times before. And what I told Eric privately, which he apparently chose not to believe. It has been many months since I have placed anyone on moderation. As the blog’s owner, I am the only one who does that, and it takes a persistent violation of our comments policy for me to do it. It’s very rare for me to do so.

The spam software gets it right more than 99% of the time. But it’s not perfect. Sometimes it places a legit comment in the spam bucket, although as far as I know that’s extremely rare. More common, a spam comment gets “passed” as a legit comment and I have to go and pull it. That happens several times a day. And occasionally the software will sit a comment in the moderation queue and notifies me via email. Most of the time, it’s spam, but sometimes not.

Up until recently, the spam software was successfully blocking 200-300 spam comments per hour. When I cleared the spam cache this morning I noticed that the pace is now up to about 400-500 spam comments per hour. That’s the consequence, I suppose, of growing traffic. While it’s not perfect, I think you will agree that without it the comments section would be utterly useless.

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

Drop the false bravado – it comes across as camp not butch. You don’t intimidate me in any way, especially intellectually. Eric Payne answered your question for me above and I saw no reason to play your little games. You know exactly what I meant and if you aren’t aware of how our enemies are using your bold manifesto, then that just proves you have no business play acting as some amateur activist.

Here is the section of her blog post where she is full Maggie victim mode decrying the “regnant liberal class” using its totalitarian power to crush all dissent. She then gives Andrew Sullivan a shout out for his support in opposing these totalitarian liberals and she then cites your petition of as proof that said “regnant liberal class” is worrying about these extremist gay activists. Nice little trick she pulls – simultaneously praising you good “liberals” for chastising us “bad liberals” while at the same time implying that you good liberals are hypocrites and don’t have the courage to follow through on your convictions. In a twisted way, she gets it right with that last bit – you guys blinked because you didn’t want to be pegged as one of those “radical” gays that actually want to change society as much as possible so that gay kids don’t have to any sort of homophobia, even when it is dressed up in the guise of liberal tolerance.
I still cannot fathom how this incident out of all the injustices in the world somehow roused you BTB boys to get political and sign a conservative attack on gay people.

http://maggiegallagher.com/2014/05/cooper-mozilla-firefox/

“We learn from the reaction to Brendan Eich that this kind of strong-arm public punishment makes the regnant liberal class nervous. They don’t like it. Andrew Sullivan bless him, took enormous heat for recognizing what this case means, what it stands for: punishing by the threat of unemployment, divergent views. He rebelled. Bless him.

But none of the negative objections moved Mozilla, or the power structures that be. At least not yet.

I just learned of a public statement by gay marriage advocates opposing in the name of liberal and humane values this kind of threat to people’s employment. The signatories including Jonathan Rauch, Will Saletan, David Blankenhorn and James Kirchick, all of whom emphatically support gay marriage but say: “the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which LGBT people were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.”

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

This is the message I receive every time I post:

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I ask again, why am I being moderated??

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Jim,

I didn’t say I didn’t believe you.

All I said in my e-mail of today, (posted above) was to make you aware moderation had occurred with me, again, in this one specific thread, tried to delicately ask you if, possibly someone at BTB had usurped their authority during your recent absences without your knowledge! and provided you with a link, in a completely different thread! which served as a basis for me to make that set of circumstances! for me! viable.

For me, the issue was dead…

Until I came back to this thread and read the rather disparaging remarks from Timothy concerning the status of my mental health, at which point, I responded with the full text of the e-mail I had sent you earlier in the day.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

etseq,

I am not sure what is causing the problem. But when I tried to reply just now, my response simply disappeared: not in the comments, the spam, the trash, or the pending. It looks like there may be a problem with WordPress. I’ll let Jim know.

Also I have looked in the pending comments and don’t see any from you. I have no clue why you’re seeing that message.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Eric Payne,

So, just to clarify, by “tried to delicately ask you if, possibly someone at BTB had usurped their authority during your recent absences without your knowledge!” you mean that you were not saying you don’t believe Jim, merely that you think that I am lying to you.

So noted.

I’m not, incidentally, lying to you.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

etseq

In the article you linked, the words “repugnant liberal class” do not appear. Nor do the words “bad liberals”.

In the future, kindly DO NOT put words in quotes unless they are quotes. It’s dishonest.

Eric Payne
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

Wow.

