Mozilla is messy

March 30, 2014 § 146 Comments

I was a anarchist, lefty, peace movementy punk teenager. I spent my 20s making documentaries with the environmental collective. And the feminist collective. And whoever else I could teach to use a video camera. During my 30s I co-founded Canada’s most popular  left wing news web site, Rabble.ca. I’ve spent all my life being active and public about the causes I believe in.

Needless to say, people have asked how I could work side by side with people like Brendan Eich who seem to have such different beliefs and politics.

For the record: I don’t like the fact that Brendan supported Proposition 8, and I stand strongly for gay marriage. And, while I don’t actually know what Brendan’s politics are, as he is normally quite private about them, I have always assumed they are very different from mine on a wide range of issues.

But Brendan and I very aligned on something very political: defending the free and open internet. This is one of the most important issues of  our day. And it is what Brendan and I — and countless other Mozillians around — the world are working on together.

We live in a great moment in history, where more people than ever before can express themselves wildly and creatively, thanks to the web. As a punk rock kid, it’s more than I could have ever dreamed of. But we also live in a world where Big Brother is among  us and around us. There are governments and companies using the web to  watch us and control us. That’s happening more and more. As billions more people roll onto the web in the next few years, we really are at a critical crossroads for humanity: we have to decide if the web is about freedom or control.

What’s amazing is Mozillians, including me, work side by side with people who have very different beliefs — even beliefs that upset them — because protecting the web matters so much right now. As we do, differing beliefs on issues other than the web almost never enter the fray. In Brendan’s case, I didn’t even know he had taken a position on Prop 8 until it became the subject of public attention. And, as someone with public views that are likely different than his, I’ve never experienced him as anything other than a supportive and hardworking colleague. This ability to set aside differing and diverse beliefs to focus on a common cause is something we as Mozilla stand for on principle. And, in a way that I have never seen in any other organization, this works at Mozilla. It makes us stronger.

But Mozilla is messy. Our ability to set aside differences does not mean that everything is simple or that we’re always civil. In fact, when the topic is the web or Mozilla itself, we quite often get into open, heated and, for the most part, thoughtful debate. Many people outside Mozilla may not understand this. But, again, it makes us stronger.

The community dialogue around Brendan’s appointment is an example of this. People have reflected on the tension feeling of being emotionally effected by Brendan’s donation while at the same time experiencing Mozilla as a supportive and safe space for all sorts of people to work and protect the web. People have said personal opinions and donations are not their business. [corrected link] People have said that a CEO has to be held to a different standard as they are a public figure. People have talked about the tension between inclusion and free speech. And people have talked about forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt and picking your battles. All of this in public on blogs and twitter. All of this, in my opinion, making us stronger as we work through the complex questions at hand.

Which brings me to a worry I have. And an ask.

I worry that Mozilla is in a tough spot right now. I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves, that people are angry and don’t know who we are or where we stand. And, I worry that in the time it takes to work this through and explain ourselves the things I love about Mozilla will be deeply damaged. And I suspect others do to.

If you are a Mozillian, I ask that you help the people around you understand who we are. And, if you have supported Mozilla in the past are frustrated or angry with us, I ask you for kindness and patience.

What Mozilla is about is working through these things, even when they’re hard. Because the web need us to. It’s that important.

§ 146 Responses to Mozilla is messy

  • troutgirl says:

    Uh, pretty sure Tim’s post did NOT say personal opinions and donations are no one else’s business. The opposite of that, actually.

    • msurman says:

      You’re very right! I linked to Tim’s post in error as it was amongst the many I was reading and wanting to post to. There are alot. I’d meant to link to @sheppy here. Corrected the link and noted the correction above.

    • inorton says:

      Agreed! Having a different belief or opinion is one thing. Lending financial support to a movement determined to curtail very basic rights is a significantly different thing.

      • Agreed. We have various beliefs and disbeliefs, but we don’t justify them as an excuse to discriminate or molest minority groups. Any Mozilla employee/contributor who is trying to rationalize Eich’s actions makes me question whether we are handing the fight for the freedom of Web over to the right guys.

        As a Google employee, Firefox was my primary browser. I removed all Mozilla software from my computer when Eich became the CEO.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks for the post. This states pretty much my sentiments about the whole matter.

    One concern is that this has effected Mozilla’s public image. But it might not have. I think this’ll probably just blow over and no one will notice (Like it did with Chick-fil A). The culture in and around Mozilla and Silicon Valley is probably more sensitive to this kind of bad PR but I don’t think PR is why people use Firefox.

    Users of Firefox will care far more about the Australis update coming in the next release than the stir of controversy around the organization. As a fan of the Web I’m more concerned about if SharedArrayBuffers and Int64 Value Objects will be in ES7 than this whole mess.

    • uhhuhh says:

      Chik-fik-A, dear, is facing a massive wall in trying to expand because it defiantly locker arms with bigotry.

      • Jay says:

        And the owner of Chik-fil-A has promised not to give more money to anti-gay causes and to keep is mouth shut.

      • Jeffrey says:

        Oh. In that case maybe they should do something. Like replace Branden or force him to speak against his actions or something. Don’t want Firefox OS devices to get banned from the UK or Canada.

    • It’s one thing if a company does business in a bigoted manner (e.g., Hobby Lobby’s current attempt to discriminate in benefits offered to women) or uses its profits to support discrimination. That’s quite different than a company that happens to have an individual employee that supports some abhorrent cause in his private time. I think Mozilla would be at far more risk for backlash if it started monitoring and punishing its employees for their private activities.

  • kensaunders says:

    I posted this on Facebook on January 13.

    “When I started volunteering for Mozilla, one of the first things that I loved about it was seeing how it brought people together from all over the World to cooperate and work on the same goals, and this is done by people with sharply contrasting religious, political beliefs, etc, and all from different backgrounds.
    Seeing how so many people are virtually gathering in one place (the monument), reminded me of this.”

    We freely choose to volunteer, or work for Mozilla. We’re here to focus on the goals and beliefs that brings us together, not what sets us apart.

    Some of our coworkers and/or acquaintances around the World believe that woman should be subservient, or that the U.S. is the root of all evil, or that the Jewish people are, or that their higher power is the only one, or that there isn’t one at all, or that mayonnaise is actually good.
    Imagine what it would be like if all Mozillians were sitting around talking about these things.

    People go to war over differences.
    People are murdered because of them.
    Mozilla is special, and different.
    It rises above and leads by example.
    I hope that we don’t lose that.

