Mozilla Employees Call For CEO Resignation Over Financial Backing Of Anti-Gay Marriage Effort

Gay marriage rights is one of the most potent issues of today, and strong feelings from both sides have spilled over into Mozilla’s boardroom. Mozilla promoted Brendan Eich from CTO to CEO last week, but when it was revealed that Eich donated $1,000 to the Prop 8 effort (legislation to ban gay marriage in California, if you were living under a rock for a while there), things blew up.

Quickly, Mozilla issued a statement on diversity, noting for example that the company extends the same benefits to domestic partners that it offers to married couples even in states where it’s not required. “With thousands of people spanning many countries and cultures, diversity is core to who we are, and we’re united in our mission to keep the Web open and accessible for everyone,” read the statement.

Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich

Eich himself penned a post wherein he acknowledged the blowback to his appointment as CEO. “I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla,” he wrote. He said that several LGBT individuals and allies have counseled him on navigating the tricky waters of establishing equality in the company for all, despite his apparent personal opposition to gay marriage.

He came up with the following commitments and asked for patience:

-Active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building.
Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
-My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.
-My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult.

To date, his efforts have not been successful in calming the storm. The Wall Street Journal reported that three Mozilla board members--Gary Kovacs, John Lilly, and Ellen Siminoff--resigned (although Mozilla told Venture Beat that two of them were already planning to leave anyway) and plenty of employees have publicly voiced their displeasure at Eich’s appointment.

Hampton and Michael Caitlin's wedding
Hampton and Michael Caitlin's wedding (Credit: Hampton Caitlin)

At least one programmer, Hampton Caitlin, and his husband Michael, have pulled their work from the Firefox Marketplace in protest, saying, “As a married gay couple who are co-founders of this venture, we have chosen to boycott all Mozilla projects. We will not develop apps or test styles on Firefox anymore.”

Yesterday, Mozilla penned a post not-so-subtly titled “Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality”. “Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just,” reads the byline-less post. “This is why Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.”

The company appears to be trying to distance itself corporately from its CEO’s personal views on a hot-button issue, but it’s not apparent that the effort is working. The firestorm continues.
Via:  Pink News
BigKihd 8 months ago

Who cares what sexual preferences people have, its not going to affect the business. People need to grow up a bit.

NateKeen 8 months ago

Tolerance of all views? Apparently not. Individuals can donate to whoever they want just as gay couples can boycott whoever they want.

basroil3 8 months ago

And it's explicitly protected by the constitution. Dialogue and progress only happen when conflicting ideas are brought forward and society as a whole finds the proper solution for the time. Take away the conflict and all you do is destroy free speech and stagnate true reform.

TwoFaceTony 8 months ago

If their happy leave them alone

Super Dave 8 months ago

Prop 8 had the approval of 52% of California voters (7 million +) in Nov. 2008 but was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court (on different grounds) in 2010. There are plenty of people that supported this proposition. The fact that Brendan Eich donated $1,000 to the cause does not bother me at all. 

JaySleven 8 months ago

It makes no difference what peoples sexual preferences are. It shouldn't matter to anyone. All people should be treated with respect.

RWilliams 8 months ago

I wish people like this would just buzz off and let other people live their life. People who do this kind of thing are probably just unhappy with themselves, and need to hate something / someone.

BillGSkywatcher 8 months ago

@RWilliams: Because people rarely do things like this isolated of all context.

Say you're a gay programmer (and there are many!) and you have a project that requires approval, or there's an opening for promotion and CEO knows you're gay. The chances of being treated fairly are practically nil.

RWilliams 8 months ago

What? Either I didn't get my point across well, or you misread me, because I have no idea what anything you said has to do with what I said.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

A company cannot be tolerant of an individual that supports intolerance, otherwise they would themselves be intolerant by not opposing it. Bigotry breeds bigotry, and turning a blind eye towards it does nothing to improve the world.

JefferyPruett 8 months ago

Why are so many people all so worked up about those guys want to stop working for Firefox let them be its not hurting anyone. and if Eich wants to donate 1000 let him do so

DanielAnthonyPallante 8 months ago

If I'm understanding this correctly, his donation was his own money (the article didn't state otherwise so I'm assuming it was a private donation), he has every right to do with his own personal money as he sees fit. As long as he didn't donate company money or discriminates in the workplace in any form, then he has done nothing wrong.

DanielAnthonyPallante 8 months ago

So you are saying this man should lose his job over his personal views? If he is not forcing his views onto the employees or discriminating against them in any way, he as every right to believe what he wants.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

If a company has a policy of tolerance towards all people regardless of sexual orientation and he goes against that policy by supporting discriminatory legislation, then yes. If he does not believe in that company's moral and ethical guidelines, he should not have started working for them and deserves to be fired. I would not go against my work's policies without fully expecting to be fired for going against those policies. Also, there is a HUGE difference between having an opinion and funding legislation supporting that opinion. The fact that he is funding it MEANS that he wants to force it down EVERYBODY'S throat.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

But thank you for showing everybody that you're against equality for everyone, since you're so obviously in support of this man advocating his own discriminatory viewpoints by trying to pass a law that bans same sex marriage.

JosephAnthonyBrackett 8 months ago

Gay couple are boycotting people against their right to love and marry who they please base on individualism as a whole.

This guy is donating money to oppress people and ideas he deems wrong based on personal bias.

How is that the same thing? Should we all be so tolerant that we let it be okay for black people to be oppressed/murdered; etc, because that's their right to hate black people?

You have the right to hate, that's true, but that doesn't mean it's okay. Everyone has their own opinion on things, but that doesn't mean every single opinion is inherently right or even good.

"In my opinion, eating glass is healthy and we should teach our children to do so!" -- is that right or wrong?

