Brendan Eich | News | Republican Party

58 Mostly Gay Conservatives Sign Statement Denouncing 'Intolerance' of Brendan Eich Critics

Fifty-eight mostly gay conservatives including Peter Thiel, Andrew Sullivan, and Ken Mehlman have signed a statement denouncing "some supporters of gay equality" for being intolerant of people who do not see gays as equal citizens.

EichThey point by example to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who took actions with his donation to Proposition 8 specifically intended to harm others, and then resigned when those actions were exposed and they did not fit the corporate culture of the company at which he was employed. The signatories seem to suggest that there was an organized campaign to get rid of Eich ("scalped by gay activists" as Sullivan put it) even though the mass disgruntlement seemed to come mostly from people on Twitter and social media reacting to the news, the two developers who brought up Eich's donation in the first place, and OkCupid, which took the boldest step of blocking Mozilla's browser Firefox.

Says the statement, in part:

The signatories of this statement are grateful to our friends and allies for their enthusiasm. But we are concerned that recent events, including the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla under pressure because of an anti-same-sex- marriage donation he made in 2008, signal an eagerness by some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticize or to persuade those who disagree. We reject that deeply illiberal impulse, which is both wrong in principle and poor as politics.

...There is no evidence that Brendan Eich, the Mozilla CEO who resigned over his $1,000 donation to California’s Proposition 8 campaign, believed in or practiced any form of discrimination against Mozilla’s LGBT employees. That would be a very different case. He was pressured to leave because of personal political action he took at a time when a majority of the American public shared his view. And while he acknowledged the pain his donation caused, he did not publicly “recant,” which some suggested he should have done as the price of keeping his job.

It continues:

Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.

Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.


We prefer debate that is respectful, but we cannot enforce good manners. We must have the strength to accept that some people think misguidedly and harmfully about us. But we must also acknowledge that disagreement is not, itself, harm or hate.

As a viewpoint, opposition to gay marriage is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to same-sex marriage is wrong, but 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.

It's unclear where the fingers are pointing here because gay activists did not get Eich fired. As our Ari Ezra Waldman explained in a piece earlier this month, gay groups were not in this fight - Eich was brought down simply because he took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla.

Read the full statement HERE.

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  1. This is a tempest in a teapot. As it has been repeatedly pointed-out, none of the gay organizations were behind this and it was the computing community which took Eich to task. This was a business decision by a private organization which wished to uphold its own culture. Take the hint conservative mouthpieces -- butt out!

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Apr 23, 2014 9:02:58 PM

  2. Talk about "late to the party."
    This attempt at moral superiority by conservatives is boring and stupid.

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Apr 23, 2014 9:06:37 PM

  3. Ken Mehlman and company aren't in a position to lecture me. Save your words.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 23, 2014 9:08:26 PM

  4. Aw, they're feeling left out and need attention. Pathetic lot, they are.

    Posted by: Lucca | Apr 23, 2014 9:09:24 PM

  5. Whiny babies worship the free market but don't like what the free market did to Eich. Gay activists had NOTHING to do with Eich leaving. It was grassroots consumer rejection via social media. Exactly the sort of free market pressure these cons supposedly love. So what's the problem, whiners?

    Posted by: crashops | Apr 23, 2014 9:09:39 PM

  6. Ken Mehlman? The morally corrupt Ken Mehlman?

    Posted by: Camille Grammer | Apr 23, 2014 9:12:39 PM

  7. I wonder if they (conservative gays) would be so ready to race to Eich's defense if he had given money to the KKK or the Neo Nazi's. Personally, giving money to the anti-gay Prop 8 crowd is the same but apparently "conservative" gays are suffering from collaboration syndrome...

    Posted by: Robert M. | Apr 23, 2014 9:13:38 PM

  8. Sad bunch. Funny how the rest of the world let this go a long time ago.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Apr 23, 2014 9:15:42 PM

  9. Done with this topic.

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 23, 2014 9:18:26 PM

  10. Ari Ezra Waldman's argument was weak and unconvincing. Mozilla is a tech company, not the keeper of Freedom in the Western World, and his suggestion that someone's outdated opinions of marriage somehow make it impossible to run a software company is laughable. For someone who presents himself as a legal expert, it was an absurd argument.
    So is the suggestion that gay activists had nothing to do with Eich's removal. The internet, Mozilla's native environment, was in an uproar over his private donations and his apparent conservative politics in general. To suggest the Gay activists were not at least partly responsible for the furor is just plain ridiculous.
    What is most regrettable about the whole situation, however, is the lack of appreciation that attitudes are changing on Gay marriage at a speed that few would have predicted. We are winning this fight, and once the issue is settled in our favor, as seems inevitable at this point, further punishing those who have disagreed with us serves no purpose other than creating anger and resentment.
    We don't have to do that when we are the winner, and we are winning.
    And they know it.
    The Eich affair is the sort of thing that proves loathsome people like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham right when they say that Liberals are intolerant and want to impose their views on everyone. One thing we know for sure is that anything that proves them right has got to be wrong.

