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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.

Finally:

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.


Bill O’Reilly: Gay Activists Using Threats and Intimidation to Win Marriage Battle - VIDEO

Oreilly

On Monday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly and his guest contributors discussed the controversial resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over his $1000 donation to California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 campaign in 2008.

O’Reilly, for his part, thinks that the intimidation and fear tactics of gay activists have effectively silenced anyone with an opposing viewpoint on LGBT rights.

Said O’Reilly:

If you donate money to a traditional marriage cause, okay, we're going to hurt you. We're going to hurt you. We're going to find out where you live. We are going try to take your job. Maybe do vandalism to your home. [...]

Now there are threats and demonization. And that unfortunately, has put gay marriage over the top. That is the technique that turned the tide -- intimidation and harm. That's what won it.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Equality Matters responds:

While it's true that the names of donors to Proposition 8 are publicly available, there's no evidence of widespread intimidation or harassment by marriage equality supporters. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), for example, has repeatedly tried and failed to demonstrate in court that supporters of Proposition 8 experienced serious "harm" from gay activists.

O'Reilly's latest diatribe contradicts his earlier declarations that supporters of marriage equality had won the battle of public opinion because of the strength of their arguments. In March of 2013, O'Reilly conceded that "the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals," echoing his earlier statement that conservatives were losing the marriage debate because their case "wasn't strong enough."

Continue reading "Bill O’Reilly: Gay Activists Using Threats and Intimidation to Win Marriage Battle - VIDEO" »


Mozilla Appoints Chris Beard Interim CEO Following Brendan Eich Flap

Two weeks after the resignation of Brendan Eich following controversy over donations he made to the Proposition 8 campaign in California and other candidates which did not fit the company's corporate culture, Mozilla has appointed Chris Beard to the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors, and as our interim CEO.

Chris_beardWrote Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman in a blog post, in part:

We began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago. Chris has been a Mozillian longer than most. He’s been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s. I have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade. This is an excellent time for Chris to bring his understanding of Mozilla to the Board.

We have also appointed Chris as interim CEO. In this time of transition there is no better person to lead us. Chris has one of the clearest visions of how to take the Mozilla mission and turn it into programs and activities and product ideas that I have ever seen. In the early years at Mozilla he was responsible for leading the Mozilla product, marketing and innovation teams. More recently, Chris was our CMO, leading user, developer and community engagement activities globally, including the initial launches of Firefox on Android and Firefox OS at MWC. Chris is the right person to lead us through this time and he is a strong candidate for CEO.

Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively.


Andrew Sullivan Brings His Brendan Eich Complaints to Stephen Colbert: VIDEO

Sullivan_colbert

Andrew Sullivan brought his argument that Brendan Eich was brought down by the 'gaystapo' (as like-minded conservatives would dub the imaginary group of gay activists conjured in this tale), to the Colbert Report last night where he was given carte blanche to discuss the episode.

Mozilla_colbertWatch the segments below.

A few notes of response to what Sullivan says since Colbert did not offer much.

Gay activists did not get Eich fired. As our Ari Ezra Waldman explains in his piece earlier this week, gay groups were not in this fight - Eich was brought down because he took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla:

There was no mainstream gay rights organization calling for his head. No one "bullied" Mr. Eich out of Mozilla's headquarters. To say so is an insult to those of us who have been bullied in real life. And no cabal of intolerant gays proclaimed that disagreement with us merits unemployment. That seems to be a bogeyman conjured up in the prolific brain of Andrew Sullivan.

Eich was not being punished for a belief, as Sullivan says. He resigned after it was revealed he took financial action to specifically harm others (the Prop 8 donation) and made it worse by refusing to discuss his actions. It was not a group of gay activists out to "scalp" him as Sullivan would say, for a belief.

As Markos Moulitsas explained so well last week,

"This was Mozilla developers saying they refused to do work with a bigot, private websites blocking access to the Firefox browser because they refused to do business with a bigot, and employees of the firm speaking up because they refused to work for a bigot. In short, it was the free market expressing itself. Eich was perfectly within his rights to stay at Mozilla, but he would then face a hostile market and eventually faced the reality that he couldn't do his job in that environment. The free market spoke, and a free market enterprise was forced to react."