  • tom jones says:

    “If you are a Mozillian, I ask that you help the people around you understand who we are.”

    i’m very saddened by this predicament. while i don’t disagree about Brendan’s leadership as a CEO, and don’t expect anyone’s rights to be infringed upon because of it, this is the first time i don’t feel comfortable “defending” mozilla in public.

    can we please stop pretending that whatever a CEO does in his spare time (or with his own money) doesn’t matter, because it’s disingenuous (at best).

    every one of us can probably think at least one issue or behavior that would be “over the line”, or intolerable for them. if this one is not for you, then good for you (or possibly shame on you?), but don’t take that right from others.

    • Me too.

      I am sad because this post is framed as if we should not sound our disagreement publicly (e.g. on Twitter) to people who have not yet know about Mozilla, and people are obligated to raise it first within the organization, so we can “protect our public image”.

      I honestly hope I read this post the wrong way.

  • rone (@rone) says:

    “What’s amazing is Mozillians, including me, work side by side with people who have very different beliefs — even beliefs that upset them — because protecting the web matters so much right now.”

    Let me put this another way: “Your concerns are trivial compared to the mission i’ve envisioned for my company. Put them aside while we figure out how to sweep this under the rug; even if we can’t figure it out, with luck, your attention span will have expired by then.”

    Once again, Mozilla leadership proves that PR is their biggest weakness. Eich’s political activity should not have become such a big story, especially given the fact that the problem came to light *two years ago*. This should have been fixed by now.

    • Jeffrey says:

      Yeah Mozilla made a classic PR mistake and responded (repeatedly mind you) to the controversy when should have just kept silent and let it run it’s course out of the news cycle.

      • rone (@rone) says:

        Your tepidly amusing cynicism aside, ignoring the issue would have been worse for a self-professed progressive foundation.

      • Horzabky says:

        Reading about Eich’s resignation from France, where I live, it sure looks like some people didn’t want Eich to be CEO and used a pretext to get rid of him after only ten days on the job. Classic power struggle, Kremlin-style.

        52% of Californians thought like Eich, and most of those 52% probably still do. Thinking like the majority of Californians is not like being an awful bigot.

        Mozilla’s culture isn’t “messy”, it is cut-throat and stab-in-the-back.

      • garysfbcn says:

        Actually, the polls show that 58% of California voters now support same-sex marriage. Without a doubt, that percent support would be higher if people were not lied to every Sunday in their churches.

    • deminthon says:

      “Let me put this another way”

      Your deep intellectual dishonest is noted, along with that of everyone else who puts words into peoples’ mouths that are vastly different from what they actually said.

  • uhhuhh says:

    I’m really sick of all this talking down to the gays about how we need “informing.” The man supported Prop. 8. We understand that and do not need it straight-splained to us. He can repudiate it and apologize and suffer continued strife in everything he touches. PERIOD.

    If it his were racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, or militant xenophobia, he would never even have been made CEO, and no one would engaged in a massive effort to tell the targeted group to just ignore it.

    PATRONIZING CONDESCENSION FROM APOLOGISTS CLEARLY ISN’T SUFFICIENT. IN FACT, IT AGGRAVATES THE INSULT.

    • indigo says:

      High five! Nailed it.

    • Larkin says:

      Well said.

    • El-D says:

      There’s a line here that was crossed by some, where people stopped simply treating Eich as a bigot who didn’t deserve the CEOship of Mozilla, and started to turn him into much more of a monster than he really is and toss Mozilla under the bus as well.

      If you don’t recognize when your own fight against intolerance starts to bleed into questionable territory and start shielding yourself with excuses like “if he were anti-Semitic/a baby-eater/Hitler” then you don’t deserve to feel patronized and insulted, or to throw around the word “apologist”.

      Remember: this plight of the LGBTs was caused because of intolerance. You’re entitled to fight back and be intolerant while claiming to have moral high-ground, but that ends when you become worse than your target, or lose sight of your objectives entirely.

      Thankfully most of the people involved haven’t been so childish and insecure, and thankfully Eich stepped down. But that doesn’t clear away some of the more shamefully opportunistic or irrational diatribe that was shoveled out in the meantime under the banner of people who deserve far better voices speaking for them.

      • garysfbcn says:

        When it is revealed that the personal actions of a CEO are contrary to the company’s values and that is damaging their brand, and when that company is facing a massive boycott because of that CEO’s personal actions, and when the CEO’s actions are supporting prejudice or discrimination directed against a widely-discriminated-against group of people, this should ALWAYS happen.

  • Cuberly says:

    So when do we get to vote on revoking Eich’s marriage?

    You can have a million different views. Excuse me if I have a problem with the “view” that revoking a minority’s rights via a majority vote is just a disagreement.

    I’m angry, yep. And I’m posting this comment via Firefox. And every time I click on Firefox to open it Eich’s glib first and most revealing response to the issue is what sticks in my mind.

    Not sure where I am right now as far as will I use Firefox into the future. To be honest. Not being sensationalist. I’d just love to see how the heteronormative majority would feel if they where in the same boat.

    It’s supremely easy to be glib and call the whole thing stupid or what ever. Especially when it doesn’t directly impact you.

  • garysfbcn says:

    There is no way to spin it: Financially supporting Prop 8 is anti-gay. It isn’t just having anti-gay thoughts; no it was acting upon those anti-gay thoughts.

    Mozilla would never appoint a CEO that is anti-black or anti-Latino or anti-Jewish.

    I guess that gays and lesbians don’t rise to that standard. Tell me again why I should support Mozilla?

    • JoeS says:

      In my way of thinking, there is nothing Mystical about being a “Mozillian”
      It’s not a magical word that changes the world around you.

      The LGBT community is a minority.

      While I can’t embrace that lifetstyle as a preferred way of life,
      It is what it is, and people are people, in how they react to that.

      I find it easy to love my lesbian daughter and her friends in the LGBT crowd.
      If I could change that situation, I would, and I think she would as well.

      Better to take people on there face value

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A37&version=KJV

      Eich has a first name, It’s Brendan, and I support him.

      • garysfbcn says:

        “While I can’t embrace that lifetstyle …”

        Uh, being gay isn’t a “lifestyle.” That is both insulting and disrespectful.

        You sit in judgement, saying you’d change your daughter if you could (presumably to something better – otherwise why wish for change?), and then you have the nerve to cite the Bible about being judgemental.

        I take the CEO at face value: He spent $1,000 on an anti-gay proposition. I support his freedom to do that.

