Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns Over Prop 8 Controversy

Recently-appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has resigned over the controversy surrounding his donation to California's Prop 8 campaign, Mozilla reports in a blog post written by Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker:

EichWe didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.

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.

We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.

While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.

We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla.

Read the full post here.

Last week news broke that Eich had donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign. Eich's donation was revealed by a pair of gay married software developers who announced they were planning to boycott Mozilla's platform in protest.

In response to anger over the revelation, Mozilla's blog posted a statement "to clarify Mozilla’s official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people." Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman posted about the controversy on his blog as did Baker.

The Wall Street Journal reported that three Mozilla board members resigned over Eich's appointment though Mozilla denied reports that Eich was the reason for the board members' departure in a statement to other media outlets.

Following a rather lackluster statement from Eich in response to the controversy, several employees used Twitter to call on him to step down from his position. And in protest of Eich's donation the dating service OkCupid blocked access to its site for users of Mozilla's Firefox browser, a block they later lifted.

In recent days, Eich gave an interview suggesting he would be staying on at the company but refused to say what his current views are on same-sex marriage. But even more recent revelations about his donations to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, and the racist and anti-semitic baggage that brings, may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Expect right-wing religious groups to be furious over Eich's resignation. Anti-gay activist Robert George, the Chairman of the 'United States Commission on International Religious Freedom' and the co-founder of the 'National Organization for Marriage' (NOM) recently called for a boycott of Mozilla over some of its employees' 'intolerance' to his anti-gay views.

Comments

  1. Jay says

    Good riddance. Mr. Eich was incompatible with Mozilla’s mission. How can you lead an open and inclusive organization when you aren’t those things yourself? I’m just glad to put this behind us.

  2. Gregory In Seattle says

    “Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public.”

    And that very same culture of openness means that a person cannot hide from the consequences of their beliefs and opinions after they’ve been stated in public. That is a fact that Mozilla must keep in mind.

  3. Jaysonn says

    If he had donated to any other suppressive ideas, (example: against black, jews etc.) he would have never been promoted in the first place. Mozilla will have to step up and prove to me, they deserve to have me back.

  4. Keith says

    I have very mixed feelings about this issue. While I certainly was not happy that he was a donor to the PropH8 campaign here in California, I also don’t want our community to be labeled as bullies or accused of retaliation. Are we never going to allow for people to change their minds and hearts over past errors in judgment? I’m not saying he is a supporter of our community or ever will be in total, but perhaps at least he wasn’t going to go out and actively campaign or donate to anti-gay causes. To me, at least, that is progress. Sometimes, I feel, we cut off our nose to spite our face in these instances.

  5. PadLake says

    The thing is, I totally understood his point about being able to have his views, beliefs, and opinions. The problem I had this entire time was his assertion that it didn’t matter what those were as soon as he hit the door at work. When you become the CEO of an organization like Mozilla, these views become important. Frankly, had he and Mozilla addressed this in a meaningful way that opened real conversation and understanding, I would have been more than fine with him remaining the CEO.

  6. Rowan says

    KEITH, what are you smoking? Seriously, stop. Your the kind of guy that would watch your kid get bullied to death and do nothing about it because you can change ‘hearts and minds’.

    I really hope you don’t suffer being this naive in the real world.

    How in your brain capacity you can make a 40+ old educated man who has risen to CEO a frigging VICTIM who doesn’t know what he is doing, is insane. And really scary.

    You remind me of so many people in causes that f*ck it up because you live in la la land but are always there to reap the benefits of those change.

    Anyway because I’m not as naive as you are, it’s obvious that the 2 who resigned did not want this guy because of his homophobia and that more powerful people in senior positions, as well as who are investors complained.

    Now if only the gays behind the scenes in entertainment has as much integrity….

  7. Quizás, Quizás, Quizás says

    “….but perhaps at least he wasn’t going to go out and actively campaign or donate to anti-gay causes. To me, at least, that is progress.”

    ‘Perhaps’ isn’t progress. Eich(mann) had done NOTHING, not even lip service, to show that his opinions, beliefs and values were any different than when he financially supported a movement whose purpose was to deny equality to LGBTs. He should never have been promoted to CEO. Mozilla has a lot of atoning to do on this one. Eich(mann)’s resignation is just the first step.

    Also, it is not ‘bullying’ for LGBTs to organize and respond to attacks against them. Don’t be brainwashed by the cowardly Far Right Bigots’ rhetoric. That’s what their religion does to them–only allows them to respect something they fear. They’re going to hate you no matter what. Deep down, they probably only respect us when they fear us a little. Standing up for yourself and fighting back against the Fundagelicals is the only way to gain any respect.

  8. Hue-Man says

    The Talibangelicals only proposition is: “Let’s look at the big picture. How does it affect me?” Imagine if the new CEO had signed a petition to implement Sharia law throughout the U.S. – would the gay-haters have stood silently by? Of course not, they’d be leading the boycott Mozilla campaign before he’d finished his allahu akbar!

  9. Ted says

    So how many of you cheering this idiocy would be happy to step down or get fired from your job over something “controversial” in your past??? Lets see a show of hands.

