After several weeks of public outcry over his support of traditional marriage, newly minted Mozilla Corporation CEO Brendan Eich has succumbed to the pressure and chosen to resign. Eich, who was promoted from CTO to CEO last month, came under fire for a $1,000 donation he made in support of California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot proposition defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The controversy surrounding Eich’s promotion hit a fever pitch when the popular dating site OkCupid encouraged its users to avoid accessing the site through Mozilla Firefox free browser. As TheBlaze reported, upon reaching the OkCupid website, Firefox users were greeted with a letter that chastises Eich’s stance on same-sex marriage and urges Firefox users to use another browser:
Photo Credit: Screen shot of letter posted by OkCupid
While Eich initially vowed to weather the storm, publishing a statement on March 26 that detailed Mozilla’s devotion to diversity, the pressure from outside forces clearly took its toll.
On Thursday, Mozilla announced Eich’s resignation in a blog post:
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.
Read the full post HERE.
On radio this morning, Glenn delivered an impassioned monologue in which he explained why Eich’s resignation represents “an American nightmare.” The only thing Eich is guilty of is exercising his First Amendment right to free speech, and in allowing Eich to resign amidst this faux-outrage, Mozilla has proven itself to be the antithesis of the “diverse” and “inclusive” company it claims to be.
“We say: We hold this truth to be self-evident, that I am an individual, and I can say and believe what I want and so can they. We'll disagree, but no one, especially the government, can stop that because freedom of speech is one of our deeply held beliefs. And freedom of speech only needs to be protected because it's hard,” Glenn explained. “People are going to say things that you disagree with… We do it every day, and we don't lose our jobs over it. But when somebody openly disagrees with same-sex marriage, they often lose everything. The most recent example of this case is the Mozilla Firefox web browser's CEO Brendan Eich… He donated $1,000 to a political cause – something he believed in – six years ago, and he lost his job over it.”
According to its mission statement, Mozilla claims itself to be “a global community of technologists, thinkers and builders working together to keep the Internet alive and accessible, so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the Web.” In not standing by Eich and his freedom to express his beliefs, Mozilla seems to have acted against the very mission it claims to be fighting for.
While it would “never happened,” Glenn believes Mozilla would have been better served releasing the following statement:
We support the Constitutional rights of all of our employees to express themselves politically without the fear of retribution. This is America, and the first principle of this nation is that right of expression. While we disagree with Mr. Eich’s stance, we support his right to be true to the dictates of his conscience and support the rights of everyone in the homosexual community to vehemently disagree with Mr. Eich. We wish you well in the fight for same-sex marriage rights. We will not, however, cave in to the un-American attempt to squash free political thought, expression, and political viewpoints no matter who's behind the effort.
“They will never ever release that,” Glenn said disgusted.
So what happens next? Progressives succeeded in ousting Eich, but what is the end game? 7.1 million Californians supported Proposition 8 with their money and with their vote. Will they be hunted down and hung out to dry as well?
“Is this truly what we want? Is there no shame,” Glenn asked. “We're talking about the basic fundamental principles that all men are created equal – not in special favored groups, equal – and they're endowed by their creator with rights that nobody can take away… Those are the uniting principles. Gay, straight, black, white, nobody wants hatred. Nobody wants mob rule. Because in the end, we're all sitting in our house saying, ‘Kids, get away from the window.’ That's not America.”