However you wish to interpret my e-mail to Jim, Timothy. I don’t care. Interpret it to mean just what it says, or what you believe it says, or items loaned from Special Collections are due before noon on Tuesday. It really makes no difference to me. Jim, apparently, had no difficulties in understanding it; I, apparently, did not have difficulty stating my point.

You’re input is simply superfluous.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy said “In the article you linked, the words “repugnant liberal class” do not appear. Nor do the words “bad liberals”.”.

I didn’t see where he used the word repugnant. I did see “regnant” which means “reigning” (I had to look it up). That was in Maggie’s article.

Timothy Kincaid
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Thank you, Priya Lynn

You’re right. Those words were included in her essay. I revised my comment to etseq. My apologies.

However “bad liberals” does not and should not be in quotes.

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

So the new rule now is that one must block quote third parties with no explanation or explication? Maggie approved of your dichotomy between gay rights supporters who value unfettered speech and view social opprobrium as an illegitimate political strategy and the rest of us who reject this “free” speech fetishism and seek more than just limited liberal tolerance but a transformation of society so that LGBT people are valued just as much as heterosexuals. She fears a society where heterosexuality isn’t privileged in both law and culture and she rightly recognizes that your limited theory of politics and cultural change is much less likely to achieve that goal. Look, you guys are the ones who have made this proclamation laden with normative political and ethical claims so one would think you would vigorously defend it. Surely you intended it to persuade other gay rights supporters or was it meant as some sort of signal to the right?
Its called analysis Timothy – you are free to ignore it but that leads me to believe you have no real rebuttal to the arguments and are just retreating into pettiness.

etseq
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy – I used quotes for that phrase ironically – please refrain from accusing me of dishonesty or dictating rules of punctuation for my comments.

Jim Burroway
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

So the new rule now is that one must block quote third parties with no explanation or explication?

Not sure that it’s a “new rule” per se, but it is in the spirit of our longstanding comments policy:

Strawman arguments. Please restrict your discussions to what someone actually says. Do not stretch the meaning of someone’s words to go far beyond what that person actually said or wrote.

…Unsubstantiated claims, for example, claims which are not backed by direct quotes, links, or bibliographic references from independent sources.

To help clarify the point, I have added the following note for future reference:

NOTE: We strongly encourage commenters to include links and blockquotes of sources whenever appropriate. When doing so, please keep in mind that comments with four or more links may be automatically marked by the blog software for moderation. You can post multiple comments to avoid this. Otherwise, we will release such a comment from moderation as quickly as possible

This has been a longstanding practice with many longtime BTB regulars. We have also regularly challenged each other to provide references to back up claims. This is nothing new. It helps to not only keep the discussions honest, but hopefully to also keep it somewhat grounded in reality.

Priya Lynn
May 5th, 2014 | LINK

Etseq said “Timothy – I used quotes for that phrase [bad liberals] ironically – please refrain from accusing me of dishonesty or dictating rules of punctuation for my comments.”.

That’s how I saw it. I didn’t think you were attempting to attribute that phrase to Maggie as it wasn’t included in the much more significant part of her statment that you did place in quotes.

Michigan-Adam
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

“But thank you for making your paranoia completely transparent”

Dude, that was kinda gratuitously mean.

Priya Lynn
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Yeah, Michigan-Adam, that was unfair. It was not an unreasonable assumption on his part.

Timothy Kincaid
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Michigan-Adam,

“But thank you for making your paranoia completely transparent”

Dude, that was kinda gratuitously mean.

Yeah, it probably was. It’s not a very good excuse, but by that time I was pretty tired of his insinuations that I had secretly waited until Jim was traveling so that I could block his comments.

But you’re right. While, “that sounds totally paranoid” might be fine in personal conversation, it probably wasn’t appropriate here.

Priya Lynn
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

That was very big of you Timothy.

Merv
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Troubling news: The homofascist gaystapo has once again grabbed their pitchforks and torches and are now in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel urging a boycott, simply because the hotel is owned by a foreign leader trying to uphold traditional Islamic values of executing gay people in his home country. There is no evidence that the Sultan of Brunei has allowed his duties as leader of Brunei to interfere in any way with the gay-tolerant policies of his hotel. How do we respond to this outrage? I believe we must draw up a letter supporting the principle that a political leaders’ private business interests are off limits. Who’s with me?