  10. PDX Guy says

    Goodbye. His beliefs, which had obviously never changed as seen in his recent interviews, were in direct opposition with Mozilla’s stated corporate culture. This is unacceptable in a CEO. It is the same problem Target has, but he is already ensconced in the company. Hopefully he will get the boot soon if they keep having financial disasters.

  11. Bucky says

    Mozilla says: “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

    Not really. Once you realize that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of that speech.

    I haven’t seen anyone arguing that Mr. Eich shouldn’t be able to speak freely about his beliefs on equality for LGBT citizens. The problem is that some people think that he should be free to speak but not then bear the responsibility of his words and actions.

    Life just doesn’t work that way. Boohoo.

    For many years, LGBT people have been burdened by the consequences of speaking up and exercising their free speech rights to stand up and be proud.

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the whiny-ass haters are soo, soo, soo upset that people are making them take responsibility for their hate.

    Too effing bad. Own it. Freedom isn’t without a price. If spewing your hate means that you can’t have that cushy well-paying job, well, too bad. You are still free to spew your hate. You are still alive to spew your hate, which is more than the many LGBT people killed over the years for speaking.

  12. Bucky says

    Mozilla says: “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

    Not really. Once you realize that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of that speech.

    I haven’t seen anyone arguing that Mr. Eich shouldn’t be able to speak freely about his beliefs on equality for LGBT citizens. The problem is that some people think that he should be free to speak but not then bear the responsibility of his words and actions.

    Life just doesn’t work that way. Boohoo.

    For many years, LGBT people have been burdened by the consequences of speaking up and exercising their free speech rights to stand up and be proud.

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the whiny-ass haters are soo, soo, soo upset that people are making them take responsibility for their hate.

    Too effing bad. Own it. Freedom isn’t without a price. If spewing your hate means that you can’t have that cushy well-paying job, well, too bad. You are still free to spew your hate. You are still alive to spew your hate, which is more than the many LGBT people killed over the years for speaking.

  13. Gerry says

    He was correct to resign… this had become a needless distraction for Mozilla who should have never appointed him as CEO in the first place. At first I didn’t think it was that big of deal, but to put it into perspective, would Mozilla had appointed someone who gave money to the KKK or a white supremacy group as CEO? The answer of course is a resounding NO. This was the same thing. Hopefully people will now get a clue before they support bigotry.

  14. Håkon says

    Eich maintained his right to free speech, but went beyond to actively hurt us with his donation. It was bad for humanity and bad for business, and he finally met his end.

    Let this serve as a lesson to the Barillas and Chick-Fil-As of the world.

  15. phluidik says

    Someone dealing with the natural consequences of their public actions, as tends to happen when stances on social issues shift and one has backed the wrong horse publicly, does not rise to a level I think can be qualified as retaliation.

    Also, there’s an assumption in some of the comments that he wouldn’t today take the same action, or that this was only in his past. What is this based on? He was asked this question in the interview he gave, and he refused to answer the question. In fact, he goes on to say that he recognizes that his action caused people he cares about pain, but stops shy of saying that he’d not inflict that pain again, given the chance.

    If he had come out and said something like, “hey look in 2008, I was in a different place and screwed up. here’s what I’ve learned and how I learned it since then. i made a mistake.”, then I’d probably exclaim my congratulations for his own personal growth.

    He was given that opportunity and he refused.

    Does not the apparent lack of such growth, grant public license to question and challenge the selection of this person to lead such an important project and its team?

  16. says

    @Ted: Taking actions to deprive others of civil rights isn’t “something ‘controversial'” — it is wrong. And it isn’t in his “past” since he never said he no longer supported his past efforts to deprive gay people — including those who work under him — of their civil rights.

    His actions as a citizen were incompatible with his role as CEO of Mozilla and with their stated values. It took them a while to listen, but ultimately they did.

  17. oncemorewithfeeling says

    So his threats to destroy the company before he would ever resign weren’t as sincere as his actions to destroy the LGBT community?

    I guess even Mozilla could embrace hate only up to the point that it threatened their existence.

    Corporations take note: it’s not 2008 any longer.

  18. Paul B. says

    When you choose to donate to any “cause” and it becomes matter of public record…which it often does…you’re held accountable…which you should be. I would assume he knew this and chose to donate…which is basically saying to the world…”this is what I believe in”. And, to this day I haven’t heard him say anything to the contrary…i.e. chose enlightenment.
    So…Bye Bye Chump.

  19. pete n sfo says

    “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

    So they still don’t get it or they would drop this red herring. It was NEVER about free speech. It was about actively funding the discrimination of another private citizen. Prop 8 wasn’t an opinion piece; it REMOVED the rights of gay people. That’s big, BIG, f’n difference & has NOTHING to do with free speech.

  20. SteveAR says

    Congratulations, fascists.

    “Expect right-wing religious groups to be furious over Eich’s resignation.”

    I’m not mad. I find what happened to Eich to be utterly shameful, but I’m not mad. Instead, I got even. While just a token protest, Firefox is gone from my system. Permanently.

