Friday, April 4, 2014

Brendan Eich forced to resign as Mozilla CEO over 2008 Prop 8 donation

Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla donated $1000 in support of Proposition 8 in 2008.

He was CTO when he made the donation. Two weeks after being appointed CEO by the Mozilla board, he was forced to resign amid controversy surrounding his donation. This controversy was started by online dating site OKCupid who blocked firefox users from accessing their site. You can read New York Times coverage on the issue here.

Here are my thoughts on this issue: At the end of the day, I just don't think it is right for someone to lose their job for a personal conviction that in no way affects their ability to perform their job.

Especially when the open, inclusive and supportive environment at Mozilla is one that he helped to create. The only reason why we know he made the contribution is b/c California requires that a name and an employer be attached to all political donations.

Should people fear donating money to candidates or causes for fear of future retribution? In the world where CEOs can be forced to resign, it looks like the answer is "yes". This sets a terrible precedent.

I think this is a case of zeal gone awry. It is a partisan redefinition of the word tolerance. I'm a christian and I believe that gays should be afforded equal rights and protection under the law as quickly as is possible in every state in the union. But I also believe that as a citizen, I should have the right to freely believe and practice my religion without fear of losing my job. I would not have donated in support of prop 8, but I do agree with what the bible says is "sin". Religious groups are protected classes under the law. All citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs - no matter how subjectively weird/backward/repulsive they may be - deserve equal protection under the law.

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