        And I also support my freedom to urge people to dump Firefox because they had the poor judgement to hire a CEO who is anti-gay.

      • andrewcurryla says:

        I really hope your daughter doesn’t come across this and figure out you wrote this. Keep your judgments to yourself and why don’t you ask your daughter her feelings on if she would want to be made different, or have you actually fully love and accept her.

  • Albert says:

    Reblogged this on sonofbluerobot.

  • John Skibinski says:

    Uninstalled.

  • Sam says:

    While I’m a strong supporter of LGBT equality myself, I’m also a faithful user of Firefox. The browser is the only one left that continues to separate the address bar from the search bar and I like that very much (please keep it this way).

    I view it this way. Prop 8 is dead. Some people’s lives were hurt by it when it passed and for some, the pain may not have really gone away. However, the courts ruled correctly that it needed to be struck down. Gay rights has continued to advance at record pace and shows no signs of stopping.

    Considering all the wins we have had in recent years, I’m *personally* done being concerned about this one donation to Prop 8.

    Whatever Mozilla decides for their future, I will stand by them and continue to fight for LGBT rights nationwide.

  • […] Mozilla Foundation executive director Mark Surman today weighed in on the flap. His statement […]

  • […] more than ever’.  or ‘I am Mozillian, ask me why’.   Mark Surman said ‘I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves‘, and perhaps this is because we need more on-on one conversations, more human less Twitter, […]

  • carswell says:

    For me, a longtime Firefox and Thunderbird user, defender and advocate, it comes down to this: I can no longer launch either program without feeling like I’m being spat at in the face. Not only is Eich’s history of support for Proposition 8 appalling, his and Mozilla’s refusal to speak forthrightly to that history, to the outrage it has provoked and to the hurt and disappointment it continues to cause speaks volumes. That is why I’m posting this message using SRWare Iron and why, barring some radical change of course on your organization’s part, I will soon cut all ties with everything Mozilla and encourage all my friends and business contacts to do the same.

    Denying LGBT people equal rights will soon be viewed by a majority of North Americans as as reprehensible as supporting white supremacy or anti-Semitism. That’s already the case in Canada and other countries more socially advanced than the U.S. and it’s beyond distressing to see Mozilla so far behind the times. We people of good conscience wouldn’t support an organization helmed by a white supremacist. How can you expect us to support one headed by a heterosexual supremacist, by an individual who favours the unequal treatment in law and thus in society of an entire category of people, including many who are his employees and users of his products?

    I appreciate that many, even most Mozillans don’t agree with Eich’s views. But Eich is now your public face and guiding light. And, to go by his silence, his views remain as offensive as ever, at stark odds with your mission of openness, equality and inclusiveness.

    Whatever one thinks about Eich’s position on the issue of same-sex marriage (and I support his right to hold it), this much is clear: his presence is now damaging your organization. If he and the board truly have Mozilla’s best interests at heart, he will step down quickly and graciously. The healing won’t begin until he does.

    • sveirs says:

      Your first paragraph resonates. There’s spit in my face as well as the faces of my cousin and her wife.

      Thanks for the SRWare lead, but what are you going to do about email? So, long Thunderbird+Nostagly and Firefox+Zotero+Lastpass. Hello to Opera and Opera mail!

      I’m off to burn my Mozilla shirt. At least we can thank Eich for motivating us out of our rut and back into seeking and supporting a more open internet led by less messy organizations and minds.

      • carswell says:

        Haven’t had time to look for a replacement for Thunderbird/Lightning, sveirs. When I do, I’ll probably start with the email clients recommended in various computer publications and fora.

        I suppose I’ve also been hoping for a response from Eich/Mozilla though at this point, a week after the you-know-what hit the fan, their silence indicates they’ve dug in and are hoping the storm blows over. It probably will eventually but not before huge damage has been inflicted on the brand and organization. It’s astounding that they don’t realize that or care.

        I genuinely hope Mozilla comes through this ordeal stronger, wiser and better. But as long as it’s headed by an unrepentant Eich, I won’t have anything to do with it.

  • George Cosgrove says:

    If Mozilla is in a tough spot it shouldn’t be appointing leaders who consider some of their staff to be second-class citizens, and who divide the organization and alienate the public. Mozilla will lose support for this. Duh. What did the board expect?

  • Paul says:

    I waited some time to see what actions would be taken. The two I was looking for was:
    1. Eich issuing a sincere apology, regret for the action, and a matching donation to a cause progressing equality
    2. Eich being dismissed

    I’ve uninstalled firefox on my home and work computers.

  • Ron Lussier says:

    I want to know from Mr. Eich *why* he donated to Proposition 8, and whether he still feels like he wants to invalidate my marriage to my partner of 26 years. “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt” is not an apology, nor is it an explanation.

  • […] tweet at all? This morning, Mark Surman, one of the key people who make me proud to be a Mozillian, wrote “I worry that Mozilla is in a tough spot now. I worry that we do a bad job of explaining […]

  • Statler N Waldorf says:

    There is one good thing to come out of this. I have discovered what a great browser Opera is! Now that I have completely uninstalled Firefox on all my computers at home and at work, I am getting to experience first hand what your competition has to offer. And let me tell you, you have a lot of competition, and they all have one thing to offer that you don’t- a CEO that didn’t donate money to Proposition 8.

    And who knows? If you don;t fire Eich soon, I might just stay with Opera and never return to Mozilla at all. You might even go the way of Netscape-oh wait. I guess you already did that once, so this would be more like returning to the collapse that Netscape went through, only for a second time.

    Despite what Mark Surman says, the Internet doesn’t need you. .We’ve got a lot of other options.

  • Lane Bourn says:

    I started with the Phoenix browser way back when, long before it was “Firefox”. To say I am deeply disappointed in the Mozilla response is an incredible understatement. The pain and suffering caused by Prop 8 is immense and not just something that can be corrected by a casual faux-apology. Mozilla and Firefox are seriously tainted brands right now. I have, literally, a dozen other browsers on my machine (not counting Lynx). Mozilla needs to correct this horrendous mistake and quickly. The words above are not adequate at all, and Eich’s & Baker’s responses are pathetic.

    Replace gays with any other group: would someone who actively supported such a position against a minority group been advanced to CEO? Absolutely not. So why is it okay to work against LGBT people and still get a promotion? Mozilla needs to explain this.