  21. Houndentenor says

    “Openness and inclusion” has to include respect for everyone else’s rights. Eich has no respect for the rights of gay people. He has no right to expect to be treated by respect by people he thinks are subhuman.

  22. jonnathewoodswoman says

    “I have very mixed feelings about this issue. While I certainly was not happy that he was a donor to the PropH8 campaign here in California, I also don’t want our community to be labeled as bullies or accused of retaliation. Are we never going to allow for people to change their minds and hearts over past errors in judgment? I’m not saying he is a supporter of our community or ever will be in total, but perhaps at least he wasn’t going to go out and actively campaign or donate to anti-gay causes. To me, at least, that is progress. Sometimes, I feel, we cut off our nose to spite our face in these instances.”

    I absolutely agree. Perception is reality and this could really backfire on us. We appear to be vengeful and petty. The Christians are going to have a field day with this and we’ve set ourselves up for it. Are we going to track every person who gave money to Prop 8 and make them un-employable? I know it was a very ugly and mean campaign (I live in CA) but this is NOT the way to let bygones be bygones. Many people have changed their minds, we need to let it go and move on to finish what we started.

  23. JackFknTwist says

    @ Keith :

    Let’s not become navel gazers eternally.
    We smell pork, it’s a pig.
    For all the gobbeldy-gook written in this press release one thing is clear, we must stand united where there is overt action against us.
    No more employing a “diversity” CEO who also subscribes to anti gay issues; no more ‘Isn’t Pope francis wonderful’ when at the same time he leaves us described as ‘intrinsically disordered'; no more closet cases taking harmful positions against us, are you listening Melman ?

    And no more two faced mealy mouthed supporters.Memo to Press Release writers’ Learn how to use plain English….not smarmy ‘platitudeese.’

  24. KJPNYC says

    Awesome display of unity by the GLBT community and our straight allies on this one. Congrats to all. Let this be a warning to bigots…if you try to discriminate against our families and to take away our fundamental rights, consider yourself on warning that we and our allies will come after you. There are repercussions to bigotry, even years later.

  25. Håkon says

    I want to hear how SteveAr defends the true fascism of taking away gay marriage in California. What? No comment? Exactly.

    First Arizona, and now Mozilla! A new era in gay rights begins…

  26. JackFknTwist says

    @ JONATHANWOODSWOMAN :
    that a wonderful idea.
    We should track down all the anti-democrats who subscribed to the suppression of our Constitutional rights and sought to make us ‘untermenschen’.
    As other posters have pointed out, actions have consequences.
    So, Yes, we will track down the subscribers to Prop.8 who were anti democratic and anti American and their malice will follow them and sweep them away.
    We are gay, but not taking this garbage from anyone, ever.
    Yes, Karma is a b**ch.

  27. mike/ says

    still need an answer about his ‘election’

    there were only 6 Board members; half of them (3) resigned when the controversy started up. but at least 4 of them had to vote to elect him, if my severely dysfunctional math serves me. something, umm, doesn’t ‘add’ up…

    and i have to agree, a million moms, Fischer, LaBabs, and all the other butters are gonna smash this all over Faux News & their websites….

  28. james st. james says

    Why? Because the back of the bus isn’t good enough. Never put up with oppression when you don’t have to.

    (Never end a sentence with a preposition, unless you feel like you want to.)

  29. B says

    @JONNATHEWOODSWOMAN
    Who give a flying FRIG what other people’s perceptions are? I don’t need anyone’s approval or admiration. People like Eich can have all the opinions they want, but they are not safe from hearing from people like me who vigorously disagree. We’re not going to reach equal status as American citizens and human beings by being nice to the haters. Rosa Parks could have avoided controversy and been “nice” by giving up her seat on the bus. She didn’t, she held firm even when she had a police officer and other people on the bus trying to intimidate her. She was right, she knew it and she stood her ground. These people are not nice to us, we have no need to be nice back. People like Eich and the other haters can kiss my behind!

  30. says

    Eich simply would not have become CEO if this had anything to do with any other group. It was not “protected speech” or an “opinion” he held. No, he was donating to a group who was active in taking away rights that were granted to an entire group of people. The pain suffered by thousands of LGBT people and their families in California after Prop 8 passed was caused by people like him and is disgusting and will not fade away anytime soon. Actions have consequences and I feel no pity for him.

  31. censorship says

    We are certainly celebrating the demise of the zionist jew Eich at the hands of american gays! “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” to quote your white man Hitler.
    Now we know why you are called the “gaystapo”! The more fear, paranoia and hate in america the better. Death to america by its own hands!

  32. Keith says

    Rowan.

    You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect that, but I assure you that I am as strong an advocate as everyone else. I stood out in the pouring rain trying to rally voters to vote “No” on Prop H8. . .and stood out there alone in my neighborhood while all the other “gay advocates” sat at home with a sign out their window. I went door to door, and spoke with politicians from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., as well as donated almost half my savings to the cause. I would never lie down and let someone bully me or my family just for being who we are.

