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Bink doesn't get it on Brendan Eich. Our country was founded on the fact that rights are not Brendan Eich's or anyone else's to give. The rights belong to the people unless they give it to the government. Not the other way around.

Brendan Eich donated his money to homophobic causes such as Proposition 8. He made his choice, he should live with the consequences. That created a serious conflict of interest at Mozilla. When you have been active in homophobic causes, then how do people trust that you will be fair when it comes to the hiring and firing of gay people? Maybe he had been completely objective over the years in doing so. But the appearance of conflict is still there. And that is just a fact of life. It's no different than in Ohio, when the chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign there was also in charge of counting the votes. Or the chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida in 2004 being in charge of counting the votes there.

Furthermore, we should not have to have the media's approval for what we do. Why should we care what the media thinks when they are beholden to their corporate advertisers anyway?

Bink writes:

The problem that I have here is with the idea that that gays and their allies can just voice their opinions, advocate for their cause and mobilize other people to protect themselves and their families. This has really just gone way over the line and is going to hurt them in the end.
Nope. Welcome to the 21st century, where it is no longer acceptable to be sexist, racist, or homophobic. He accuses people of stifling debate. Nope -- there is nothing to debate. If gay rights are Eich's to give, then perhaps we should give Alaska back to Russia, the southwest to Mexico, Louisiana Territory back to France, and the rest of us petition to be British subjects again. Bink should go back and read the Constitution before lecturing the rest of us on rights again.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent job on this (17+ / 0-)

    I'd also add that I had no idea we were supposed to genuflect to Frank Bruni, which is what that diary appeared to do.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:19:51 PM PDT

  •  Great post (19+ / 0-)

    I'm tired of all of the people who claim to be so very concerned about what the Mozilla dustup looks like to "others". The conventional wisdom about LGBT rights is that we should be as invisible as possible and as quiet as possible. To assimilate in other words to what straight culture thinks of as the norm. Same sex partner? Okay but only if you can pass for straight. The problem with that theory is that such a strategy serves to concede rights not get them. We're not going to gain equality from Eich nor from being silent and passive.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:29:09 PM PDT

    •  There has been a huge CULTURAL shift on attitudes. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieR, Tonedevil, AJayne, skrekk

      see great KOS piece 40 years of changing attitudes towards LGBT neighbors, one relationship at a time

      There was also UK (formerly) blogger Andrew Sullivan who’s stance is noted in   Prominent gay blogger 'disgusted' by 'ugly intolerance' of gay movement that forced Mozilla CEO to quit Stating:

      'The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favour Prop 8 in California by donating US$1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists.'
      ...and Michelangelo Signorile responds:
      American journalist and talk radio host Michelangelo Signorile has also weighed in on the issue noting that Eich had 'unapologetically given 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.'
      Signorile, who is also editor-at-large of HuffPost Gay Voices, added, 'Sullivan is even more wrong because it wasn't the Prop 8 contribution, (but) Eich's refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in.'
      In my comment under that blog, I noted that I am a Californian and Nov 4, 2008 was an evening I will never forget.. WE ELECTED PBO and were slammed by 51% of voters with their stinking Hate as reflected in those ads! Not many here feel any compassion for HATECRIME rights.

      ... and commenters noted that in the TECH world people must ‘evolve’ in all kinds of ways or simply be shunted aside by those who have.  How/Why would any gay people work for a Prop8 donor?? or use their product when there are so very many others!

      Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

      by LOrion on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sullivan is an example (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eternal Hope, AJayne, Oh Mary Oh

        Of the kind of gay man who feels that straight looking and straight acting are the only expressions that society can, (or should), tolerate. People like that and like John Aravosis and formerly Barney Frank think of transgendered Americans as a distracting side show that the very serious among LGB rights activists would love to excise. So the aforementioned convention wisdom isn't limited to the heterosexual, cisgendered it's been adopted by many Gays and Lesbians too.

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

        by MargaretPOA on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:17:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What if Eich had donated to the Birchers, (14+ / 0-)

    the Klan, or some Nazi skinhead group? I doubt most people would be in a tizzy over him stepping down if those connections came to light. So you can see, there's still a long way to go. Eich could've said he was mistaken, learned a lesson, and probably stayed, but he was not willing to give up on homophobia to save his job or his company's reputation. That's his call. He chose unwisely.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:41:54 PM PDT

  •  Human rights are inherent to being human (7+ / 0-)

    No one can give them or take them away, only abuse them.

    Personally, I didn't think much of the Eich crusade, not when Templeton and his foundation are still out there. Templeton gave about $1,000,000 to the campaign to prevent gay marriage. He's not the only member of the oligarchy to do this.

    Know who our enemies are: the Koch family, the Walton family, Adelson, Peterson, Templeton, and others.

    At least that slug Scott Lively is going to be sued for his efforts on behalf of bigots in Uganda. But even he is just a tool. The rich men behind him are our real enemies. It isn't just opposition to gay rights, but climate change denial, undermining environmental laws, support of restrictive voting laws, and the corruption of democracy.

