Brendan Eich | Gay Marriage | Mozilla | News

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Won't Discuss Personal Views on Gay Marriage, Says OkCupid Might End Boycott

In his first interview since controversy erupted last week over his donation to California's anti-gay Proposition 8 campaign, CEO Brendan Eich won't say what his beliefs are about marriage equality and does not reject the possibility that he might donate to Prop 8 again if it were on the ballot today.

Via CNET: Eich

If you had the opportunity to donate to a Proposition 8 cause today, would you do so?

Eich: 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.

You haven't really explicitly laid it out, so I'll just ask you: how do you feel gay-marriage rights? How did you feel about it in 2008, and how do you feel about it today?

Eich: I prefer not to talk about my beliefs. One of the things about my principles of inclusiveness is not just that you leave it at the door, but that you don't require others to put targets on themselves by labeling their beliefs, because that will present problems and will be seen as divisive.

Eich also says that OkCupid might cave on its boycott of the Firefox browser:

What's your response to OKCupid, which recommended Firefox OS users switch browsers?

Eich: We didn't hear about it until it was up. We're talking now, because it may be they'll take it down. They didn't seem to be aware of the statement that Mitchell Baker made over the weekend. As an organization, Mitchell said, Mozilla supports LGBT equality. I don't think they heard about that. There's a good chance that'll come down. I can't promise you. We're talking to them now.

The other was developers Rarebit, two husbands [married to each other] who take your actions very personally and withdrew their app from the Firefox marketplace.

Eich: I met with one of them. It was actually a good meeting. I'm not not going to speak for him. What started a week and a day ago has changed. It's not for him the same as it was. For everyone involved in this a week ago, if they start to see things go big in a way that could mean the end of Mozilla, the loss of the principles of inclusiveness, a world without Firefox, they have concerns that transcend the concern about me. I had a good meeting over this weekend.

Head over to CNET for the full interview.

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  1. He's actually quite arrogant. He outrightly says that the choice is a world without Mozilla or giving up the boycott. The excluded choice is he can step down. Or does his vanity tell him that stepping down will also means a world with Mozilla. If Mozilla is in a place where it has to rely on Eich alone, then it should go under.

    Posted by: James Peron | Apr 1, 2014 9:26:50 PM

  2. What is this guy's damage? Does he not understand that he actually went out of his way to hurt gays and lesbians? He acts as if this well-deserved outrage is an incomprehensible inconvenience.

    Posted by: Håkon | Apr 1, 2014 9:30:27 PM

  3. I will now do everything legally possible and within my power to undermine Mozilla. Eich IS Mozilla and Mozilla is Eich, that is the one concept that Eich has enunciated clearly.

    Posted by: Martin | Apr 1, 2014 9:33:58 PM

  4. It's not a boycott, and Firefox users aren't blocked from accessing the site. Firefox users are shown a message, and can click through to access the site.

    Let's end the sloppy reporting.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 1, 2014 9:40:25 PM

  5. We lost against the Chick-Fil-A bigots - one of 21st century America's most hateful moments - and, just now, against Mississippi. We must win this battle. The fight is radicalizing, and like Arizona, Mozilla / Firefox will see reason.

    Posted by: Sergio | Apr 1, 2014 9:44:00 PM

  6. I have to say it felt good to walk by the Mozilla offices today, middle finger outstretched.

    Posted by: Firedfox | Apr 1, 2014 9:45:15 PM

  7. "I prefer not to talk about my beliefs."
    I think his actions speak for themselves.

    Posted by: David | Apr 1, 2014 9:46:26 PM

  8. I stopped using Firefox more than a year ago. It just takes too damn long to launch compared to Chrome. But I was pretty loyal for many years. Won't use it at all now, at least I know Google is very pro-equality.

    Posted by: Craig | Apr 1, 2014 9:47:14 PM

  9. Of course, everybody caves but him and his "principles".

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 1, 2014 10:02:09 PM

  10. Mozilla is supposed to be an American company, but they want to drag down their ideals of equality to the level of Indonesia according to Eich. What a putrid man.

    Posted by: Martin | Apr 1, 2014 10:12:00 PM

  11. Ok... I really really don't get why he is now a cause celebre. There are many other ceo's who have done more and worse.

    He donated some money. Mozilla didn't. Mozilla is FREE so there is nothing to boycott.

    I can understand how employees at the company might not want him at the helm but that seems more of an internal issue.

    This just seems like a waste of everyone's energy. He'll just get another CEO position or board seat elsewhere and likely a hefty golden parachute if he has to step down. There is no way to "hurt" this guy.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 1, 2014 10:26:18 PM

  12. Genius Mozilla isn't "free". It maybe a nonprofit, but they still implement monetization scheme with Google and the like where they turn you into the product, a tangible good that other companies can exploit. Google chrome does the same but to a far greater scale.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 1, 2014 10:40:38 PM

  13. 'There is no way to "hurt" this guy.' Who cares about hurting? We just express our opinion whether he's hurting or not who effing cares?