    You have completely missed my point, and it’s one in which you need to be reminded. People change, and their viewpoints on our important issues change. Should they not be given the opportunity? Should we just continue to persecute and punish them for their past? Is that really the way to change people’s hearts and minds? I suspect that my advocacy and work for the community in the East Bay and Peninsula area of San Francisco has done more good than you will ever know.

    Try some logic and reasoning for a change, and listen instead of speaking, and you might learn something. As an university professor, I highly encourage it in your case.

  33. Bill says

    @woody: What NOM will do with this resignation is to point to it as a reason for keeping its donor lists private, and there’s a precedent – certain groups like a socialist political party get to keep lists of their contributors private because their contributers would be subjected to various forms of retaliation. NOM will point to how Eich was treated to argue for the same perk. Keeping that list private will make it harder if not impossible to determine to what extent religious organizations helped support Prop 8 financially, and that may have a significantly higher impact than Eich’s $1000 contribution.

  34. SteveAR says

    @Hakon:

    “I want to hear how SteveAr defends the true fascism of taking away gay marriage in California.”

    Same-sex “marriage” didn’t exist until a bunch of fascists in black robes, a majority on the California Supreme Court, created it from nothing by overturning the will of the people, Proposition 22. I know who the fascists are. It ain’t those like me.

  35. says

    Hi Keith,

    You are aware Eich was presented with opportunities to tell the world whether he had “evolved” on the issue or apologize and whether or not he would do what he did again as recent as Tuesday.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/01/mozilla-ceo-brendan-eich-refuses-to-quit

    He refused to answer and gave no indication that he would not donate to anti-gay causes again, it was all over the web including here at Towleroad. Hell, even people in his own company resigned and several of the Mozilla’s own employees asked for him to step down. He could have at any point told the world he changed but he didn’t. This was not a case of bullying or persecution.

  36. Randy says

    Now that so many people have resigned, who is running Mozilla? Mozilla needs competent and socially awake (as opposed to dead asleep) management.

    I am glad that I’m not going to have to dump my browser. I heavily customized it, and I was getting pretty angry looking at the work it would take to duplicate functionality in a new browser.

  37. Bill says

    @SteveAR: same sex marriage existed before the California Supreme Court overturned Proposition 22, just not in California. If you read the decision (it is a couple of hundred pages long), it explains in detail why Proposition 22 was unconstitutional. It also explicitly stated that other court decisions protected religious institutions from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies if that conflicted with their religious beliefs. If members of the California Supreme Court were “fascists” as you claim, they would not have supported that religious exemption.

    Proposition 8 was worded identically to Proposition 22, but put the text in the state constitution, which the California Supreme Court cannot overturn. Proposition 8 was thrown out in federal court, but not by the California Supreme Court.

  38. simon says

    In an interview, he said Mozilla is inclusive of everyone, including bigots like himself. It is ironic that the board of directors proved him wrong.

  39. Francis says

    Brendan Eich acted according to his views. We reacted accordingly, as did much of the tech community. There’s no bullying here. If you attack our community, you’re a target. And we don’t miss our targets.

  40. woodroad34 says

    Eich was bullying us when he not only supported Prop 8, but various other anti-gay measures as well. He never rescinded his views, but rather tried to mitigate them. I don’t really care if we did “bully” him–NOM and that other jerky anti-gay organization did the same thing with Mozilla and Honey Graham but without the victory. Let ’em cry and stamp their widdle feet; they’re the true bullies and we’re fighting them back. They are truly anti-society and anti-Christian hacks pretending that they aren’t.

  41. Nick says

    London’s Guardian newspaper has reported that he also donated to Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan in the past, before his donationto support Prop 8.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/02/controversial-mozilla-ceo-made-donations-right-wing-candidates-brendan-eich

    Clearly he has a certain world view and specific thoughts about homosexuality that makes his statements about leaving his personal beliefs at home very hard to believe.

    It is one thing to argue that your personal views are just that and not something to bring to work. It is entirely another to give money to people who actively campaign to ensure that those who don’t share your sexuality should have rights denied or stripped from them.

    I urge you to click the link and read the article. the comments from Paul and Buchanan, many made BEFORE Eich donated to their campaigns, show you just where his thinking is, despite his feeble attempts to appear neutral.

  42. AG says

    “Brendan Eich acted according to his views. We reacted accordingly, as did much of the tech community. There’s no bullying here. If you attack our community, you’re a target. And we don’t miss our targets.”

    That’s why I have nothing but contempt for the gay fascist community. What you’re doing is un-American.

  43. Gay Guy says

    I was thinking along free speech lines. However, free speech means that you can’t be arrested or charged with a crime. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t other consequences.

    If he had participated in something blatantly racist or Anti-Semitic, he would have been let go and nobody would have said “boo” about free-speech. We should demand the same.

  44. simon says

    AG:
    You can call it fascist or whatever you like. The fact is some members of that community were just expressing their views or suggested boycotts, exactly like what NOM or million moms were doing. Mozilla did the math and bowed to pressure. It was their choice as a company. You can boycott them if you wish. No one will call you fascist.

  45. Ryan says

    This is a huge victory — not just against someone, but for the causes of equality.