Rob Tisinai
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Not me, Merv. Based on what I wrote above, I’d say that stoning gay people is clear evidence that the Sultan views gays so inferior that they do not even deserve to exist, making him an easy example of homophobia, which like racism, anti-Semitism, and a host of other toxic bigotries, is a derangement, a flaw of judgment and character, quite enough to make us question a person’s ability (and suitability) to lead.

Merv
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, I might agree with you if he were the Sultan of San Francisco, but he’s the leader of a conservative Islamic country, where his views are in the overwhelming majority. We can’t conclude someone is a bigot just because his views align with the majority. That’s ridiculous. It can take years for societal views to evolve, and we shouldn’t push too hard against time-honored cultural mores. I haven’t seen any homosexuals getting stoned to death at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and that should be good enough for now.

Timothy Kincaid
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Just FYI, I share the opinion of Rob and not Merv

Rob Tisinai
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Well, Merv, you’re welcome to make that argument, but as I explained in my last comment, it’s not the reasoning I’ve been using.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Oh, geez, it would be funny, if there weren’t real lives at stake here.

I understand the point you’ve made here, merv, and enjoyed that last little twist-in-the-wind.

Timothy Kincaid
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

But Rob, don’t you know that contributing to a campaign that would cause same-sex unions to be called domestic partnerships is exactly the same as imposing a law that would penalize homosexuality by stoning to death. That’s why you’re clearly a hypocrite twisting in the wind. Because they are exactly the same.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid said:

But Rob, don’t you know that contributing to a campaign that would cause same-sex unions to be called domestic partnerships is exactly the same as imposing a law that would penalize homosexuality by stoning to death. That’s why you’re clearly a hypocrite twisting in the wind. Because they are exactly the same.

And now, finally, there it is.

You believe that Prop 8 was “a campaign that would cause same-sex unions to be called domestic partnerships.”

That isn’t “all” Prop 8 did.

California already had a domestic partnership law, in which some of the legal rights given to civil married straight couples were given to those in a state-registered domestic partnership. Some. Not all — and this was pre-Windsor, so there were no federal benefits! at all.

Prop 8, if the Court had allowed it to stand, would have limited the legal benefits a couple in California received to those delineated in the state’s domestic partnership statute… and could have been used in a legal challenge to that statute, itself.

Prop 8, if the Court had allowed it to stand, would have stripped from thousands of California residents the rights inherent in a civil marriage. As an employer, Mozilla (as a corporate entity) and it’s CEO (personally, regardless of whom that might be) would have been exempted and shielded from civil claims against them.

Prop 8, if the Court had allowed it to stand, would have undone legal familial protections given to civil married couples, impacting those couples lives on a scale as vast as Estate planning and as miniscule as needing permission from a “natural” parent to pick up a child at school.

Prop 8 would have caused a sea-change in the lives of gay couples in California, and had built-in the very real threat of reversing every gay rights advance at the whim of the voter.

But, Timothy, you believe all it would have done was change the name of a same-sex living arrangement? If ignorance is bliss, you must be one of the happiest persons on the planet.

Michigan-Adam
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy,

Re no excuse. I undertstand where your coming from. I certainly wouldn’t have the fortitude to keep up with all the comments and etc. Heck, I can barely keep up as a lurker. Anyway, kudos for acknowledging the error. Cheers.

Timothy Kincaid
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Eric,

If you are a California resident, then you likely know that by 2008, there were no legal benefits that were stripped, that state law delineated precisely the same legal benefits, and all legal familial protections given to civil married couples were precisely the same as those given to domestic partnered couples.

I fiercely opposed Proposition 8. But you have listed a litany of differences that simply didn’t exist.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Gee, Timothy, you really are one happy camper.

Priya Lynn
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

“If you are a California resident, then you likely know that by 2008, there were no legal benefits that were stripped, that state law delineated precisely the same legal benefits, and all legal familial protections given to civil married couples were precisely the same as those given to domestic partnered couples.

I fiercely opposed Proposition 8. But you have listed a litany of differences that simply didn’t exist.”