  • Wayne says:

    Oh. so Mozilla and it’s supposed role as defender of web freedom makes you think that the CEO of Mozilla should get a free pass on his promotion and support of blatant bigotry? I disagree and I’m not the only one. I don’t how this is playing in the straight community but in the gay community Mozilla’s name is now MUD. Everyone I know who used Mozilla has dropped it for Chrome over the CEO’s penchant for supporting hate and anti-gay bigotry. But then again, words like “equality” and “freedom” actually mean something more than just words to the people who have their freedoms denied.

  • Don’t worry, I think Mozilla has been REALLY clear where they stand.

    On the side of bigotry – as becomes more clear as the “openness” you espouse apparently means denying the rights of people like me

  • […] Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman posted about the controversy on his blog: […]

  • Nicolas says:

    This whole blackmail is a shame.

    The most hilarious are the ones who think that being a party to a law makes them more legitimate to raise their voices. Legitimacy comes from the majority, not from a minority, so it is absurd for them to ask the majority to comply and silence people.

    I propose for more laugh that next is discussed Israel politics, Islam, and what Zimbabwe teaches us on the beneficial aspects of colonization.
    Whoever does not agree should be ashamed publicly and dismissed.

    Seriously, is there one engaged person who will speak out against this joke and save the honor of the better cause they claim to be defending ? Right now it looks like a bunch of mobster looking for blood. Not good.

    • Don says:

      “Legitimacy comes from the majority…” Except it shouldn’t when the majority is wrong. Civil rights for ethnic minorities are a reality today but wouldn’t be in any Southern state if the majority had been allowed to vote on it. So no, you shouldn’t get to vote on whether or not I enjoy the same rights as heterosexual citizens. Equal protection covers gay rights, including marriage, and one day your hollow argument will be relegated to the dustbin of history with the arguments used to deny civil rights to blacks, marriage rights to interracial couples, voting rights for women, etc. – you know, anytime the majority disagreed with fundamental human rights.

  • “Mozilla is about is working through these things, even when they’re hard. Because the web need us to.”

    Typical Mozilla attitude that what it’s doing is important. That was true when Firefox was created but hasn’t been true since. I’ve written about this at Medium (2-minute read): https://medium.com/p/6d28df5b607a

    • Oops, a word is missing at the beginning of the quote. It should have been: “What Mozilla is about …”.

      • Cuberly says:

        They seem to think they’re curing cancer. Despite the fact that it takes a browser to download a browser to install it.

        Silicon Valley superiority complex at work.

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • Spencer says:

    Uninstalled all Mozilla products. Loving CHROME.

    Amazing to me that people are still OK with rationalizing BIGOTRY, even self professed “feminists” and “liberals.”

    If Eich had funded efforts to TAKE AWAY CIVIL RIGHTS from African Americans, women or other group there would be outrage that outweighed the bottom line.

    Gay men and women are NOT subhuman or second class citizens. These condescending apologist posts are insulting.

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • […] inclusiveness—including posts by Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker and Executive Director Mark Surman—speak clearly to both divided opinions among Mozilla staffers and a mission to deliver an open […]

  • Hal Watts says:

    Eich donated $1000 against my civil rights and my marriage. I cannot believe that Mozilla has elevated him to the level of CEO, when his atrocious behavior does not fit with what I know of Mozilla’s corporate ethos. No amount of explaining can justify this in my mind. Even if Mozilla were to demote him now, they leave a bad taste in my mouth….

    Google Chrome here I come!

    • MST says:

      senseless and reactionary. you will be essentially leaving the millions…if not billions of other supporters of open source software. Chrome is good, but not open.

  • Statler N Waldorf says:

    Mozilla is messy.

    Opera is clean.

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • […] of equality and inclusion for LGBT people.” Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman posted about the controversy on his blogas did Mozilla’s board chairwoman Mitchell […]

  • Todd Allen says:

    Eich needs to renounce and retract what he did or resign.

    That means a clear “I was wrong to do that and should absolutely not have made that donation”, followed by an explanation of what he’s learned and how he’ll avoid ever doing a similar thing again, not some notpology “I’m sorry if I offended anyone”. He needs to, at very minimum, acknowledge what he did was absolutely wrong and he won’t do it again.

    If he won’t, Mozilla needs to fire him. Period.

  • […] Mark Surman, the executive director of Mozilla, also weighed in. Surman, who titled his post “Mozilla is messy,” argued that while those involved with the open-source developer were often at odds on all kinds of […]

  • […] Mark Surman, the executive director of Mozilla, also weighed in. Surman, who titled his post “Mozilla is messy,” argued that while those involved with the open-source developer were often at odds on all kinds of […]

  • > What’s amazing is Mozillians, including me, work side by side with people who have very different beliefs — even beliefs that upset them — because protecting the web matters so much right now.

    It’s not a matter of a belief or disbelief. This is about an action. I hardly do care what you believe or not as long as your actions are a threat for my freedom.

  • There was a time in this world when “marriage” was a covenant between you, your partner, and God. Now it’s between you, your partner, and the State. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight or gay, you shouldn’t need the government’s permission to marry.

    Arguing that gay people should have permission to marry completely misses the point… you shouldn’t need permission in the first place!

    • Ron Lussier says:

      “There was a time in this world when “marriage” was a covenant between you, your partner, and God.” There was a time before that when marriage was a convenient between you, your partners, and your gods.

      But marriage has always been a legal contract for the merging and distribution of property. That’s why the government is involved.

      • Two (or more) consenting adults should be able to form a contract between themselves. The government should not be able to dictate who can and who can not form a contract.

        Arguing that the government should grant permission for gays to marry completely misses the point: gay people (and straight people!) should not need the government’s permission to marry/form a contract.

    • James says:

      “There was a time in this world when “marriage” was a covenant between you, your partner, and God.”

      When? As I understand it, legal recognition of marriage probably extended back into prehistory.

      “Arguing that gay people should have permission to marry completely misses the point… you shouldn’t need permission in the first place!”

      The government doesn’t need to give you permission for you to call yourselves married, or to behave as if you are married. But the legal status of marriage gives you various legal rights and responsibilities. Argue that they should be taken away all you want, but as long as we have them, there has to be a process to gain legal recognition of your marriage, and the government has to regulate it (otherwise we end up with child marriages, people marrying their kids to avoid inheritance taxes, people marrying hundreds of strangers to give them immigration rights, and so on).

    • deminthon says:

      “and God”

      I have no idea what that is. It certainly isn’t a component of marriage.

      “you shouldn’t need the government’s permission to marry”

      Utter rot. Marriage licenses are granted by the government, they establish a legal union and numerous government consequences.