    Donating to hate groups like Prop 8 and anti-gay organizations that advocate legislating discrimination against certain classes or groups must be treated the same way as donating to other causes of bigotry.

    No one would have accepted someone as CEO of Mozilla if they donated to groups that deny the holocaust or were associated with the racist discrimination — and we shouldn’t accept a CEO of Mozilla who would donate to anti-gay causes that seek out to actively discriminate against gay people and legislate the government to do the same.

    When it becomes unacceptable for public figures and high ranking executives to behave this way, they’ll stop, and that will severely restrict the kind of money anti-gay organizations are able to raise.

  46. Jerome says

    LGBT this is the time as a collective community to go on social media (including the Mozilla facebook page) and show strength in numbers, because the bigots will be out in full force. State why eich was wrong for the job

  47. Ricardo says

    He didn’t just have views….he HEAVILY funded a legislation that treated LGBT as second class citizens, and anyone who can’t grasp the difference is either an idiot or calculating.

  48. Highes says

    F-ck ANY apologist who even attempts to feel sorry for this man who voted and campaigned against the CIVIL RIGHTS of gay human beings. F-ck you and your own bigotry!

  49. Fiat says

    You don’t get to fund legislation that treats millions as second class citizens and not get challenged for your actions. Welcome to the real world Eich!

  50. Harrison says

    I’m curious though… the “damage is done” so to speak, he has made the donations, gone against equality and tried to infringe on people’s rights, etc. etc.
    I don’t understand a lot about the politics of business, but is he now just supposed to remain unemployed forever? Couldn’t you make the same argument at the next place that hires him? Is it because he was the CEO of the company, but if he was just a “lowly employee” then his personal exploits are less important somehow?
    I understand the majority of people aren’t feeling much sympathy for him no matter what, but I just want to better understand what he is supposed to do now.

  51. Maryland says

    Hahaaha right wing conservatives, YOU L ANOTEHR ONE. And your duck dynasty hicks are experiencing their lowest ratings in the shows history.

    Eat crow.

  52. Harrison says

    According to the first article on this topic, almost $40 million was donated to support the gay marriage ban. Are all those people now supposed to be fired/quit/resign/forced out from their jobs too?

  53. simon says

    Harrison:
    I guess CEO is different from other employees. He got more attention. People only know Tim Cook and may not know anyone else in Apple. That means Tim Cook is synonymous with Apple. In other words, Mozilla’s reputation is at stake depending on the person who represents the company. A lot of people are in line for that position. He is not indispensable despite what he claimed he was the most qualified guy. The decision the company made was relatively easy and they just wanted to get rid of any distraction.

  54. JackFknTwist says

    No putting up with scum who undermine our rights.
    we are not fascists, we have free speech and we are not quiet or in anyone’s closet ever again.

    Eich lived by the sword and must die by the sword……..and so it must be against all our oppressors……I , for one, have had enough.

  55. JJ says

    @HARRISON, yes, it’s because he was in a position 1) to decide how faithfully to pursue (or not) Mozilla’s stated nondiscrimination policies, 2) to hire people in key roles who share his demonstrated commitment to opposing gay rights, and 3) to steer company resources according to his values. It just doesn’t make sense to have a CEO who has actively worked to thwart the very equality that the company claims to embrace. Either change the policy or hire a CEO who shares the company values. It’s pretty ridiculous to hire a CEO who says he’ll only fight against those values on his personal time.

  56. JJ says

    @HARRISON: “Are all those people now supposed to be fired/quit/resign/forced out from their jobs too?”

    Translation: you hurt my hand when I punched your face.

    If people suffer exclusion as a consequence of their hatred, then so be it. It’s a problem of their on making. They were perfectly happy for others to suffer exclusion.

  57. Bill says

    @JJ: claiming he actively worked to oppose gay rights is an overstatement – he made a $1000 donation (which for some people is not a large donation at all). Nobody knows why he made it. He could be a Mormon and simply caved into social pressure from his church. He supported some politicians who made anti-gay statements, but nearly all Republicans at the time had an anti-gay position. Did he support them to oppose gay rights or because he liked their economic policies?

    What’s missing are the details:

    Why did he make the donation?

    Did he write a single check or did he make multiple donations over a period of time?

    When did he donate? Was it before and after the “yes on eight” campaign started putting out one lie after another in its TV ads?

    Did he just write a check or did he put in personal time to support the “Yes on Eight” campaign?

    There’s simply a lot we don’t know about this guy and people are filling in the blanks with speculation and then treating those wild guesses as facts.

    BTW, if $1000 sounds like a lot, after the election there was a newspaper article about a middle-class Mormon couple who took out a mortgage on their home to make a donation of some multiple of $10,000. Compared to them, his donation is trivial.

  58. simon says

    Bill:
    The donation probably was not the reason he got fired. It was the interview he gave afterwards that made the board uncomfortable.
    He was expected to apologize instead of being defensive. That shows that he put himself first and the company second. What kind of company wants a CEO like that?

