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Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns Under Pressure
Political Stance Unravels Career
incrediBILL




msg:4660499
 8:13 pm on Apr 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mozilla co-founder CEO Brendan Eich, who came under fire this week for donating to a campaign to ban gay marriage in California, has resigned.

Eich, who became the CEO of the nonprofit company behind Mozilla Firefox on March 24, had donated $1,000 for the successful Proposition 8 ballot measure that passed in the November 2008 state election.

[abcnews.go.com...]

The backlash of public figures expressing unpopular political views can be a real career killer.

This guy had to be particularly stupid to think taking an anti-gay stance in a SF based company was a bright idea.

Maybe he should've consulted with the geniuses at Chic-Fil-A, who got run out of town, before doing such things.

Just goes to show you that the First Amendment doesn't have a clause to keep your job so don't mix politics and work, bad idea.

 

motorhaven




msg:4660517
 9:55 pm on Apr 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm saying this as a man who disagrees with a gay marriage ban... he was thrown under the bus and railroaded in the name of political correctness.

The backlash of public figures expressing popular but not liberal views can be a real career killer. Remember, the majority of Californians supported it, and even Obama held the same position as Eich at the time Eich made the donation.

Just goes to show you that even when you don't mix politics and work (this was a private donation he didn't shout about from the roof tops), people with agendas will hang others out to dry.

People should not have to fear for their jobs over privately held political beliefs, what is this, 1950's McCarthyism?

incrediBILL




msg:4660529
 10:58 pm on Apr 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

he was thrown under the bus and railroaded in the name of political correctness.


Yup.

The whole thing has nothing to do with his ability to do his job, but a bunch of outraged users and other people made a fuss and that's all it took.

Heck, there were websites telling anyone using Firefox about it before letting them access the site and they were asking people to dump Firefox!

Mozilla Firefox users who try to use popular dating service OKCupid are currently being shown the above message, encouraging them not to use Firefox.

[gizmodo.com...]

Other sites were doing the same.

Any mass market software company needs to be apolitical or they could suffer the same fate.

people with agendas will hang others out to dry.


Ever watch Scandal?

The whole show is based around that very topic.

He could use Olivia Pope about now! :)

graeme_p




msg:4660612
 4:30 am on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Any mass market software company needs to be apolitical or they could suffer the same fate.


Not apolitical - they have to be on the right side in politics. Google has not suffered for being pro-gay marriage.

tangor




msg:4660616
 5:17 am on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

The cool thing is that any time the Left gets incensed to this level the backlash is worse... More people might end up using FF than before. It is, after all, a numbers game and those currently complaining are less than 6% of the population. (See Chick-Filet-A, etc.)

jay5r




msg:4660661
 11:56 am on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sorry. I'm gay and I have to disagree.

A crucial part of a CEO's job is to manage people. When you feel so strongly that you give money (repeatedly) to deny someone's civil rights, there's no way in hell you can manage them properly. You simply don't see them as your equal and if you don't see them as your equal, then you _will_ discriminate against them at some point.

And if you think what I said isn't true, I can tell you from personal experience that it is. Around 2000 the lesbian General Manager of the company I worked for accidentally got rid of domestic partner benefits for gay employees (it was a small company and no one was using them, so she didn't realize we had them). She was mortified, but I still remember going to the CFO and pleading my case. She simply had a blank look on her face when I mentioned terms like "social justice" and "equality". Somehow she didn't connect the dots that without those concepts she could never have been a CFO. She was incapable of treating me as her equal and it affected me and my boyfriend in a very real way. What she did was legal (at least at the time), but it was wrong. However, the General Manager made up for it by simply hiring my boyfriend. It was a step up for him and as an employee he got health benefits. We were fortunate to have a lesbian in the management of our company, and my boyfriend had skills the company needed, but many other LGBT folks aren't so lucky.

Related to all of that - would you really work your hardest for your company if you felt the management didn't appreciate you? How could Eich inspire an LGBT employee to go the extra mile for Mozilla? Because he failed to inspire, another CEO could do the job better.

Another crucial part of a CEO's job is public relations. If you want to be a CEO you simply can't tell a big chunk of your customers that you don't think they or their sons/daughters/friends aren't your equals. That's a public relations nightmare. CEO's are the public face of a company - their beliefs and actions can tarnish the company's reputation. There are certain things you just can't do if you want to be CEO. You can believe what you want. Just don't act on it by giving money and speaking out on the topic publicly.

graeme_p




msg:4660712
 3:35 pm on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Where does it say he sees gays as equal? Because he is opposed to gay marriage?

By that logic someone who is opposed to polygamous marriage must discriminate a Muslims and old style Mormons (whatever they are called) etc.

Hounding someone out of a job because you disagree with them is intolerant. It is just looking for excuses to persecute people with the "wrong" views.