    They really are our mortal enemies.

    Let us keep Templeton and his rich buddies in our sights and ignore their puppets.  Just because Eich is no longer the CEO of Mozilla, all is NOT right with the world.

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:45:19 PM PDT

  •  I'll confess that in the first day after Eich left (17+ / 0-)

    I was wondering if there was too much ado about nothing to it. But it eventually dawned on me, that was my privilege as a hetero talking and not reality. Yeah, I can sit here comfortably weighing issues of "free speech" and yada yada but the sad fact is people like Eich cause others to lose their jobs on a daily basis. That's not some abstract concept it's a painful reality. What Eich did was wrong and what folks like OkCupid and others did was exactly the right thing. It's what we all need to do when confronted with bigots: speak up, yell if you have to, let people know bigotry has no place in this society. And standing up against bigots isn't going "too far".

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:50:18 PM PDT

  •  Just like Michael Arrington (9+ / 0-)

    And all the other people whining about how gays are "sore winners".

    Bhig Dheal.  Equal marriage is still forbidden by the constitution of 28 states, people can be fired just for being gay in a majority of states, taxes are still a nightmare even in equal states because the IRS doesn't recognize same-sex unions, and Tony Perkins still shows up on CNN.  

    "Sore winners"?  Riiiiiight.  Until that happy day when all of the above is false and LGBT rights are the law of the land, Arrington and his ilk can STFU.  Meanwhile I for one fail to get excited over a mush-mouthed bigot leaving his job -- especially when a CEO must represent all his employees, not only the straight ones.

  •  Gladly tip & rec. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, Tonedevil, jan4insight

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

  •  Andrew Sullivan had this to say: (7+ / 0-)

    "The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists... Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."

    Josh Marshall had this to say:

    "I would say first that people shouldn't be run out of their jobs for having heterodox political views or heterodox views in general. That's something basic to a free society. Not necessarily or really not at all as a matter of law but as a matter of the cultural norms of a free society.

    But being a CEO isn't just any job. And I think it has and should have fewer de facto and de jure rights than your regular run of the mill job. It's in the essence of being a CEO that you're the public face, the public representative of the organization or company you run."

    Both articles are worth reading.

  •  wait a minute...a bigot got his feelings hurt and (6+ / 0-)

    quit his job? and now he's a hero?

    i'm too busy feeling sorry for the koch brothers to bother with this

  •  Some are acting as though the whole thing was (9+ / 0-)

    a sort of mashup of a debating society and a card game. Eich took the wrong position in the debate; he bet on the wrong hand. If that were all it involved, Eich's politics wouldn't matter so much. But the passage of Prop 8 had real consequences in the lives of real people. Had Prop 8 lost of course, the only harm would have been to the tender feelings of its backers, which ultimately was the case when the Supreme Court ruled that the ballot measure's backers didn't have standing to appeal the lower courts' rulings. Those who were initially deprived of the right to marry and had to wait from 2008 until 2013 for vindication on the other hand experienced actual consequences as a result of the passage of Prop 8. They lost money, the were denied insurance, one member of the relationship was denied a green card, someone's kids were left with a less stable emotional and economic future and in undoubtedly in some cases one partner passed away before the couple could achieve their dream of marriage--something that in itself results in legal, financial and emotional hardship for the survivor and for those around them. None of that was necessary but Eich's donation helped create all of it.

    As others have noted, who among us would be comfortable working for someone whose words and whose political donations made it clear they didn't think we were entitled to equal rights?

    So don't give me that crap about Eich having been bullied over something that was essentially a matter of differing opinions. It's bullshit.

  •  I agree with Bink on this issue. (0+ / 0-)

    In 2008, when the donation was made, BHO, HRC and other weren't standing up for gay marriage, and in fact indicated that they supported the notion that marriage was for heteroes only.

    If we take Eich as a precedent, do we now say that heading into the future, BHO is unfit to serve on corporate boards?

    Those who supported "outing" Eich for his support of Prop 8 can't help but come across as looking spiteful.  Our goal should always be progress towards a better future, and focusing on punishing past mistakes isn't always going to be good for the cause in the long run.

    Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

    by cks175 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:47:27 PM PDT

    •  I doubt Obama or Clinton (7+ / 0-)

      donated to the Prop 8 campaign, or participated in the character assassination gays went through during that campaign.
      Eich is not a politician, he was hired to be the CEO of a large internet company largely used by a younger, better educated group of people. Corporations change personnel all the time over  stupid things said by their officers in public, because they don't want their corporate image damaged.
      As someone mentioned above, if the guy had donated a thousand dollars to Stormfront or the KK, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If it was merely a past mistake, (6+ / 0-)

      and he had since changed his mind, Eich had plenty of opportunity to say so.

      And there is a difference between not being ready for change (which is how I interpreted Obama's and Clinton's 2008 statements) and actively opposing it, as Eich did with his donation.

      •  What had more of an impact on the issue though? (0+ / 0-)

        Obama's statements as late as 2012 on the issue validated the opinions of many anti-gay marriage Americans.  Eich, on the other hand, donated $1000.  