    Posted by: Abie | Apr 23, 2014 9:21:28 PM

  11. I love how gay activists like to get on their bullhorns to get rid of someone they disagree with and then when they get called out on it, they sit back and say "we didn't do anything".

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Apr 23, 2014 9:22:51 PM

  12. If Sullivan and Mehlman had been at Stonewall they would have fought on the side of the police and gladly beaten any gay or lesbian who did not conform to their sensibilities - beaten them to a bloody painful death.

    I will not be lectured to by cowards who do not understand the first thing about dignity, honor, decency, or equality.

    Eich contributed to an effort to take away - again, take away, again, take away, again, take away, again, take away the right to same sex marriage in California - the time for talking was over - the courts had ruled - and Eich worked to take away the right to marry - not because he could have ever believed he could stop same sex marriage - but to punish gays and lesbians for prevailing in the American courts.

    I will not be lectured to by two half-men whose lack of self-esteem, dignity, and honor define not only their desires - but their lives - no, I will not.

    Posted by: Ricky | Apr 23, 2014 9:28:27 PM

  13. They hypocrisy, as usual, is ten fold.

    Where is their outcry at the BSA kicking out a church when not one person complained about the gay scoutmaster?

    Whah, whah, whah, we've lost this fight, yadda, yadda.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 23, 2014 9:35:50 PM

  14. Uncle Toms...

    Posted by: litper | Apr 23, 2014 9:43:29 PM

  15. Can opposition to racial equality be expressed respectfully? If not, then how can opposition to marriage equality be expressed respectfully? It can't, unless you feel racial bigotry is more harmful than LGBT bigotry.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 23, 2014 9:50:20 PM

  16. 58 of them? Will that be enough to help us onto the trains when the time comes?

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Apr 23, 2014 10:05:32 PM

  17. Oh, to be lectured by Ken Mehlman!
    It IS to laugh!

    Posted by: Justin in Oaklawn, Dallas, TX | Apr 23, 2014 10:13:08 PM

  18. MICHAEL! You are so right.

    If you substitute gays for ethnicity this conversation is absurd. The fact is that the culture is changing and people and corporations are increasing becoming intolerate of homophobia.

    And that's a good thing.

    Posted by: raul | Apr 23, 2014 10:13:39 PM

  19. Melman and Sullivan together at last.
    What more needs to be said ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 23, 2014 10:18:46 PM

  20. What a bunch of self-hating fags.

    If Eich was a member of the KKK on his "personal time", but "never showed any signs of treating black employees poorly" would they still be defending him?

    What if he was a known wife beater on his "personal time" but "never showed any signs of treating female employees poorly"?

    Again, what a bunch of self-hating fags. Please go back in the closet--you don't deserve any of the victories we have won for you that allow you to live openly today.

    Posted by: Jack Wang | Apr 23, 2014 10:27:36 PM

  21. He had several interviews to show that his beliefs had evolved, and he couldn't do it. He was the CEO who is expected to guide the corporate culture, and he clashed with it and was called out on that. And we have yet to have any of these people point to any "gay activists" who organized the outrage at this choice of CEO. It was grassroots and that is what seems to bother these folks so much, there is no one person they can't try to fight with.

    Posted by: PDX Guy | Apr 23, 2014 10:34:19 PM

  22. A lot of hot air about nothing. Every one expresses his or her opinion. The final decision lies with the company. It was a business decision a certain TV network made to keep the Duck show on air. It was also a business decision Mozilla let go of an employee.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 23, 2014 10:35:31 PM

  23. The Supreme Court already determined that MONEY = FREE SPEECH, so if you are going to contribute cash to a political cause, don't be surprised when people talk back.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Apr 23, 2014 10:40:49 PM

  24. No one took away his free speech. But there are ramifications of hate speech. If anything they are trying to shout down any response isn't that free speech as well.

    Posted by: timothyjames | Apr 23, 2014 10:51:00 PM

  25. Scumbags.

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 23, 2014 10:53:29 PM

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