Mozilla CEO Brendon Eich voluntarily resigned a week ago over his donation to Prop 8.
ThinkProgress' Zack Ford explains how having him as a CEO would have been harmful to Mozilla:
The important distinction lost in the conversations since Eich stepped down is that this was a protest about Mozilla more than it was about Eich. The company violated its commitment to openness and inclusion by promoting Eich to be its figurehead, and Eich himself decided that Mozilla’s work could only proceed if he stepped down. As a company that depends on volunteer developers, having a divisive CEO would cripple Mozilla’s ability to recruit the talent its open-source model requires. Eich’s resignation, as many have pointed out, was thus hardly surprising.Markos Moulitsas explains that this is how the free market works:
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.A week may have passed, but NOM is not calming down. On April 4, they began their response with a press release. They said (emphasis added):
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today called on Americans to remove the web browser Mozilla Firefox from their personal computers to protest the company forcing out its CEO over his support of Proposition 8, the 2008 campaign to preserve marriage in California as the union of one man and one woman. NOM called the dismissal of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla a "McCarthyesque witch hunt" that reflects the desire of gay rights activists to punish anyone in society who fails to support their agenda of redefining marriage.Three hours and five minutes later, Brian Brown wrote (emphasis added):
"When Brendon Eich made his modest contribution to support Proposition 8, Barack Obama was on the ballot as a candidate who said he believed marriage was the union of one man and one woman. Now Eich has been the target of a vicious character attack by gay activists who have forced him out of the company he has helped lead for years," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "This is a McCarthyesque witch hunt that makes the term 'thought police' seem modest. We urge all consumers to remove Mozilla's Firefox web browser from their computers as a sign of protest."
Brown noted that when gay activists targeted the CEO of the Chick-fil-A company for expressing his support of marriage, the mayors of cities such as Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC declared that the company would not be permitted to do business in their cities. He also noted that the A&E television network suspended Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty show when Robertson, a prominent Christian, expressed his support for marriage.
"This attack to deny Mr. Eich his livelihood for supporting true marriage is a continuation of the shameful pattern we have consistently seen from gay activists. It basically says to all those in America and around the world who believe in a view of marriage that is consistent with the teachings of their faith that they are all bigots and haters and there is no place for them in civil society. This is the totalitarian worldview we will all be under if marriage ultimately is redefined in the law."
The bullies who now control the gay marriage movement have claimed another scalp in their never-ending quest to silence people of faith and others who continue to support the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.Let me break in here. Brown blames the "bullies who now control the gay marriage movement" for the talk of banning Chick-fil-A. This is 1000% false (no, that's not a typo). It came from just three people: the mayors of those cities. And they were criticized by liberals, who make up the marriage equality movement, for it. To blame us for the talk of banning Chick-fil-A is false and grossly unfair.
This is not the first episode of this type of totalitarian aggression by the gay 'marriage' thought police. When Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, expressed his support for true marriage, there were calls for his company to be banned in cities such as Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame was suspended by the A&E television network for expressing his support for biblical principles of marriage.
They continue (emphasis added):
The only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.From April 9 (emphasis added):
We're going to continue standing up to the bullies and haters who want you and me to shut up and get out of the public square.From April 10 (emphasis added, except for the word 'imagined' in the first paragraph):
In 2008, Eich donated $1,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For that, he's been convicted of an imagined hate crime by the radical homosexual activist community.Brown then quotes Oklahoma State House Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, saying "she hits the nail on the head":
We must stand up to this outrageous assault on not just our values — but on the fundamental principles of free speech and our very democratic process! We cannot let a fringe group of radicals create an environment that will prohibit citizens from engaging in their right to enter the political arena without fear of reprisals!
I also recently had the pleasure of reading a blog post by Catholic blogger Rebecca Hamilton, who is also a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She hits the nail on the head with a passionate piece she penned about Eich's downfall. This issue is about so much more than the debate over marriage. Hamilton wrote:They continue (italicized emphasis is original, bolded emphasis is added):
The issue here is the First Amendment right of Americans to petition their government, including by means of making donations to causes and issues they believe in, without fear of organized reprisals from a bunch of — here comes the word folks — haters.