  59. says

    @Bill: I don’t know why you persist in thinking it’s a big mystery why he donated to the Prop 8 campaign. He donated because he supported it, and it’s not at all a leap to say that supporting Prop 8 was working against the civil rights of gay people. It’s fact. (The amount of his donation doesn’t mean the action doesn’t count.)

    If, as you keep suggesting, he didn’t know what he was doing, or that he wasn’t intending to work against gay rights, he’s had a couple of years to articulate an explanation. He has not. And in keeping silent he left the distinct impression that he does not share Mozilla’s corporate values, which is important when you are a CEO.

    @JJ: As usual, very well said.

  60. Gio says

    Anything that gives Christians anger makes me smile. F-CK YOU CHRISTIANS and your privilege. The days of you controlling other peoples lives are over

  61. Mechanic Shar says

    If he donated money against the the direct rights of latinos, black people, any other minority, not a single comment would be defending him. Let’s just be real now.

  62. Vigilante says

    Kill Eich and every other opponent of LGBT. Yes, he is a target as stated in this blog and he is a Jew, also stated by a previous commenter. His homophobic grandparents should have been burned in the ovens with the other 6 million of his bigoted Levitical homophobes. The Hebrews started the entire Gay hate-fest and they deserve death.
    It’s not hate to hate the haters.

  63. ben says

    Hooray for bullying!
    “We have employees with a wide diversity of views.” -because we are letting someone got that didn’t agree with us. lol.
    I might uninstall mozilla because of the hate and intolerance of Mozilla’s employees to their own boss. disgusting

  64. JJ says

    @Bill, if Eich’s motives were pure, he could easily have cleared up the misunderstanding by explaining them. He made the choice to resign instead. So either there was no misunderstanding, or he decided that it was so important to keep his pure motives secret—motives that you argue he wasn’t very committed to, given that $1000 is so meager—that he would have to let go of the pinnacle of his career.

    In other words, your apology makes no sense.

  65. dennis says

    the radio adds run on public radio during this campaign which I’m sure where paid for by donations where and still are the most disgusting attack on all gay people
    in general using children to create that idea that gays are perverts and pedophiles and that their children are not safe was a base manipulation of the human psyche to create fear and loathing of an already persecuted minority ………..

    Lincoln freed the slaves ,
    Obama freed the gays

  66. Bill says

    @JJ: to be blunt, you are clueless. If his motives were that he was merely responding to requests from his church (if he goes to one, which nobody knows), he’d be the most unpopular guy there if he said he was pressured into a donation – such a claim could in the worst case (worst for them) trigger an IRS investigation about the “religious” organization’s tax-free status.

    It is possible that he isn’t saying anything because he thinks his personal life should be checked at the door – the door of his car when he gets out of it to go to work.

    BTW, I know one Mormon guy who was working as a manager. In over a decade, I did not hear him utter one single homophobic remark, but he gave several hundred dollars to the “Yes on Eight” campaign. He had no problem with non-Mormons drinking alcoholic beverages at corporate events, but never drank any due to his religious restrictions. My guess is that he didn’t care much personally if at all, but probably made the donation because the leader of his church/temple/whatever asked for it. I doubt if he even gave it much thought.

  67. Bill says

    @Ernie, @Simon, @Rawn: Nearly certainly, unlike you, I have a perspective on it due to living only a few miles from Mozilla’s headquarters in Mountain View. First, a sizable number of CEOs in Silicon Valley are socially liberal but fiscally conservative: I once heard a billionaire complain about Congress arguing about who could marry whom when it should have been doing something about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. A surprising number are libertarian and their main issue is less government regulation (unless, of course, its a regulation that benefits them).

    Eich’s other donations (at least the ones I saw mentioned on this site) where to politicians who want less government regulation. He probably ignored their homophobic positions as marketing needed to get elected. As an example, George Bush was in favor of constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriages before each election, but lost interest after the election only to become interested again when the next election reared its ugly head. The CEO class is used to people spouting garbage to appeal to customers of any sort and tends not to take that seriously.

    If you guys think dumping on Eich is a good idea, you might want to read Debra Saunders’ opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle:
    http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/The-Internet-is-tolerant-Don-t-agree-Keep-out-5371850.php
    Saunders is the Chronicle’s token right-wing attack dog. Given the vast majority of her columns, I think she is an idiot (I suspect the Chronicle keeps her on the payroll specifically to make conservatives look ridiculous). But if you read this particular column, you’ll get a good idea of how the right-wing will exploit the way Eich was treated. It is quite possible that dumping on Eich, no matter how “righteous” it makes you feel, will harm gay rights far more than Eich’s $1000 contribution did.

  68. simon says

    It is useless to argue what his “true” motive is. The fact is he made a PR disaster. Imagine during the interview with the board, he says something like I personally don’t support the company’s view on equality but I will keep that personal. He made his own bed, he has to sleep in it.

  69. IonMusic says

    What an amazing winning streak we the gay community have had.

    Chik Fil A CEO says he will never make another donation to anti gay causes after the backlash.

    Duck Dynasty experiences their worst ratings in the shows history this season after the controversy of their homophobia.

