Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Responds to Prop 8 Controversy, Doesn’t Share Personal Views on Gay Rights

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich wrote a post on his blog yesterday in response to outrage over his donation to California's Proposition 8 campaign which does not mention the donation directly and does not say what his personal views are now.

EichSays Eich in the message:

I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results.

Eich says Mozilla will make an "active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building", work with LGBT communities and allies, abide by its inclusive health benefits and anti-discrimination policies, and make a personal commitment to work on outreach initiatives to those who feel exclued.

Adds Eich:

I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.

An early comment on the post (now gone), questioned Eich about what his current views on same-sex marriage are. Comments are now under moderation, and none appear.

Earlier this week Mozilla released a 'diversity' statement in response to the controversy. Developers Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael have decided to boycott the Mozilla community entirely.

Comments

  1. Alex says

    there wasn’t an apology to accept, was there? expressing sorrow for causing pain? eh, lukewarm at best

  2. blast it says

    I switched to Mozilla Firefox after getting fed up w/ Google Chrome. Now what? IE? ugh.

  3. Rad says

    …I just switched from IE and Safari to Mozilla. Ya know… print and paper. I think I will just go back to reading printed news and using paper to send letters.

  4. Sacha says

    As a gay man, I’m officially tired of this need to go after those who do not share the same views as I do. Do I agree with Mr. Eich? No, but I’m not going to demonize someone for having a different belief system. He didn’t donate to a organization bent on criminalizing homosexuality or persecuting us. He disagrees with gay marriage, it’s his right, and it is important to learn to agree to disagree. Education is more important. This only ends up as ammunition for those who are truly homophobic and use this against us.

  5. Tad says

    Sacha, No one is going after him the same way he went after preventing gay people from getting married in California. It’s his right to not agree with gay marriage but he actively donated money to prevent gay marriage, and in the process interrupted and disrupted thousands of lives in California. No one is entitled to use mozilla.

  6. Eugene says

    @Sacha

    First of all, marriage is part of “homosexuality”, not some kind of superficial add-on. And, in terms of freedom of speech, marriage is no different from sodomy laws – an organization “bent on criminalizing homosexuality” also has a “different belief system” and wants to impose it on others through the law. Ultimately, Eich didn’t want to “agree to disagree” on gay marriage. He wanted to outlaw it, and that’s the complete opposite.

  7. Mark says

    Sacha: It’s not an either/or choice. You can still educate people and hold off using their product until they sincerely evolve. We’ve seen it done before. It can be done again.

  8. JackFknTwist says

    @ SACHA :

    So you’re getting tired !
    Well, too effing bad.
    ACT UP didn’t get tired.
    Harvey Milk didn’t get tired and paid with his life.
    All those who struggled against discrimination everywhere couldn’t afford to get tired……sometimes their lives depended on not getting tired.

    This oaf contributed against our rights; he sought to deny equality.
    It’s not an issue of ‘choice’…..it’s a civil rights issue and this oaf is a traitor.
    I never want to see your inane comments again.

  9. woody says

    oh, herr eichmann
    your company should realize that the future growth of tech companies is tied to youth, and young people don’t like bigots. big mistake to put you at the helm.

  10. steve says

    Shame on him for at least not dealing with the issue head on. Did I get to vote on his marriage? Pathetic.

  11. Rev. Verdon Coleman says

    Mr. Eich, you don’t have to share your personal views on gay rights. Your monetary donation spoke for you.

  12. Paul says

    It seems this man’s deeply held religious beliefs were miraculously overcome by a fat paycheck.

  13. Muscular says

    Agreed, this is a non-apology apology. To apologize, the committer of an offending action needs to take responsibility for his actions and show remorse to those that were harmed. He failed to do that in his statement. Despite his donation, Mozilla is trying to show it isn’t an anti-gay organization. “At this point, what should he or Mozilla do? Dropping his pants, bending over, and getting his ass wacked by a 300 pound gay weightlifter isn’t an option. Clearly all the people involved want to move on from this issue in the past.