    Posted by: matziabb | Apr 1, 2014 10:58:47 PM

  14. The guy is loathsome and arrogant, but I'm uncomfortable with the way the gay community--actually not just the gay community--is trying to change people's beliefs by force recently. Phil Robertson says something homophobic--cancel his show! Stephen Colbert says something that Suey Park doesn't like? Cancel Colbert! Seinfeld makes a comment that a virtually unknown african american comedienne doesn't like? Racist! Boycott! Alec Baldwin, Barilla, Mozilla, even Chick-Fil-A... I may disagree with what they're saying but I also think we can fall into a pit trap of simply trying to crush anyone who holds a different worldview than I do. It makes us look bad and it doesn't change anyone's mind about gay rights. Let's not try to impose our views on other people by force, let's actually get them to see the error of their ways.

    Posted by: Zell | Apr 1, 2014 11:07:17 PM

  15. He and his beliefs are sandboxed.

    Posted by: Kev C | Apr 1, 2014 11:17:06 PM

  16. Mozilla, as a company, has made it clear that they recognize and support marriage equality. See Mitchell Baker's (Chairwoman of Mozilla) blog for proof. Eich has said that he will support equality as part of being CEO of Mozilla.

    I say we let this one go. There's no reason to boycott a company because the new CEO took a position 6 years ago counter to what the company supports today. Firefox is a fine browser and it's the only major browser out there that isn't owned by a major corporation. It gets compensated by Google, but that's not the same as being owned by.

    I understand why Eich doesn't want to take a public position on the issue at the moment - both sides are itching to call a boycott so he loses no matter what he does. He's not going to deviate from the script that Mozilla's PR people have given him.

    Posted by: David D | Apr 1, 2014 11:19:59 PM

  17. ZELL, surely we don't have to explain the difference between "different world view" and "actively supporting and promoting the LEGAL denial of civil rights to a minority population". Please tell me that you understand the massive difference.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 1, 2014 11:25:19 PM

  18. So he's saying he'd rather destroy Mozilla than step down?

    What a winner they picked for themselves.

    If Mozilla would hire and then insist on keeping someone who has actively worked to destroy American families as their CEO, then they deserve to fail and we're well rid of them.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Apr 1, 2014 11:28:59 PM

  19. And what's this weird Internet lie I keep seeing about how we "lost" against Chick-fil-A?

    They have ceased ALL their donations to anti-gay organizations and their lunatic with the big mouth has sworn he won't ever verbally bash the gays again, either.

    That's a complete and total win.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Apr 1, 2014 11:31:45 PM

  20. And because we're not targeting every monstrous CEO in the world, that means we can't target any?

    I hope that was a troll post. Because that's just about as stupid as it gets.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Apr 1, 2014 11:33:36 PM

  21. A boycott is not trying to change someones beliefs. It is punishing someone for hurting others. I choose not to use Mozilla because Eich is in charge there and hates gay people. Sorry Mozilla, you guys should fire him.

    Posted by: jeff | Apr 1, 2014 11:36:23 PM

  22. We definitely lost Chick-Fil-A. It was terrifying to see thousands (proto-lynch mobs) line up for hours to purchase deep-fried hate. We'll only win when either Chick-Fil-A goes out of business or is bought by a normal company.

    This Mozilla boycott, on the other hand, is having a strong effect. Let's keep at it, fellas!

    Posted by: Håkon | Apr 1, 2014 11:49:16 PM

  23. I have to agree that Chick-Fil-A was a crushing blow. I actually felt scared seeing all those people gather just to inflict pain on our community.

    I've been heartened to see the response with Mozilla, though. I hate humanity a little less with each ounce of pressure put on this Eich creep.

    Posted by: Kevin K. | Apr 2, 2014 12:01:18 AM

  24. Mozilla=Tech community. Tend to be progressive. High concentration of sexual and gender minorities.

    Chick-fil-A=Fast Food restaurant. Most locales in the South. Owned by a Southern religious conservative.

    No surprise to see different reactions to Firefox/Mozilla compared to Chick-fil-A.

    As for Eich, he seems quite full of himself.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 2, 2014 12:28:31 AM

  25. And yes, we way on on Chick-fil-A. HUGE win. Dan Cathy pledged to keep quiet on LGBT issues because we stayed on his case and he had LGBT people talk with him personally about the offensiveness of his previous actions. When we apply pressure, and make our voices heard, loud and clear, we win. This has been proven time and time again.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 2, 2014 12:31:34 AM

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