    Juan Pablo, the homophobic bachelor, is dropped from his agency after revealing himself to be America’s most hated bachelor

    And now a bigoted man who tried to impose his religion into law resigns from Mozilla.

    Activism works!

  70. Terrotsa says

    LOL This is REALLY going to anger the conservative Rick types (aka log cabin republicans)….poor little conservative gays, always left without a home.

  71. Nilong says

    Bill, you aren’t convincing anyone of anything except for the fact that you want to mandate homophobia and you lost this battle. You will not silence our gay activism. The free market worked here. Consumers spoke, and the company listened. How DARE you be against the free market. What a communist way of thinking.

  72. Future57 says

    He wanted to treat gay people as second class citizens and refused to take any responsibility for the hurt it caused gays and now he got to see that gay people are not weak and will not go silenced.

  73. simon says

    Bill:
    It makes sense. If you don’t ask for rights, then there will be no back lash like all these religious freedom bills coming up in many states.
    If you don’t speak up, you don’t get rights, then there will be no rights to be harmed.

  74. JJ says

    So @BILL, you argue that maybe he doesn’t hate gays, but he was just following orders, and if only we could know this, we would see that his motives were ever so pure. But, alas, he mustn’t reveal this because his peers would scorn him, since just following orders is such a contemptible motive. You’ve lost me here. Is following orders good or bad? Or is it sometimes good and sometimes bad depending on what serves your argument at the moment?

    You then suggest that maybe he can’t explain his virtuous act of harming gays out of obedience to his church because he wants to help his church illegally evade its tax obligations. This is supposed to exonerate him?

    You offer that maybe, like your bigoted Mormon friend, he just cares so little about gays that he’ll give his money to hurt us without even thinking about it. But even as little as it meant to him, leaving his personal life at “the door of his car” is so fundamental to his principles, you speculate, that he’d sooner give up the most revered and influential position he’s ever achieved in his life than explain an action so trivial to him that had it not been recorded in public record he probably would have forgotten that he attacked those families. So yesterday his priorities were such that he’d sooner let Mozilla fail then resign, and today you think his priorities are that he’d sooner resign then explain his reasons for doing something that he really didn’t care about one way or the other.

    I said before that your apology made no sense. I can now say that it makes even less sense than before. I don’t know how that’s possible. But it’s clear you’ve achieved it.

  75. simon says

    Bill:
    Actually his donations were discovered by some reporters of the newspaper Guardian who may not even be gay. These are public records.
    Guardian also interviewed him in which he made some controversial statements.
    You are essentially blaming the victims who may not have anything to do directly with his resignation.

  76. Francis says

    Look, in the end of the day…this is a social war. A global social war, and it’s LGBT people right in the middle of it. We can either fight back and fight for our humanity or we can sit back and be crapped on. I think we’ve had enough of that.

  77. Francis says

    It’s very true that if you replace gay with essentially every other minority, no excuses would be made to discrimination against that minority. Even in today’s more progressive society, homophobia is given somewhat of, if not an OK, not an outright rejection. It’s not acceptable. We’re either equals or we’re not. We must demand to be recognized as equals and if that means we must flex our power to do so, we can and should.

  78. Bill says

    @JJ: you look to me like a real idiot when you say things like, “you argue that maybe he doesn’t hate gays, but he was just following orders, and if only we could know this, we would see that his motives were ever so pure.”

    The point is that nobody knows what his motives at the time were – there is a lack of data and most people’s opinions seem to be the result of an “echo chamber” effect where they read each others’ speculations and confuse it with reality. Making decisions based on faulty data is a really bad idea. Ask Mitt Romney, where it seems he heard what he wanted to hear while Barak Obama listened to Nate Silver (as a stand-in for the people providing the data-driven strategy he used to win the last election).

    It probably wouldn’t matter what Eich said – some people would want his head (figuratively at least) regardless.

    Meanwhile, you guys are helping turn him into a martyr for the religious right wing. That’s real smart.

  79. Wally says

    The free market worked beautifully here. We expressed our disdain with the companies decision, the company put their finger in the air and realized it would be a loss for the brand to have him, he stepped down, and democracy worked itself out. That’s how business works. Branding is everything, as is reputation.

  80. ThisoneBoat says

    This is a major victory for equality. It really reinforces donations against our community are not going to go without challenge, making it much harder for the hate groups out there.

  81. JJ says

    @Bill: “The point is that nobody knows what his motives at the time were”

    So what? Eich’s actions inflicted actual harm, whatever his motives. He isn’t entitled to the benefit of the doubt. The harm he caused divested him of that. If his motives were pure, the onus to explain them fell on him. He chose to resign instead. It’s fair and reasonable to conclude that he had no justification for his actions. It’s irrational to assume that he had a good reason for supporting prop 8, yet he chose to walk away from the pinnacle of his career rather than reveal this alleged good reason.

    “Making decisions based on faulty data is a really bad idea.”

    Agreed. But Eich was the one making the decisions here, and he does have all the data. He chose to resign. His critics had no power to resign for him. There’s no credible argument that Eich made a bad decision, given that he had all the data. He had the option to share any exonerating facts to refute his critics, but he didn’t do so. There’s no evidence to suggest that any such facts exist, and he isn’t entitled to the benefit of the doubt that exonerating facts may exist.