Your example of discrimination is completely irrelevant. I know gay people can face discrimination - but as there is no reason to think that the Eich discriminated against anyone, it is entirely irrelevant.

jay5r




msg:4660720
 4:26 pm on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

graeme_p - Yes, donating money to insure someone is denied their civil rights means you don't see them as your equal - and you feel pretty strongly about that fact. And to be clear - I'm talking about _civil_ marriage (in a courthouse) and all the rights that comes with it.

It's not about religion - no one was demanding to get married in a church. It's not about procreation since postmenopausal women get married all the time, and some straight couples choose not to have kids. The only difference is the gender of the spouse.

In traditional marriage the woman was the property of the man. Straight relationships changed to ones more-or-less based on love around the time of Victorian era. That means the nature of marriage changed as well. When love became the basis of relationships is when modern gay relationships started appearing. This isn't something that's some sinister "agenda". It's just stating the obvious - that two things really are the same and should be treated equally.

Whether polygamy is good or bad is a discussion for another day. Numerous cultures through history haven't seen polygamy as bad. Perhaps we should rethink our stance on it. I really don't know. I do know I'm not threatened by it. I can't see myself giving money to stop it.

Intolerance of intolerance is not the same as other forms of intolerance. Intolerance is a negative. Divide two negative numbers and you get a positive value. "-3 of -4" = positive 3/4. It's basic math - intolerance is bad, intolerance of intolerance is good.

motorhaven




msg:4660733
 5:32 pm on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Jay5r,

Going by your logic, if someone gives to Democrats they aren't fit to lead because they are intolerant of Republicans, and someone who gives to Republicans is likewise unfit to lead.

Personally I am for gay marriage, civil unions or whatever you want to call them. But I also know people who contrary to your views on the matter, really do see it as a religious and strong societal matter. Though I do not agree with them, they have a right to be wrong and that doesn't make them unfit as leaders.

One thing I've learned over the years... religious people certainly aren't the only people who can suffer from self-righteous indignation.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4660735
 5:51 pm on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hounding someone out of a job because you disagree with them is intolerant.


Sums it up for me. Perhaps he was foolish or not overly cautious about flaunting his opinion... but personally, I think his personal views which are totally unrelated to his job are nobody else's business.

ronin




msg:4660752
 6:50 pm on Apr 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

This is an example of a very specific dilemma.

Hounding someone out of a job because you disagree with them is intolerant.


Yes, that seems entirely fair. And we can all agree (I hope) that intolerance is not on. Intolerance is... not to be tolerated.

Ah, but then, what happens when we say:

Hounding someone out of a job because you disagree with their intolerance is intolerant.


Is being intolerant of intolerance unacceptable?

Is it even "intolerance"?

Or is shining a spotlight on someone else's intolerance, when it becomes pronounced and repeated... and actually refusing to tolerate it, an integral part of being tolerant?

Might we take a position that the one thing which we can reasonably be intolerant of... indeed, which we must not tolerate... is intolerance?

Because if we tolerate someone's intolerance of another group which we have no connection with... how can we then have a leg to stand on when somebody else starts pro-actively campaigning against our group?

So if a group starts whining "But it's our right to be xenophobic / homophobic / mysoginist / agist / racist / anti-religionist / - that's our culture! And you must let us have our culture. You mustn't oppress us!"

We can respond "No, the one thing we won't tolerate is your pro-actively attempting to deny others the rights that you enjoy yourself. We support your right to enjoy freedoms and we expect you to support the right of others to enjoy the same freedoms."

graeme_p




msg:4660817
 5:36 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ronin, I do not see him as intolerant.

Who can marry who is subject to various restrictions that change with time and place.

Some countries allow polygamy, most do not. Some countries allow polygamy for some people but not others.

I know of know of nowhere now that permits siblings to marry, but it was common in ancient Egypt and expected of their royalty. Some countries extend the ban on incestuous marriages as far as first cousins, but other allow it and some cultures encourage it.

Now, consider the specific case. It is ludicrous to pretend that sex and sexuality are irrelevant to marriage. Just as it is perfectly reasonable to discriminate on grounds of race for certain jobs where race is relevant (e.g. requiring an actor with a particular skin colour for a particular role) it is prima facie reasonable to discriminate on sexuality with regard to marriage.

Now consider why marriage is a legal institution at all, rather than a private arrangement. Two of the key reasons is that it 1) protects women from desertion by the fathers of their children, and 2) means children are born with an automatic, legally recognised relationship with both parents. Neither of these applies to gay couples.

Now, whether you regard the above as essential to marriage or not is a matter of value judgement: whether you agree with it of not, a reasonable person with no bias against gays may hold that children, or the possibility of children is an essential part of marriage.