The answer SHOULD be obvious.

JosephAnthonyBrackett 8 months ago

Just because he *has* i.e. owns, the right to hate doesn't mean he SHOULD have that right.

It's okay for people to unjustifyingly hate base on personal prejudices of things they neither understand or care to even want to understand?

You may HAVE the right to do so, but that does not justify the means, by far.

NateKeen 8 months ago

Ah so it's ok to be intolerant of the views of others as long as you view them as intolerant? Love the convenient double standard.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

So we should tolerate murderers and rapists too? Since we're being tolerant of everybody. How about those that wish genocide was legal? Where do we draw the line exactly? Tolerance should be all encompassing and accepting after all! Those intolerant people need to themselves be tolerated by all, right?

EliasNahas 8 months ago

Yes, disagreeing doesn't equal hate, bit supporting discriminatory legislation that discriminates does. If he were a member of the KKK and donated money towards legislation that supported segregation and genocide, would that be ok?

EliasNahas 8 months ago

I can only hope that one day you encounter a loved one, whether your own child or not, that is LGBT and is discriminated against so that you may understand their plight and become a more enlightened individual.

NateKeen 8 months ago

Race is not a choice, false comprison. MLK would be turning in his grave.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

Sexuality is not a choice either. Tell me, at what age did you make the conscious decision to be straight?

MCaddick 8 months ago

Its definitely NOT a choice. If it were I'd never have made it. The unreasoning fear and discrimination I have faced based on this 'choice' ruined my life for many years.

Nobody in their right mind would ever choose this.

Interestingly, evangelicals are now viewed less favorably than gay ppl in the US. How the worm turns.

NateKeen 8 months ago

At puberty I decided I preferred women. I'd guess that was about 12. To say we don't choose whom we have intimacy and intercourse with is to ignore the basic components of the human will. We see not robots enslaved to instinct. We make choices.

StaticFX 8 months ago

[quote user="NateKeen"]

At puberty I decided I preferred women. I'd guess that was about 12. To say we don't choose whom we have intimacy and intercourse with is to ignore the basic components of the human will. We see not robots enslaved to instinct. We make choices.


Wait, lol.. you "decided"? no you didnt.. you DISCOVERED that you like girls... There is a huge difference.. We do make choices, and I can tell that you have chosen to be intolerant and ignorant. Keep your head buried in the sand.... genius.


Fierce Guppy 8 months ago


At puberty I decided I preferred women. I'd guess that was about 12. To say we don't choose whom we have intimacy and intercourse with is to ignore the basic components of the human will. We see not robots enslaved to instinct. We make choices.[/quote]

I didn't *decide* to prefer females. It just happened. Else I'd never continue to look at the Penthouse magazines dad used to keep under his side of the bed. That was pre-puberty.. 7-8yo. My younger brother was pretty much disinterested in girly magazines. It's obvious to me why, *now*.... There's no choice involved.

EliasNahas 8 months ago

Who would willfully choose to be gay when such discrimination and prejudice persists in the world? By your own logic, you should yourself be able to choose to be gay right now. Fancy trying that for a week? You never know, you might enjoy it. But it's obvious your either a troll or a bigot (or both) so I'll wish you best of luck in your future and for your children's sakes I hope they don't end up being LGBT. But if they should, I hope you will change your narrow minded opinions and be accepting of them and grow as a human being and an individual. As for myself, I've nothing left to say to you, so good bye and good luck ;)

Tatoosh 8 months ago

As long as he runs the company on an equitable basis and does not ridicule or sideline people with opposing views and lifestyles, I don't care if he doesn't agree with my choices in life. He has a right to his own. And to put HIS money where he wants. He earned it, he can spend it where he chooses.

Intolerance is simply that and it doesn't matter if you are wearing a button down shirt or tie dyed rainbow tee shirt, if you won't let people have their own views that are different than yours, you are a bigot.

TorreyEpps 8 months ago

Who is this dude and why would he resigned for something that isn't that serious 

MCaddick 8 months ago

Go ask that of Matthew Shepherd's mother.

StaticFX 8 months ago

Matthew?..a character from a book? Yeah.. ask Harry Potter too while your at it.

Joel H 8 months ago

Matthew Shepherd was beaten and tied to a fence post to die about 12 years ago.

JustinFern 8 months ago

Look guys he's protected by Amendment 1 so he can say that and do that, but who cares it's his decision not your so let it go

Johnny3D 8 months ago

First, bigotry is an ugly thing. Second, while he does have the right to free speech and the right to donate money to whatever he chooses to donate money to, that right to free speech does not shield him from the court of public opinion. Lastly, if the board members of Mozilla find his support of bigotry to be a sufficient reason to not want him to be the CEO of their company, they are free to express that just as he was free to fund bigotry with his money.

Again... Freedom of speech isn't immunity from consequences... it's just immunity from federal prosecution.

css 8 months ago

Wow. He is viewed as being intolerant because he doesn't support something that others are okay with, yet his job is in jeopardy for supporting his belief(s) with his own money. And who tells who how to live their life? I would bet it he sent $1,000 to some same-sex marriage advocacy group, he would've been praised.

KevinLozandier 8 months ago

I highly recommend reading this post from a beloved web figure in the web development community take on the matter that works for the Firefox branch of Mozilla:

KoltIrons1 8 months ago

i support gay marriage, and i dont understand how people cannot, that being said, i also dont think you should boycot a company because of the beliefs of one person especially when that person has committed to equality throughout his company. i dont know everything about this guy obviously but if he stays the course he charted with equality throughout his company i think he is entitled to have his own beliefs on the side.

JefferyPruett 8 months ago

This whole talk about gay this gay that lol i means their nothing anyone could do just let them live their lives and the Ceo live his

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