  14. says

    @Sacha: Whether he disagrees with “gay marriage” (which, obviously, is his right) isn’t really the issue: he donated money–an action–to a group who sought to deprive us of civil rights. Actions against a group of people are different than simply not sharing views.

    As for going after him, we have every right as consumers to decide which products we want to use, for whatever reason. In this case, people who feel uncomfortable using a product that indirectly supports Mr. Eich don’t need to justify that decision with him or anyone else. The consumer’s the boss.

    I never liked Firefox so it’s easy not to use it. Simple enough.

  15. JT says

    To show that he now supports equal rights and that this isn’t all just damage control lip service, why not donate $1000 to a pro-lgbt cause? I think actions do speak louder than words, so lets see some constructive pro-lgbt action. It’s pretty obvious his views haven’t changed. $1000 is chump change to a CEO.

  16. plinx says

    I understand the sentiments of the commenters here, but I’m wondering what you would have this guy do? Don’t we WANT these guys to change their minds? The reason we’re winning the gay marriage battle is because lots of straight folks have changed their minds about the issue: you have to give them room to do so. Look at it another way: What will the lunatics at Family Action Council et al. say about this? You know they’ll call him a traitor for “bending” to the all-powerful gay lobby. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, guys. Hammer him for donations and pro-LGBT policies at his company and chalk it up as a win.

  17. Gerry says

    I have mixed feelings about this… yes, he was and probably still is against marriage equality, but it obviously isn’t going to bleed over into his stewardship of Mozilla. On the other hand, would Mozilla have appointed him as CEO if he would have given $1000 to the KKK, probably not. It is still somewhat socially acceptable to be anti-gay. We also have CEOs (such as hobby lobby) against paying for contraceptive health care. I’m not getting rid of Firefox… Mozilla has done a great deal for the Open Source community… however, there is nothing wrong with expressing shock and displeasure.

  18. says

    PLINX, I don’t care if straight people don’t change their minds. When slavery was ended lots of people believed it should’ve stayed put, but that doesn’t matter because people have rights. I’m so sick of people thinking that we have to bend our will to our oppressors so that we can actually get things done. Civil rights are civil rights and should be given even if the majority isn’t in favor. I don’t care if every single straight person in the world was against me, that doesn’t change the fact that I should be treated equally to them. I wouldn’t kiss a white man’s ass as a black man to get respect and I sure as hell won’t kiss a straight mans ass to get respect as a gay man.

  19. Sergio says

    Mozilla has failed the LGBT community. The ramifications will be severe, and I hope they understand that.

  20. Randy says

    So he lives in california, which allows same sex marriage, and he still cant bring himself to say that he supports the law of the land? What does he do, silently pray every night that somehow this will all be reversed?

    Get over it! Wt least admit that marriage equality hasn’t stopped you from marrying whom you like.

  21. Jay says

    As a member of the tech community I will be looking forward to those actions and results Mr. Eich has committed to. I also look forward to him personally making progress, I believe today with his statement he is starting that process. This is not about pleasing a minority but about being human, recognizing when one is wrong and bettering ones self. Good luck in your journey Mr. Eich.

  22. shawnthesheep says

    Yeah, his diversity statement was a bitchy and defensive screed that painted himself as a victim of people who were unfairly attacking for his personal political beliefs. That post had comments disabled. He allowed comments on his blog post about being hired as CEO of Mozilla, but he deleted even the most respectful comments from people who said they would be boycotting Mozilla due to his support of Prop 8. This latest post just seems like desperate corporate spin.

  23. Sergio says

    “This is not about pleasing a minority but…”

    The straight male Mozilla shill needs to have his voice heard! Who are we to draw attention to Mozilla’s support of bigotry? Let us gay peons hail the inerrant prerogatives of the straight male!

  24. Eugene says

    @Plinx
    “I understand the sentiments of the commenters here, but I’m wondering what you would have this guy do?”

    He could have acknowledged his donation and apologized for the pain it caused. It would have been enough if Mozilla then explicitly supported marriage equality.