Sullivan says "where I draw the line is when we start targeting individuals for punishment or calling them heretics, or bigots, or haters without giving them a chance to really explain themselves."

But Sullivan did just that a few weeks ago when MSNBC was considering cutting Alec Baldwin for using an anti-gay slur. Michelangelo Signorile noted:

"...this is the same Andrew Sullivan who was first out of the gate with the pitchfork, driving Alec Baldwin off of MSNBC -- as Baldwin bombastically charged that he was the victim of Sullivan and his "fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy." ...

"But if you're going to get worked up over a guy hurling the word "c--ksucker" in the heat of the moment -- while he also gave money and support to the causes of LGBT rights and marriage equality -- you should be completely outraged by a man unapologetically giving money to a hate campaign that helped pass Prop 8 by demonizing gay men and lesbians in television ads charging that gays are dangerous to children. The damage done by those ads is incalculable, turning neighbors in California against one another, empowering anti-gay bullies in schools as well as the bashers on the streets."

Sullivan also brings up the talking point about Obama having the same views as Eich. Jeremy Hooper refuted that point well earlier in the discussion about Eich, writing:

...look, President Obama was certainly wrong on marriage, something he himself now realizes...But the fact of the matter is that the Democratic candidates (and most Dems in general) opposed the abject and unconstitutional nastiness that was and is Proposition 8 because, even when they had yet to come to their current places of support, they knew that altering governing documents for the sole purpose of limiting rights was a bad idea. Mr. Eich apparently felt otherwise.

Watch the segments below:

And here's Sullivan arguing the complete opposite in a discussion with Anderson Cooper about why Alec Baldwin should lose his job because of his anti-gay slurs:


GayGamer Profiles 11 Tech And Entertainment Industry Prop 8 Donors

Brendan Eich Firefox

The recent controversy over Brendan Eich, the Mozilla CEO who donated to California's Prop 8, has reopened some old discussions and prompted GayGamer.net's Jean-Luc "Neshoba" Pierite to do some digging into that donor list and see who else in the tech and entertainment industries contributed to the fight against marriage equality.

Aided by a database tool provided online by the LA Times, Pierite profiled almost a dozen individuals from various sectors of the entertainment and tech industry. Some of the offenders include:

  • Jeremy Gess, former Sr. Game Designer for Defiance at Trion Worlds, who donated $100
  • Hyrum V. Osmond, Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation and worked on Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, who donated $2200
  • Aldric La'auli Porter, Assistant Director and Co-Producer for various films including The Hunger Games series and A Beautiful Mind, who donated $6000
  • Keneth Swanson, creator of JavaScript and engineer at Oracle/Sun Microsystems, who donated $8901 as well as $2000 for Family Research Council Action PAC

You can read the full list at GayGamer.net and use the LA Times database tool to search for other donors who wasted their money to fight against equality.


OkCupid Co-Founder Sam Yagan Apologizes For Supporting Anti-Gay Candidate

Earlier today it was revealed that OK Cupid's co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan once donated $500 to anti-gay Utah Republican Chris Cannon, a politician who supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, opposes protections against sexual-orientation based job discrimination and is against gay adoptions.

YaganIn a statement sent to The Huffington Post, Yagan said he did not know about the candidate's anti-gay record at the time he made the contribution, and was more interested in Cannon's stance on intellectual property issues:

"A decade ago, I made a contribution to Representative Chris Cannon because he was the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversaw the Internet and Intellectual Property, matters important to my business and our industry. I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular; I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today. However, a contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right."

Yagan's company famously blocked the Firefox web-browser after discovering that the company's since-resigned CEO Brendan Eich made a $1,000 donation to the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign outlawing same-sex marriage in California. Unlike Yagan, Eich never apologized for his donation to a solely anti-gay cause.


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