      People are always free to call themselves a married couple, but they cannot do so on legal documents.

  • Kurt Padilla says:

    It isn’t on anyone to do anything except Brendan. He needs to acknoledge and apologize for his wrongdoing (because he didn’t just have an opinion; caused real harm). If he doesn’t, then it’s on the board to dismiss him. Perhaps that time has already arrived.

  • […] Mark Surman, the executive director of Mozilla, also weighed in. Surman, who titled his post “Mozilla is messy,” argued that while those involved with the open-source developer were often at odds on all kinds of […]

  • Jordan Alconzo says:

    Difference of belief in a society where gay people are treated as second class citizens? We’re talking about human rights and civil rights, which is exactly what Prop 8 is. This write up ignores the tangible effects Eich’s donations had on many many human beings. Mozilla keeps framing this as a freedom of speech issue. He actively campaigned and funded an anti gay pillar. And that’s who they are defending as a CEO. So don’t be alarmed when those who disagree wuth your decision use their freedom of speech to say so.

  • […] than 70,000 signatures, is being circulated encouraging Eich to support gay marriage or step down. Staffers have been openly speaking out both for and against Eich in online blog posts and on Twitter. And […]

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • Robby Sayles says:

    Great Post, Mark! Thanks for sharing :)

  • MST says:

    For the record, I have supported the right of marriage regardless of sexual orientation or ethnicity, or any other human contrived demographic labelling.
    I also love FireFox and Mozilla. As an open source advocate, I see the wealth in the collective body expressing itself for the betterment of humanity. Mozilla is a by product of this expression.

    However, I am disheartened to see so many open source advocated not allowing…or forgiving…one of there own brother’s past infractions. Eric has demonstrated through action that his respect for equality on all levels. Let the past die. Accept his statement and then move on. His record is clear. He has passion and contributed to the open source movement more then most people writing comments concerning this article.

    I am also a recovering drug addict. been sober and straight for over 2 decades now. every day I make amends for the my past transgressions. the greatest lesson I needed to learn was to stop judging other people. The advocates calling for Eric’s removal may need to examine whether their judgement is based on a reaction, or a very cognisant and thoughtful analysis of Eric’s qualites as a leader in the open source movement. Mother Theresa said:
    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

    Stop the hypocrisy and self righteousness. Let him do his job and allow him to grow. This movement is much greater then one person. I know for a fact, he has learned a great deal from this experience.

  • carswell says:

    Where has Eich demonstrated his respect for equality on all levels? In his “Inclusiveness at Mozilla” blog post last week, he pledged to abide by the organization’s rules. Period. In his 2012 “Community and Diversity” post, he says he supports Mozilla’s policy on the issue, admits to the Prop 8 donation but doesn’t explain his motives for it, accuses critics of being meanies and declares he has no intention of discussing the matter further. Correct me if I’m wrong, but nowhere has he actually addressed his support for Prop 8 and the outrage it has caused.

    So, yes, he may be respectful of GLBT employees while they’re at Mozilla but, as far as anyone outside the organization can tell, that respect stops at the exit. He has fought to deny the basic rights of people working under him and of many, many more who use Mozilla products and contributed to the cause. He’s given no indication that he’s had a change of heart, that he regrets his past actions, that given the opportunity he wouldn’t do it all over again. In fact, in light of his silence and of his repeated donations to one of California’s most rabidly anti-GLBT representatives (don’t know if they’re ongoing), it’s not unreasonable to conclude that he’s as pro-discrimination as ever. And if he is, he has no place at the helm of Mozilla or any other progressive organization.

    Let me ask you and Mark Surman this: If evidence came out that Eich had donated and was possibly still donating to the KKK or some other white supremacist organization, would you be willing to work under and with him? If the answer is no, then you too are saying that GLBT people are second-class citizens. If the answer is yes, then your moral compass is, in my humble opinion, really screwed up — you’re placing the advancement of a project above basic human rights.

    Forgiveness is fine and Eich probably would have experienced it had he expressed any regret for his actions (“I’m sorry if you take offence” doesn’t cut it) and if now, a week into the firestorm, he and the organization he represents didn’t remain in ostrich mode. Their arrogant silence is as stunning as it is appalling.

    One last point. You and Eich’s other defenders (and it’s taking a real effort not to write “apologists” here) talk about him as though he were the only person to head the company. That’s obviously not the case: half of your board of directors, or close to, felt otherwise. The pool of talent at Mozilla is huge and, protests about outsiders not getting the culture aside, the pool outside the organization is even bigger. Instead of choosing a rallying figure, you collectively have chosen a divisive one. A Tweet the other day described Eich as the most hated CEO in the world. This is the person above all others that your organization is now associated with. How very sad.

    • carswell says:

      BTW, my above post is in response to MST’s post. Apologies for the mix-up.

      • MST says:

        Thank you Carswell for your reply. From your diatribe, you have judged the man without even gathering the evidence from the source. Yet, you fashion “if” statements with the term KKK and direct what you “think” the problem is without doing logical and honest homework. I have known many people who were “hated”. In reality, it was the image of the person that was hated. And this image was created by gossip and lack of transparency.

        To be honest, you really do not know Eric’s viewpoint and why he did donate. I agree that maybe he should be more forthcoming. But I bet the audience is not ready to let down their reactionary zeal to judge.

        In fact, I would hope that Eric would allow an interview with someone impartial.so as to clear the shroud of ignorance.

        There is a reason why Eric was placed in this position. I am not privy to this information. I do know he is a very hard working and talented individual.

        In regards to this statement: ” talk about him as though he were the only person to head the company”, I never implied this. The open source community is much larger then the individual. And there is a solid meritocracy that propels these open source initiatives forward. My point is this: Eric may have made a mistake in the past. However, in the present, the mistake he made may cause people to disassociate their support for a project that is by itself, so much larger then the individual….so much larger then the position of CEO.

        OH…and don’t worry about throwing the label “apologist” to someone you have had no contact with other then today. I really don’t care what your image of who I might be.

        There is a lesson for all of us (my self included). Above, I specifically wrote that Eric made a “mistake”. For whatever reason, he made a 1000.00 donation to an organization that supported non-marital status to our brothers and sisters who are homosexual or transsexual. My suggestion is this: let him learn from our experiences within all communities that inclusiveness is vital and necessary for us to excel and thus be free. Eric has stated unequivocally his support for this type of environment. If he does not, he will be fired. Very simple.

