Surely the facts are not in dispute – or shouldn’t be.
In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself.
Oh really? Well a great many LGBT citizens have to “keep it to themselves,” for there are 29 state where can be fired simply for being gay: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Does The World’s Worst Newspaper care? I doubt it. It never mentions this salient fact.
On Thursday, Brendan Eich, who has helped develop some of the web’s most important technologies, resigned under pressure as chief executive of Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox web browser, just two weeks after taking the job. The reason? In 2008, he donated $1,000 in support of Proposition 8, a California measure that banned same-sex marriage.
Once Mr. Eich’s support for Proposition 8 became public, the reaction was swift, with a level of disapproval that the company feared was becoming a threat to its reputation and business.
For example, OkCupid, a popular online dating service, set up a letter, visible to those visiting its site on Firefox, that castigated the chief executive. “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” the letter said. “We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.”
A very nice (and commercially canny) gesture. But don’t mistake a business for an activist organization.
The letter, which has since been removed, concluded that “those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”
Mr. Eich’s departure from the small but influential Mountain View, Calif., company highlights the growing potency of gay-rights advocates in an area that, just a decade ago, seemed all but walled off to their influence: the boardrooms of major corporations.
Which is of course a bad thing, right?
But it is likely to intensify a debate about the role of personal beliefs in the business world and raise questions about the tolerance for conservative views inside a technology industry long dominated by progressive and libertarian voices.
“Personal beliefs”? You mean gayness is a religion? Who do we worship then?
Andrew Sullivan, a prominent gay writer and an early, influential proponent of making same-sex marriage legal, expressed outrage over Mr. Eich’s departure on his popular blog, saying the Mozilla chief had been “scalped by some gay activists.”
Now really, Sully — “Scalped”?
We take precautions you know. Unlike you.
“If this is the gay rights movement today — hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else — then count me out,” Mr. Sullivan wrote.
Or better still Oh Cruella! –
Not to be outdone, William Saletan of Slate
Some of my colleagues are celebrating. They call Eich a bigot who got what he deserved. I agree. But let’s not stop here. If we’re serious about enforcing the new standard, thousands of other employees who donated to the same anti-gay ballot measure must be punished.
More than 35,000 people gave money to the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that declared, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” You can download the entire list, via the Los Angeles Times, as a compressed spreadsheet.. .
Why do these bigots still have jobs? Let’s go get them.
Oh yes we all know you want to do that (. . . NOT)
The end of Eich need not be a defeat for free expression, or an open culture. He was absolutely free to make his donation, to have his own beliefs, even to decline to discuss them. Mozilla’s supporters, advocates and, unusually, even its own employees were equally free to express their concerns, support or dismay at the choice. Mozilla was absolutely free to appoint anyone – whether nudist, buddhist, activist, or biblist – as CEO. It still is.
And on that note the only MOZ I really care for will sing us out