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Mozilla’s CEO Steps Down For His Belief in Traditional Marriage

By on Apr 3, 2014 | 7 comments

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So Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, has been pushed aside by the “tolerance” brigade.

His crime? Donating $1000 to the pro traditional marriage side in 2008. Keep in mind this is the same position that Barack Obama held running for office in 2008 and his constituents in California who voted overwhelmingly for Obama also voted in support of Proposition 8 and thus traditional marriage. In fact, it is a belief that Barack Obama and the majority of Democrats held right up until the 2012 election.

While I expect any company will make decisions because of their bottom line and can see a case where short sighted thinking would lead them to believe this might harm Mozilla’s business in the long run – the idea that a political belief that does not harm others, it’s merely one man’s belief, can cause someone to be fired is a disturbing precedent.

The thought process revealed by Mozilla’s Executive Chairwoman here is stunning.  Its as if they were living amongst a serial killer and are being interviewed by the local news with the typical, “he was quiet, kept to himself, I had no idea.”

Baker said that she had not known about Eich’s views on gay marriage throughout most of their working relationship, until the donation came to light last year.

“That was shocking to me, because I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” she said, noting that there was a long and public community process about what to do about it in which Eich, then CTO, participated. “But I overestimated that experience.”

Baker — who became emotional at one point during the interview — noted that she was “doing a fair amount of self-reflection and I am wondering how did I miss it that this would matter more when he was the CEO.”

Do we have the ability to donate to causes we believe in anymore if roving bands of  “tolerance” gangs can bully any company by identifying one employee who gave to a cause they disagree with and demand their head?

Or will future employment mean that we have to silence our beliefs in the public square in order to be employed?

Supporting traditional marriage does not mean you are anti-gay or intolerant or a bigot. It actually means you want to preserve the word associated with a centuries old tradition while not taking away any legal rights from any gay couple.  I say this as someone who thinks there is a conservative case for gay marriage but also respects and cherishes the various viewpoints of my fellow contributors at Pocket Full of Liberty on this issue.

Our society will become a boring place once we all believe the same thing or at least fear saying anything different.

If it’s heresy to to differ from anyone else, no one will be special, no one will move us forward, and we will stagnate and rot away while nodding our heads in perfect agreement.

I submit that Mozilla does not understand a word of what they wrote in their press release 

Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

I normally loathe the “boycott this because of that” but the precedent Mozilla set by caving to such capricious demands has made me consider whether I want to use their services in the future.  I feel trapped into this awful paradigm where something as insignificant as what browser I use must reinforce my core beliefs.

My most mundane choices in commodities and services are now how I define myself instead of my own words and thoughts. I cannot say I comprehend the expectation that businesses must have complete ideological alignment with my beliefs. I’m a person that believes in simplicity. If they make something I like that’s better than anyone else, I’m generally inclined to buy it or use it. I don’t spend my time confirming ideological alignment with their core management staff before I purchase or use an item.

A world where ones political beliefs are cause for dismissal is not a world I want to see.  Let the free market weigh in now that Mozilla has decided to push out the man who invented javascript and co- founded their company.

I suspect they might miss his skill and talent more than his lack of perfect ideological alignment.

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Amy Otto, contributor is a founding member of Pocket Full of Liberty . She also is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist and her work has been featured at Townhall and the UK site The Conservative Woman. Amy has worked in healthcare for over 18 years. Her work shifted from bench science to oversight of drug development and commercialization. Mom of three. California transplant. Steadfast Philadelphia Eagles fan. Armchair Oenophile. Capitalist. Amy received her BS in Biochemistry from University of Delaware and an MBA from Pepperdine University with a focus in Conflict Management and Resolution. Follow Amy on twitter @AmyOtto8

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  1. sqeptiq

    April 3, 2014

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    I don’t like this business of firing/suspending people who are competent at their jobs, and conduct themselves properly in the workplace, because of social/political views expressed on their own time and their own dime. Even disliked it when MSNBC gave Pat Buchanan the sack over nasty views contained in his book Suicide of a Superpower. He’s a dinosaur, but he ain’t the only one, and suppressing views we detest and driving them underground to fester, encourages hypocrisy, deceit and subterfuge. Not good things.

    But, given the appetite many conservatives and liberals alike have for taking heads, or at least trying to take heads, through boycotts and firings, we’ll probably see an acceleration of the tendency of Americans of differing ideological stripes to sort ourselves out into separate and relatively homogeneous workplaces, residential and recreational communities, and churches; partake of different entertainments; etc. It’s a free market solution, albeit a gloomy one, and it seems more and more likely as the idea of achieving American unity seems ever more fanciful.

    • Amy Otto

      April 3, 2014

      Post a Reply

      This entire incident is chilling at best. The man did nothing wrong in his role at work and yet here we are. I would have hoped that Mozilla would stand behind its cofounder instead of cave to OK Cupid’s pandering/ free advertisement.

  2. Jack

    April 4, 2014

    Post a Reply

    Don’t forget that the CEO’s private donation was made public when the IRS leaked NOM’s tax returns,
    that included donor lists, to a Gay Advocacy group.

  3. Peter

    April 4, 2014

    Post a Reply

    I will never use FF again. I would rather side with actual bigots than fascists. I am Catholic and was a supporter of full legal rights for gay couples. They have now informed me that I am a bigot and unfit for employment. This is the left’s totalitarian instinct on display and you have to punch a bully twice as hard. No more FF.

  4. Ralph Daub

    April 4, 2014

    Post a Reply

    Hi Amy,

    As a full time, paid contributor at Mozilla, I would like to clarify that Mozilla did not fire Brendan Eich, and that the internal feelings regarding him are very different than what you may have read on the press from people not related to Mozilla.

    Brendan Eich chose to step down as a Mozilla CEO because of the firestorm that happened outside of Mozilla and, was outside of Mozilla’s control. My understanding is that he chose to step down because of the toxic environment and negative press that he, himself, believed that would remain as long as he remained linked with Mozilla.

    I will also note that the quote from Mitchel Baker you posted has been taken completely out of context. The feeling from Mitchel Baker and the great majority of Mozillians around the world is that we respect and admire Brendan Eich as a person, technologist, co-founder of Mozilla, and creator of Javascript, and we would have very much liked that Brendan Eich stayed with us. However, he decided this would hurt Mozilla and decided to take some time off.

    I have never personally me Brendan Eich, but from what I’ve heard of the many people that have met him, is that he is a very humble person and have never imposed his personal, political, or religious views in the workplace.

    This is a very sad time for the Open Web, and I hope that I was able to clarify some confusion that has been going around.

    Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or personal concerns about this.


    - Ralph
    Firefox OS Support Coordinator

    • Amy Otto

      April 4, 2014

      Post a Reply

      this was a quote from the Mozilla feed yesterday ” “@mozilla We are an org that believes in openness & that no one should be persecuted for the beliefs they hold, no matter what they are.”

      oddly, its deleted today. Everyone at Mozilla should have stood up and backed Eich instead of making him think the best thing to do would be to leave. Instead there was a bunch of statements that were direct quotes in context that sounded like he was a serial killer not just someone who gave money to a political cause in 2008.

  5. Voyager

    April 4, 2014

    Post a Reply

    The thing that I find most concerning about this is if Mozilla is willing to cave on this, what else are they willing to cave on? Nearly every part of my life goes through my web browser at some point. If all it takes is a big enough mob clamoring at their door for them to do something, what chance do I have of them respecting my rights or my privacy?


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