  25. Sergio says

    Own up to your comment, Jay. You value Eich’s so-called personal journey more than an entire community of suffering people. Shame on you.

  26. Glendo says

    He probably trolls craigslist as a “straight” guy seeking discreet m4m sex. He also is probably a man who has sex with men but identifies as straight.

  27. The milkman says

    The fact is that some things such as equality under the civil law are not things which have a valid opposing viewpoint. I don’t agree to disagree with his position because it’s not a reasoned evidence based opinion. He contributed to a bigoted initiative and rightfully deserves ridicule. And the fact that he refuses to address it directly shows that he clearly still thinks the same way. Therefore he deserves continued criticism despite the relatively remote time frame for his donation. Whether he should be fired or not remains questionable. But straight people will not change their behavior unless the cost of remaining tethered to antiquated bigotry becomes greater than the perceived benefit.

  28. Sacha says

    I said what I felt, I’m sorry if some choose to react to my view with hostility. I feel we need to have the same rights as everybody else but demonizing those who disagree with us doesn’t do anything but build more hostility. I’m for building bridges and educating the ignorant into opening minds.

  29. AG says

    Sacha,

    This is a fascist web site. The people who post here absolutely do want to demonize everyone who disagrees with them. Their minds are closed, they can only be trolled.

    So, how long will it take “kiwi” to post something asinine with my handle?

  30. says

    He disagreed with gay couples having marriage equality and took action by donating to a group working against our civil rights; many gay people disagree with his actions and his evasive response to those actions and are choosing not to support a product he’s involved with.

    No fascism, simply choices, ones consumers are at complete liberty to make with no apology, just as Mr. Eich is free to carry on without apologizing for his donation.

  31. NOTICE says

    firefox is now gone from all my home computers and i’ve removed it from most of the computer stations at my business for a total of 10 less computers using firefox. Soon to be completely removed from my life. see ya later firefox. hopefully you will realize that being a bigot doesn’t work for modern era people.

  32. AG says

    @Ernie

    I wish there were more folks like you here. Then a conversation would be possible.

    BTW, great photos!

  33. Icebloo says

    I have uninstalled Firefox but now I am not sure which browser to use. Google and Facebook have been funding the extreme right wing ALEC forum which develops anti-women, anti-poor, anti-gay policies for the Republican Party so I don’t want to use Google Chrome either !

    Help ! How can I avoid both of these evil companies ?

  34. alex says

    The world isn’t black and white. Boycotting a company only works if you thoroughly vet the alternative. Have those of you moving to Google done your homework?

    According to the LA Times Prop 8 database, there was one Mozilla employee (Eich’s $1000) in support. There were 17 Google employee’s supporting Prop 8 with a total of $10,749.

    If you’re only using Prop 8 supporter donations as criteria to choose your browser, wouldn’t you be better off staying with Mozilla?

  35. Hyacinth says

    I switched from Firefox to Opera … and to my delight, Opera’s so much faster. Thanks Mr. Eich!

  36. Tundra4 says

    Oh look, the homophobe who actively campaigns against people just like me is making noise… Do I care to read his noise? No. Suffice to say I know EXACTLY where he and Mozilla stands. Against me and people like me.

    S*** LIST FOR LIFE

  37. says

    His promotion would be the same as a contributor to the KKK leading the NAACP, does that make sense to you Sacha? It’s inappropriate for many reasons, not just his financial support of state sanctioned bigotry.

  38. Ike says

    Let me get this straight… The LGBT community is outraged over the morality of his view. His MORALITY! The irony of a group to insist that tolerance prevail because there is no morality is now wanting him to wear a scarlet 8 because of his immoral views.

  39. mk says

    “As a gay man, I’m officially tired of this need to go after those who do not share the same views as I do. Do I agree with Mr. Eich? No, but I’m not going to demonize someone for having a different belief system.”

    And they aren’t just demonizing him, but Firefox and even Firefox users! I’m sorry, but that is just so so stupid and vile.

  40. George Straight says

    I’m so tired of your constant faggotry. It’s always been pathetic, but never more so than now that you’ve won stupid legal rights.