        Yet, the movement will move on. Mozilla will move on.

      • garysfbcn says:

        Eich also financially supported a very homophobic candidate (Tom McClintock), so the extent of his fiscal support of homophobia goes beyond proposition 8.

        You post is written as if this all of this happened in the abstract and that it caused no pain or harm to LGBTs in California. That is not true.

        Many of us same-sex bi-national couples have had to live apart because we couldn’t get married. This happened to me and my husband – after living together for almost 5 years, we had to move apart – 6,000 miles apart. Prop 8 delayed the legal recognition of our relationship, a relationship that has been able to survive unbelievable legal hurdles financial costs since 1999.

        The people who campaigned for proposition 8 – the people who Eich gave money to – used lies, deceit and demagoguery to malign and marginalize millions of us in order to win the election. We were portrayed as child molesters, perverts and worse. And many of us use Firefox. Or did.

        We did eventually win the prop 8 battle but not without great sacrifice of time, money, blood, sweat and a LOT of tears.

        Mozilla would never hire a CEO who is anti-black or anti-Jewish.

        We sure as hell are not going to let them hire a homophobic bigot and continue to use their products.

        Given how the prop 8 people told so many lies in order to win, I have no trust at all in anything Eich says now.

        Actions have consequences. None of the prop 8 promoters and supporters have asked for forgiveness for their roles in the despicable and hurtful campaign, which is revealing. I doubt that many of them have changed their opinions.

        It’s OK though – I’m not ready to forgive anyone.

      • MST says:

        To Garysfbcn:

        Thank you for your refreshing comment. Truly you spoke with honesty.

        Your comments reveal how the actions of a person’s donation can help hinder the Inclusiveness of our democracy as a nation and as a people. Yes, in my opinion, Eric donated to an organization that at it’s core is the antithesis of what I believe and stand for. And I sympathize with your life and efforts to enact change and still live a life in love with your husband. Truly, I deeply respect your story. May you and your family have many blessings.

        Here is a story: my mother is a die hard democrat. She has been since she was born. However, she will vote Republican every time because she does not support abortion. Should I stop talking to her since she is a republican? In fact, should I have stopped talking to her when she saw that my wife did not reflect the ethnic background that she felt was only appropriate for her family?

        The greater question is this: should we as an enlightened people, stop our conversation to people we would consider not enlightened?

        In my arrogance, I did. And the result was devastating, and illuminating. I realized I was just as unenlightened.

      • garysfbcn says:

        Thank you for your kind words. Everything seems to be going well for us.

        I understand the parallels you make between the situation with your mother and the actions of Eich.

        I do have some experience as some of my father’s family did not approve of my mother – she was not Christian and came from a family that had some very dark-skinned people. Most of the issues were resolved before my birth. But some issues persisted and, because there were three religions involved, and that was the most divisive issue, my father prohibited religion in our home. Interestingly, my siblings and I all have pretty deep spiritual beliefs. But I don’t ever use religion as the conduit for my spirituality.

        Back to your situation. I could (and have) easily learn to live with a family member’s political opinions. But I wouldn’t tolerate, for much time anyway, disrespect for my spouse. I’m not sure if I would ‘stop the conversation’ but I would establish strict rules of engagement.

        My problem with Eich is that there hasn’t been any conversing on his part, other than the press-release-like letter he supposedly wrote. There hasn’t been a shred of empathy from him.

        It means a lot to me that you took the time to understand what I wrote. Knowing that, if we continued to disagree I could ‘agree to disagree’ with you and move on. And that is why a conversation with Eich would be a non starter if he couldn’t attempt to understand just how despicable and hurtful the prop 8 campaign was to many of us. It would take him all of 10 minutes to research this and understand.

        The information about his support for prop 8 was revealed some years ago while he was still CTO. He’s had plenty of time to deal with it and has not. Maybe he feels that he shouldn’t have to. Maybe he is extremely homophobic. Maybe he is a social oaf. Maybe he is a closet gay. Maybe he is embarrassed by his support of 8 and shame prevents him from saying anything. It is up to him to clarify this, but only because there are questions. I’d hate to see a litmus test for everyone, but when the issue lands in your inbox and you are a CEO, you’re obligated to address it, minimally, for the sake of the company.

        Anyway, it’s getting late and I’m rambling and making a lot of errors. Thanks again. Take care.

      • carswell says:

        CNet has just published an interview with Eich.

        http://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-ceo-gay-marriage-firestorm-could-hurt-firefox-cause-q-a/

        A few take-aways:
        > He doesn’t admit to making a mistake.
        > He refuses to discuss his personal beliefs, his politics or his actions outside the company.
        > He refuses to say whether he’d support a Prop 8-type campaign again (he doesn’t answer hypotheticals — weasel words if ever there were any).
        > He refuses to say whether he supports same-sex marriage rights.
        > Indonesian homophobes support him. Keeping him as CEO shows them how inclusive Mozilla is.
        > Some of his best friends are gay. And hurt (he sees it in their eyes). But, hey, Mozilla!
        > Being opposed to LGBT rights isn’t the same as being sexist or racist.
        > Mozilla is more important than bigotry.
        > Mozilla is more important than any individual. That’s why it doesn’t matter if he stays.
        > He’s the best person for the job. And he’s been doing a great job.
        > “Trust me.”

  • Tracy Gray says:

    Thank you for writing this article. I personally only know one Mozillan, Lukas Blakk. A very cool, passionate, committed person who believes in open source. I’d love to learn more about Mozilla! Share more!

  • […] clear, this issue isn’t going away quickly. The Mozilla Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Surman is worried about how this protracted conflict will play out. He lays it out in a blog post titled “Mozilla is […]

  • […] Mark Surman, the executive director of Mozilla, also weighed in. Surman, who titled his post “Mozilla is messy,” argued that while those involved with the open-source developer were often at odds on all kinds of […]

  • James Pike says:

    I’ve been using mozilla web browsers since 1998 exclusively.

    But I will not tolerate a company run by a homophobic person, a racist person etc. Eich is a bad person.

  • […] here, but I’ll point you to Erin Kissane, JP Schneider, Tim Chevalier, Christie Koehler, Mark Surman, Chris McAvoy, Myk Melez, and Matthew Riley MacPherson as examples of the kind of thoughtful and […]

  • […] a statement. Eich spoke out. Mark Surman, executive director of the non-profit Mozilla foundation said in his post, “This ability to set aside differing and diverse beliefs to focus on a common cause is something […]

  • Felipe Rodrigues says:

    Yesterday, I started a conversation with a “Mozillian” about my point in the matter, and he told me to read the Brendan’s blog post about this episode and to wonder what more could I expect from him. I did it. I also read the interview he gave to CNET about this whole mess.
    I could conclude two things: if someone goes to work and leaves his/hers beliefs in the front-door, JUST because that’s what’s expected from they, this person is an perfect hypocrite. How can a convicted hypocrite be tolerated in a foundation so proud of its values?