This whole thing is getting awfully close to pressuring, bullying and threatening people about how they vote in an election. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for the secret ballot, that's exactly what the "equality" for us, "inclusiveness" for us, but not for anyone else crowd would be doing right now.
Indeed, this kind of freedom-hating campaign is a very chilling example to witness of the sheer intolerance and bigotry of those pushing same-sex ‘marriage' on our nation. It seems as if their real goal is to push Christians and others completely out of the public square.
Please stand with these two courageous Americans and fight back against this unconscionable behavior and deplorable tactics which are so severely damaging marriage, free speech and our very democratic process. As we know, the only way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.From April 11 (emphasis added):
As Ryan [T. Anderson of The Heritage Foundation] observed, "The debate over the meaning and purpose of marriage will continue. We should conduct it in a civil manner. Bullies may win for a while, but theirs is a scorched-earth policy. They poison democratic discourse and fray the bonds on which democracy itself ultimately depends."
This is our hope — knowing that this kind of intolerance and uncivil behavior simply cannot go on for much longer before the American people put their foot down and say enough is enough.
Together, let's show the bullies and thugs who want to censor our pro-marriage views that your voice is not alone — that it is, in fact, many millions strong — and that it simply will not be silenced.In NOM’s mind, “gay activists” and “the radical homosexual activist community” are “bullies and thugs”, “haters”, “a fringe group of radicals” and “thought police” with a “totalitarian worldview”; guilty of “totalitarian aggression”, “sheer intolerance and bigotry”, “unconscionable behavior and deplorable tactics” and “intolerance and uncivil behavior”; who are “awfully close to pressuring, bullying and threatening people”; who “push Christians and others completely out of the public square” and “poison democratic discourse and fray the bonds on which democracy itself ultimately depends”; and who are carrying out “a McCarthyesque witch hunt”, “attack”, “assault”, “organized reprisals”, a “freedom-hating campaign” and “a scorched-earth policy.” NOM is calling for “stand[ing] up to them” and “fight[ing] back”.
One of the things that disturbs me is that NOM is inaccurate in assessing blame for Eich's resignation. They have falsely accused the LGBT community of "forc[ing] him out", when a) he resigned voluntarily, and b) the LGBT community did not put pressure on Mozilla. ThinkProgress' Lauren Williams explains where the pressure came from here:
Since his March 25 appointment, the Internet company has faced a number of boycotts and protests. Earlier this week, OKCupid hurdled access to its site in the Firefox browser, urging users to choose another browser and not support Mozilla products. Rarebit app developer, Hampton Catlin pulled his projects from Mozilla sparking a public outcry for Eich’s resignation. Three of Mozilla’s board executives have also stepped down in the two weeks Eich has been CEO.The pressure came from OKCupid, Hampton Catlin and the public. I am unaware of any LGBT rights organization that called for him to resign or be fired. Indeed, the Human Rights Campaign deliberately avoided the issue. Spokesperson Deena Fidas said:
I and the organization I represent, the Human Rights Campaign, did not weigh in publicly during this week.NOM's vitriolic description of LGBT community is potentially dangerous. Anti-LGBT violence is still a problem in this country. Less than 11 months ago, 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson was murdered in New York. His killer asked him if he was gay. When the reply came, he shot him at point-blank range. It has to be said that NOM's rhetoric can fuel homophobia, which turned deadly for Mark Carson last May.
Without the prodding of LGBT interest groups, Mr. Eich’s Board peers resigned and others expressed their lack of confidence in his ability to lead.
I am not specifically blaming NOM for any future anti-LGBT violence, but I am blaming the homophobia that groups like NOM fuel. I also want to make clear that I denounce, condemn, deplore and reject any violence against opponents of LGBT rights. But considering NOM's call for civility and to tone down rhetoric following the terrible shooting at the offices of the Family Research Council, one might think that they would have been more careful here. Of course, their hypocrisy knows no bounds.