The differences didn’t exist in 2008 but they would exist later on. Anyone who truly believed there was and never would be a difference between “marriages” and “domestic partnerships” wouldn’t have been opposed to gay unions being called marriages. The only reason to oppose doing so is because you believed they would be treated differently.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Priya,

Our happy camper is forgetting the tactics of NOM in other states where the voters backed “marriage is for straights, only!” Initiatives (Michigan immediately comes to mind),

They the filed a challenge to domestic partnership benefits given by the state to its employees, and had those benefits revoked. From there, it was a simple step to the domestic partnership statutes, themselves, arguing those statues gave “benefits of marriage” to couples the voters had determined should not receive those benefits.

But, you know, reality can be such a downer!

vergil arma
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

it’s sort of nauseating and at the same time mildly entertaining to watch the box turtle boys twist themselves into such pretzels defending anti-gay bigots and their own treacherous and ill conceived petition.

etseq
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Cognitive dissonance anyone? Hyper-literalist comment policy for gay commenters on a blog that champions the free speech rights (no quotes allowed for ironic use of the words free speech) and non-judgmental pluralism for our enemies.

I still find it a bit surreal to see all the same tactics and talking points of anti-gay activists suddenly repurposed by others (mainly Timothy) to defend that silly rallying call for the defense of…well, something. It keeps shifting from free speech, religion, pluralism, etc.

I’m not sure this place will ever be the same unless some amends are made by the BTB bloggers but if anything, they have dug in their heels and doubled down. What a shame…

Adam
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy, your comment that Prop 8 was just about whether the institution would be a domestic partnership or would be termed marriage is self-serving and ahistorical.

Eich gave $1,000 two weeks before the election to ProtectMarriage.com ($500 each on 10/25 and 10/28). At that point, the ProtectMarriage campaign had been in full swing for months, and the horrible ads like “Princes” claiming schools would “indoctrinate” kids against “traditional marriage” had been running almost non stop.

You yourself said it was a “campaign of complete dishonesty.” (http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/11/08/6023). You also called one ad that said gay marriage was unnecessary because gay domestic partners have the same legal rights an “appeal to bigotry.” (http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/10/30/5576). In a 9-27-08 post you lauded an editorial from a Tracy newspaper for saying “marriage and domestic partnerships are not the same.” [I'm not putting links in now to avoid the filter]. On 9-26-08 you linked to a Forbes article where businesses talked about how difficult it was for them to comply with domestic partnership laws versus marriage because of different benefits between the two.

If you sincerely believe that Eich’s donation in support of Prop 8 was about a campaign over semantics, maybe you can write a whole post explaining the reasons for your about face.

Timothy Kincaid
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Adam,

Of course I don’t think Prop 8 was merely semantics. And as you noted, it was vile and appealed mostly to the darker side of one’s nature.

Do you agree with me that is was not exactly the same as stoning gay people to death?

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

There’s a breeze in the room.

Feeling especially blissful, huh, Tim.

etseq
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Maggie couldn’t have said it any better herself Timothy – no wonder she was so pleased with the your homocon J’Accuse…

Adam
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

With regard all the same rights, post-prop 8 legislative fixes belie your claim that domestic partnerships were equal to marriage. A sampling:

- 2007′s AB 102 which went into effect on January 1, 2009 finally enabled domestic partners to change their name the same as married partners could (so it wouldn’t count as fraud any longer), prohibited business from discriminating against them based on their new name, and enabled the DMV to use D.P. documents for identity.

- 2010′s AB 2055 equalized eligibility for unemployment benefits for domestic partners.

- 2011′s SB 651 (the very post-prop 8 “Domestic Partnership Equality Act) equalized criteria for DPs and marriages, allowed for a confidential DP registry (like marriages had).

- 2011′s SB 757 finally required out-of-state insurers to treat CA domestic partners the same as spouses.

To your tangent, I definitely agree that stoning to death is not the same as Prop 8. But then again, your question to me doesn’t come in the context of me spending a month saying that it’s harmful to liberal values to side with people who don’t want to work for someone supporting a vile and base campaign to strip them of their rights.

Nathaniel
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Rob, I know it has been several days since you posted this, but I would like to suggest a correction (my apologies if somebody has already pointed this out, but I am not reading over 200 comments to find the one that offers a correction). With respect to the votes in 2012, I do recall 5 states held referenda on marriage equality, but we lost one. Believe me, I am reminded every day that my home state is currently the last state to enshrine anti-gay discrimination in its constitution. However, “we” did sweep the 4 votes held in November 2012.

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