    The best way to defend the Mozilla community is not just wait until the dust settles. It’s not spread the word of how good and inclusive you are, because we know it. That’s the first reason people are reacting badly to the case. Why an AWESOME foundation choose a CEO that do not share the values of it? Share not obey.

    Mozilla can go on with their battles, which I personally find important, but that won’t diminish the importance of other battles. They are running aside.

    In response to the question I say: I expect Brendan to join a wonderful company that suits his beliefs and fulfill him as a genuine person, and leave Mozilla to people who actually believe in what they’re doing, not partially.

  • Silvia says:

    Eich is a liability to Mozilla.(PERIOD) He needs to go. (PERIOD)

    To quote you, Mark, “As billions more people roll onto the web in the next few years, we really are at a critical crossroads for humanity: we have to decide if the web is about freedom or control.”

    Society is about freedom, and the web is part of society.

    Freedom, if worth fighting for – not just on the web, but in social, everyday life. And when some Big brother (Eich with his money) pays to pass a law to tell people *who they can marry*, he is the very embodiment of “control” that Mozilla purports to be against.

    Or is Mozilla saying that it is ok to control people in analogue terms and give them freedom in digital terms?

    I am so disappointed with Mozilla. Uninstalling Firefox. I won’t be part of your battles.

  • […] best person to serve as Mozilla’s CEO despite the controversy. But the growing attention and candid discussions amongst Mozilla employees, seems to have resulted in todays […]

  • egnt says:

    ” work side by side with people who have very different beliefs”. Not any more, apparently? Good luck, Mozilla, I’m out.

  • […] Prop 8 contribution, and Eich’s refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in. He was being defended by company executives last week and throughout the early part of this week, even as the dating site […]

  • bull500 says:

    Reblogged this on bull500 and commented:
    Mozilla is us! We should care for a Free & Open Web.

  • bull500 says:

    I felt sad for both Brendan Eich & Mozilla.

    Its just that the world does not understand us as we want to be understood.

  • […] Prop 8 contribution, and Eich’s refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in. He was being defended by company executives last week and throughout the early part of this week, even as the dating site […]

  • […] happy that Mozilla is a messy, open place where this kind of discussion is in public, no matter how much easier it may have been to have in […]

  • […] Prop 8 contribution, and Eich’s refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in. He was being defended by company executives last week and throughout the early part of this week, even as the dating site […]

  • My name is Rabiya and I am a producer for the BBC World Service radio programme, World Have Your Say. On today’s show we are talking about the appointment of Brendan Eich. We are asking, should CEOs lose their jobs over their personal beliefs? It would be really interesting to get you involved in the conversation, would you be interested in taking part?

    Do get back to me as soon as you can

  • […] as Mozilla’s CEO despite the controversy. But pressure on Eich to resign mounted during an extraordinarily public (and notably civil) discussion among Mozilla employees, developers, and other community […]

  • […] Mozillians — either supported or were neutral toward Eich’s personal beliefs. One high profile gay employee, contrasting Eich’s personal beliefs agains this professional goals, wrote as […]

  • […] Prop 8 contribution, and Eich’s refusal to renounce it, that eventually did Eich in. He was being defended by company executives last week and throughout the early part of this week, even as thedating […]

  • You guys can no longer claim to be anything other than thugs and bullies. The irony here is that I believe in the same freedoms you are wrapping yourselves in… I won’t fight against you though. I just uninstalled Mozilla from my macs and will move from Thunderbird to Apple mail. I’m out…

  • At the time of the donation, then Senator Obama was also advocating no marriage for gays.

    As a libertarian who supports gay marriage because I don’t think the government has a place deciding our personal issues, I detest hypocrisy from both sides, and really dislike a vocal minority depriving a good company of a talented CEO, and throwing him under the bus.

    I’ve been using chrome for one business, and firefox for another.

    I will no longer use firefox. What they did was shameful.

    There are too many browser choices for me to worry about supporting a supposed mozilla community that I now see for what it is.

    Count me out.

    • coyote says:

      The difference of course is that President Obama has recanted be previous statements. Mr. Eich has not. He clearly still believes that it’s acceptable to take rights away from a minority of citizens.

      • As late as 2008, Obama spoke at Saddleback Church, and claimed: “I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman.”

        He went on to say he believed civil unions were okay.’

        You conveniently chose to ignore the point, which was that while Obama was against same-sex marriage, he had zero difficulty being elected to the highest office in the land.

      • coyote says:

        Yes, he flip-flopped back and forth for a long time on this. In 1996, Illinois Senate candidate Obama submitted a survey to a newspaper called Outlines saying, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” In Feb 2008, President Obama wrote, “I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act…I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether.” In 2010 he said “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage,” but added that “I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with” and “I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.” He didn’t come out fully supporting gay marriage until 2012. But the fact remains that he *did*.

        My own dad was a horrible bigot when I was growing up. He would go on against jews and blacks. But his views evolved, and I forgave him. I would have forgiven Eich, but he has never recanted his bigotry. Unlike the majority of the country, he remains an anti-gay bigot.

      • As a second-grader at Sts. Peter & Paul elementary, I realized I was different than my classmates, and at the time, I thought that I was likely the only person in the world like me, so I pretended.

        I continued to pretend all the way through high-school, was voted by me peer to be their V.P. in both our junior and senior years, was captain of the football team, and still, I knew I was different, although I now realized that I was not the only one. I didn’t know anyone like me in our small town, but had read about others in cities to which I’d not yet traveled.

        Our numbers seemed to be not only small, but hated, detested. So I continued to pretend.

        In fact, the Pew Research Center studies have shown that non-believers are the least trusted in society. So many still believe that just because we don’t believe in god, we are somehow, immoral and untrustworthy.

        No one should have to hide who they are, just as no one should be indoctrinated as a child.

        No group suffers more stigma when getting jobs, or after being “outed” than atheists.

        I realize that this is an important issue for you, but you seem to relish calling people “bigots”, as though the public shaming in some way helps you.

        It doesn’t.