  82. TheSeer says

    We must not take our freedom for granted. We must defend it all the time. Every bigot should get the same as this CEO. And when Xtians use this to call us fascists, we’ll just pinpoint what they did in Uganda.

  83. The Enemy says

    The only recourse for survival is letting the bullets fly. Dragging the knife across the throats. War has been declared on heterosexuals and now the only recourse is a Rwanda experience. You say on this board you are coming for us. You admit it publicly. Therefore, you have cornered us and the only solution is mass violence. You have declared the war, the streets will be filled with blood. Let the fittest survive.

  84. Gary says

    Andrew Sullivan: “And now, opposing marriage equality is regarded as equivalent to the KKK? And neo-Nazis? ” Not what “The New Normal” predicted… So true…

  85. Bill says

    @enchantra: the claims about Blacks, whether Democrats or not, are factually misleading. There were exit polls indicating a very large Black vote in favor of Prop 8, but a subsequent analysis done by people who really understand statistics (as opposed to news organizations) found otherwise.

    The exit polls picked predominately Black precincts as a convenience sample. It turns out that one of the factors associated with a favoring Prop 8 was being in a demographically homogeneous area. It didn’t matter if that area was Black, White, or whatever as long as there was little diversity. The other factor was weekly attendance at churches – the rate was higher among Blacks than some other other groups. It was religion more than ethnicity that was the dominant factor. The exit polls also showed a slightly higher additional Black vote due to statistical noise related to the sample size – i.e., bad luck in the polling.

  86. Bill says

    @Francis: a “war ” is a good analogy. But keep in in mind that winning a battle (in this case figuratively crucifying Eich) may not be such a good idea if the long-term strategic costs are more than what you gain in the short term.

    What people like Simon don’t understand is that, regardless of who found out about Eich’s donations, all we know about those donations is rather limited: who/what he gave money to and how much. People are filling in the blanks to give him a motive, but the reality is that we simply don’t know.

    In a war, you don’t fill in the blanks (at least the smart generals don’t). They make, or at least try to make, an objective assessment of the situation, allow for uncertainties, and try to pick a strategy that will assure a win at minimal cost no matter what goes wrong.

    It is a pretty sure bet that groups like NOM are going to use Eich’s treatment as an argument to keep their donor lists private. If the courts buy that, it will mean that religious organizations can use outfits like NOM to hide their involvement, so that opponents of gay rights can support their position with pre-tax dollars while supporters of gay rights have to use after-tax dollars. The advantage depends on your marginal tax rate. It’s 20% for a modest income, and a lot higher for people who can make large donations.

    Is the risk of giving the other side that sort of an advantage worth the “satisfaction” of pillorying Eich for his measly $1000 contribution to Prop 8? (It may not sound measly if you work as a salesperson in an underwear store, but it is pocket change for the venture capitalist set in Silicon Valley – I know one guy who had a product idea and was told, “Oh, you only need $50,000? Drop by my office tomorrow morning and we’ll talk about it.”)

  87. Rich says

    People do “evolve”. Eich has shown no evidence that he had. In exchange for being the CEO of a major corporation, one merges one’s identity with that corporation, and this particular merger was aborted.

  88. JJ says

    You’ve still got it backwards, @Bill. You keep arguing that the harm Eich’s caused is justified unless proven otherwise. The burden of proof is exactly the opposite. Eich caused harm, by his own admission; the burden is on him to justify it.

  89. Bill says

    @JJ: You can’t read. I didn’t say one word about whether the harm Eich had done (apparently just a $1000 contribution) is justified, but rather that his motivations are not clear due to a lack of data.

    Even the date of his donation is not known. When Prop 8 was filed, its only effect would have been to repeat the exact wording of the current law, passed years before in Prop 22, and insert that in the state constitution, as same-sex marriage was not legal in California. Between the filing date and the election, at about the time they had gathered enough signatures to put Prop 8 on the ballot, the California Supreme Court ruled that Prop 22 was unconstitutional. So we don’t even know if Eich gave the contribution at a time when same-sex marriage was legal or not.

    I was also pointing out that going after him has a downside. While NOM is now making some public noise, the real threat is not that ranting but whether Eich’s case will be used as an excuse to justify withholding NOM’s donor list, so the source of funding (and in particular, any tax-free help from religious groups) won’t be made public. After Prop 8 was passed, the Mormon Church had to pay a small fine for violating California election laws (failure to report or something). If one could have shown that they much more heavily involved, that fine might have been high enough to get their attention. So there is a strategic advantage in not going after Eich or other small donors (his $1000 is pretty minor compared to the Mormon guy who put in a million dollars in the final weeks of the campaign).

  90. Armando says

    I almost hate to quote the bible, but you reap what you sow. With his donation he planted the seeds of hatred and that what he got back in return.

  91. Fenrox says

    I am not comfortable with a company taking down another company while using gay rights as a prop. This is not a boycott from our community and being used is not fun.

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