        It's good that you interpreted Clinton and Obama's statements as "not being ready for change".  Not everyone took that interpretation though.  Here in Maryland, a very blue state, getting same sex marriages recognized was not as easy a task as it should have been.  Despite big majorities in both houses, Democrats had to overcome opposition inside the party.  Opposition that came largely from the African American community, and opposition that I would argue was enabled by BHO's statements on marriage being between a man and a woman.

        In that sense, the greater damage to the cause was done by Obama, not Eich.  I just don't see how these public shamings of individual's private decisions is helpful to the cause overall.  And to shame some, while embracing others, does open the issue to accusations of hypocricy.

        Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

        by cks175 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:24:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama announced his support for marriage equality (4+ / 0-)

          months before the 2012 election - the same election in which MD had the marriage equality law on the ballot.

          Opposition (especially among African American voters) was not, then, due to the President's statement - it was due to the horrendous lies and fear being spread by religious communities in MD.

          The same kind of religious communities, the same vicious lies and fear, that Eich supported with his donation.

        •  YMMV, but I interpreted their REAL positions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          back then as being "we agree with marriage equality but won't be willing to publicly support it until the polling gets less negative on it."

          Some politicians are willing to get far ahead of the crowd, but most aren't willing to get much ahead of where popular opinion is because their concern is that they can't accomplish anything unless they win the election.  Many people dislike politicians for exactly these reasons. but for myself, I simply understand the rules of the game and hope to impact the margins of most issues.

          People in advocacy movements have different issues- they don't have to get elected, they just have to raise enough money to keep their campaign going.

          PS- there's yet another level of politics.  W reportedly had no problem inviting a gay staffer's spouse to social occasions while also publicly calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.  IMO, that's a far greater level of immorality than failing to invest political capital in situations where you think the harm to your election chances outweighs the cost to society of failing to push for certain positions.

        •  While there is a lot of progressive theology (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AJayne, Joncleir
          Opposition that came largely from the African American community, and opposition that I would argue was enabled by BHO's statements on marriage being between a man and a woman.
          in the African-American community, there is also a streak of extremely conservative social teachings, especially in denominations that gained popularity after the Civil Rights era.  The pastors in those churches would have had a much stronger influence on their members than anything Obama said.
    •  There's a continuum there that matters (7+ / 0-)

      While there were those who were not standing up for gay marriage at the time, Eich was among those who actively stood up against it. And, as has been pointed out, the Prop 8 campaign was particularly nasty.

      Early on, Prop 8’s supporters decided to focus their campaign primarily on children, stoking parents’ fears about gay people brainwashing their kids with pro-gay messages or, implicitly, turning their children gay.
      Another notorious commercial shows an earnest school administrator fretting that a “new health curriculum” that mentions gay marriage will “mess up” children with reference to “gay attraction.”
      And Prop 8 supporters quickly zeroed in on the terrifying possibility that religious adoption agencies “may be forced to place children in same-sex marriages.”

      I don't think it necessarily called for an international uproar, and loss of his job, but he exercised his free speech, and others exercised theirs, which is how this stuff works. There's also the fact that he continues to stand with his 2008 opinion on the matter, where others have "evolved".

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:18:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama campaigned AGAINST Prop h8 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AJayne, Oh Mary Oh

      whenever he was in California:

      And the repeal of DOMA and DADT were part of his platform.   Anyone who was paying attention knew exactly where he was coming from, and might even have been aware that he first came out in support of marriage equality in 1996.

  •  Would it be okay if he were a racist? (6+ / 0-)

    In other words, if Eich had donated money to the KKK or to the American Nazi Party, would we even be having this discussion?  Had he done so, that would have been no less an exercise of his First Amendment rights than donating to Prop. 8.  But if he had, I doubt anyone would be screaming that he was being unfairly targeted.

    The only reason this is even being debated is because homophobia is still considered perfectly acceptable.  No CEO could support openly and avowedly racist or antisemitic causes and hope to keep his job.  But hating the gays is different.  Americans, including some self-hating gays like Andrew Sullivan, still find homophobia a reasonable and defensible "political" or "religious" position.

    So as we think about this whole kerfuffle, we should ask ourselves whether we'd be singing a different tune if another minority were at issue. I suspect that the answer is yes.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:53:28 PM PDT

  •  I reject the premise of your assertion. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    Brendan Eich donated his money to homophobic causes...
    He donated to a Proposition to change California law, the substance of witch one presumes he agreed with, including 7,000,000+ other Californians who voted for it. That he (and the voters) is thereby homophobic does not follow. You are welcome to that view, but your "If X then Y" is BS.

    Mozilla can fire anyone for anything they want within the law. Who it ultimately will satisfy is a risk they seem willing to run.

  •  I have rather mixed feelings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, AnnieR

    About the "volume" of the pushback Eich got, and the outcome.

    But I was astonished at that other diary. The statement from it you block-quote looked like classic snark - but clearly and sadly wasn't.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:00:50 PM PDT

  •  The bigots only call it "intolerance," (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when their would-be victims fight back.

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