        Just as there is a significant backlash for the so-called “new atheists” there is a backlash for being an aggressive jerk towards any group that doesn’t accept your position on an issue.

      • coyote says:

        I too am an atheist (and also raised in a Catholic school). I’ve never felt shame or suffered bias for my lack of belief, and I’m sorry that you did. That *is* bigotry, just as anti-relgious bigotry is bigotry, and anti-racial bigotry is bigotry. The word exists for a reason.

        Brendan Eich spent money to invalidate my marriage. He never met me, yet he wanted to take away my marriage to my husband (who I’ve been with over 26 years.) He never said why he hated seeing us married, but based on his never having met me, I can only assume it was based on prejudice against me and other gay people.

        Definition: a bigot is someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred on the basis of a person’s opinion, ethnicity, evaluative orientation, race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

        (And please don’t say that being opposed to bigotry is a form of bigotry… that’s just silly.)

      • When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line.

        This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors.

        This is the definition of intolerance.

        If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel?

        It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society. – Andrew Sullivan

        http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/04/dissents-of-the-day-63/

      • coyote says:

        Rick, should a corporation be allowed to fire a CEO for being a member of the Klan? How about if they join a neo-nazi group? Or what if that CEO states that women shouldn’t leave the home?

        The difference between supporting Proposition 8 and opposing it is the difference between supporting taking away rights from a minority and fighting to keep those rights. If you think that both sides are equal morally, then you are being willfully ignorant.

        And don’t quote Andrew Sullivan at me. He is only the latest in a long line of self-hating gay men and women.

      • I didn’t say being opposed to bigotry is a form of bigotry, I said being a jerk is counterproductive.

        This was Andrew’s article two days ago: The Hounding of a Heretic.

        I think he’s got this right, and you’ve got it wrong. And that you are not only hurting your cause, you are making enemies of people who would have otherwise been on your side.

        Why on earth would you do that? There are many more of them, than there are liberal or classic-liberal minded people like us, and you bring out the hate in spades.

        http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/03/the-hounding-of-a-heretic-ctd/

    • coyote says:

      Oh, and President Obama said this in 2004: “”My personal philosophy is that as a Christian, I see no contradiction with embracing same-sex couples as part of our community. That’s my Christian ethos. But I think others within the Christian faith can feel very differently about it.” But he said other things that were pretty wishy-washy, and was generally pretty political about it.

      By 2011 he had given that up: “What you’re seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers, and that they’ve got to be treated like every other American. And I think that principle will win out.

      As President I can’t dictate precisely how this process moves. But I think we’re moving in a direction of greater equality and I think that’s a good thing.”

      • Again, you ignore the point, which was that one can obtain and hold a job of the highest importance, while not advocating same-sex marriage.

        The fact that you purposely ignore this in your wall-of-text speaks volumes.

        As I’ve already stated my feelings on marriage, all you are doing is proving my other point, that some people do more to harm their position in the hypocritical way they advocate for their position.

    • coyote says:

      “Would Sullivan rush to this guy’s defense if it turned out he was a Grand Wizard in the KKK? Of course not. We are allowed to be intolerant of people who operate outside the bounds of civil decency. This wasn’t governmental action infringing on any Constitutional rights. This was Mozilla developers saying they refused to do work with a bigot, private websites blocking access to the Firefox browser because they refused to do business with a bigot, and employees of the firm speaking up because they refused to work for a bigot. 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.” – Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, writing for his site.

      • I built a 3500 employee semiconductor company, so don’t play little ethics games with me.

        A few years before Hitch died, I started a faux University, Logidea, as a way to gather like-minded atheists to discuss the issues, and have a place to speak freely.

        I developed a few simple scientific tests that one would have to take to earn their PhD In Heresy or Doctorate of Disbelief.

        People would take the test, earn their diploma, download it or order it from us, post it on the wall, and be a prick to people they knew.

        I traveled to meet Christopher Hitchens at a debate, had front row seats, lunch/dinner and presented Hitch’s first Honorary PhD. It was a blast.

        I have IC’s I’ve designed in space, so I know as much about physics as the average guy, if not a lot more, and I used it against creationists and every other person who I felt was holding back society.

        That it was not only counter-productive, but harmful to every relationship I had, meant nothing, because I was going to participate in destroying the last remaining pockets of religious ignorance and intolerance, and save the future.

        Didn’t happen. Calling people religious bigots, or any other name, only makes us look bad.

        I now realize that I was over-compensating for the time I spent hiding who I was.

        I’m over that. I’m not a jerk to everyone who disagrees.

        The free-market didn’t speak, he did the best thing for himself and the company, and stopped the loss of good will caused by a very small percentage of the population’s disagreement with his personal position.

        I see you, and other like you, doing the same sort of thing I did just a few years ago, and I see it for the disaster it is.

        You win tiny battles, while losing the war, and don’t realize it. Gay marriage is happening. It can’t be stopped. There is no reason to piss-off half the country in the transition.

        Daily Kos? Propaganda site. I don’t read it.

      • coyote says:

        Hint: Talking about how great you are and the wonderful things you’ve done, as well as how you love being a prick to people… that doesn’t make a good argument.

      • When speaking to someone so arrogant and condescending that they assume you need lessons in business ethics…

        Beyond that, explaining that I was once as big a jerk as you are being now, should have taught you a different lesson, but alas, you seem impervious.

        Why am I surprised…Coyote….ridiculously pretentious.

      • By the way, you employ an awful lot of strawman arguments.

        You might want to think about that. It’s a weak rhetorician’s device.

      • deminthon says:

        “By the way, you employ an awful lot of strawman arguments.”

        Tghat’s funny. All of the strawman arguments in the discussion between you and coyote have been yours … along with several other fallacies.

    • deminthon says:

      ” Senator Obama was also advocating no marriage for gays.”

      This is false … Obama never advocated no marriage for gays, he just said he didn’t personally believe in it. He also said that he opposed any laws banning gay marriage, and he came to California to oppose Prop 8. He did so very quietly and disappointingly, but he did it.

  • segmation says:

    I believe that Mozilla has made it easier for others to leave the Mozilla browser and go to other ones that work with no problems!

  • […] support for Eich from within the company, including from executive director Mark Surman, who cited Eich’s alignment with the common goal of free and open Internet as evidence that that differences […]

  • […] this emanate isn’t going divided speedy. The Mozilla groundwork’s supervision Director Mark Surman is concerned about how this long war will play out. He lays it out in a blog post patrician “Mozilla is […]

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