If Brendan Eich has said gays should not vote, of called for a return of sodomy laws you would have a point. He has an opinion some people do not like on a question that is ultimately a matter of value judgement. That should be fine.

tangor




msg:4660823
 7:26 am on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

This Mozilla thing is more of a contemptuous victory punishment by the LGBT community after court decisions went their way in the USA than any true indignation. If Mozilla was located in Russia (or pick a dozen or so other countries, and a few religions with swords, too) things would have been quite different.

What one does in private life is separate from public (business) life. Has been for thousands of years... Currently a small segment of the human population, specifically in the USA, want that changed. Their bedroom life is the cause celeb. Sadly, if that does change, even they will regret in the end because if that Pandora's Box is opened there will be no end to civil evil anywhere for any reason.

One's bedroom behavior/choice should not be public debate, but some have made it so. And that's how we end up with Eich out at Mozilla.

Check the Youngblood's Come Together

Mods can axe this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53XyCbIJGKY

ronin




msg:4661133
 2:18 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

What one does in private life is separate from public (business) life.


Mostly, yes. But I'm not sure that "sponsoring political causes" falls entirely into the "private life" category, does it?

One's bedroom behavior/choice should not be public debate


I agree.

but some have made it so.


I don't agree. I can't see that anyone at any point has made their bedroom behavior/choice public debate.

And this question - "Is sexuality a choice?" - gets (I suppose) to the crux of the deeper debate - it gets to the root of why Eich donated to a campaign to ban gay marriage in California in the first place (because if you really want to get married, you can always choose to not be gay anymore, right?).

And it gets to the root of why others see Eich's move as a cut and dried example of intolerance.

There will, I suppose, always be those who consider that an individual's bedroom behavior is a pre-meditated, conscious choice which then goes on to define their sexuality.

But to me, this seems a bit like saying: "Applying swathes of SPF40 sun cream is what makes you white."

jay5r




msg:4661153
 2:57 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Now, consider the specific case. It is ludicrous to pretend that sex and sexuality are irrelevant to marriage. Just as it is perfectly reasonable to discriminate on grounds of race for certain jobs where race is relevant (e.g. requiring an actor with a particular skin colour for a particular role) it is prima facie reasonable to discriminate on sexuality with regard to marriage.


If skin color is grounds for discrimination in employment for certain jobs (in the case you cite), then surely one's actions are legitimate grounds as well (e.g. giving money to deny a group civil rights would disqualify you for a job where you have to market to people who include members of that group, and you have to manage members of that group).

Now consider why marriage is a legal institution at all, rather than a private arrangement. Two of the key reasons is that it 1) protects women from desertion by the fathers of their children, and 2) means children are born with an automatic, legally recognised relationship with both parents. Neither of these applies to gay couples.


Those two items are hardly a comprehensive list of why marriage is good. And LGBT folks getting the right to marry does not impinge on those benefits for straight couples and their children. In fact, based on that list, the best thing you could do to "defend marriage" is outlaw divorce. [Or are you, or someone you love, divorced?]

Now, whether you regard the above as essential to marriage or not is a matter of value judgement: whether you agree with it of not, a reasonable person with no bias against gays may hold that children, or the possibility of children is an essential part of marriage.


Gay couples do have kids. Biologically with ex-spouses, and through fostering and adoption. That's identical to the straight situation. Straight couples have kids with ex-spouses and they foster and adopt. And some gay couples don't have kids - just like some straight couples. If you're going to say procreation _within_ the relationship is critical then you're taking marriage away from postmenopausal couples, infertile couples, and career-oriented couples. Talk about redefining marriage! That's what you're advocating.

But at the end of the day there's a lot more to marriage than what you list. There are immigration issues - I've seen gay couples have to break up because they're from different countries and their relationships aren't recognized. People aren't allowed to visit their partners in hospitals because their relationships aren't recognized. Gay spouses are denied health insurance because their relationships aren't recognized. Gay folk have to spend thousands on lawyers to make sure they can inherit each other's stuff in the event one of them dies. Then that inheritance is taxed - which can lead them to losing their homes, etc. I could go on and on - the list is incredibly long. The point is marriage is about so much more than procreation and kids. And every attempt at "civil unions" has failed spectacularly to give gay folks the same benefits as straight married folks.

incrediBILL




msg:4661224
 10:25 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

The how's and why's of all the other issues being debated are slightly off the path of what's really going on here.

The problem is that people don't understand that First Amendment Rights ONLY apply to YOU and the GOVERNMENT. They do not apply in civil situations because the constitution is a document on governance, not civil situations.

For instance Freedom of the Press means free to publish what they want, often about the government, without government interference. However, publish something considered slanderous about a non-government related company or person and the press could get sued. In this case the press blasted someone for their political views and it cost them their job.

While you may have the right to do things that express your beliefs without the government interfering, it doesn't stop companies or individuals from taking action against you for expressing those opinions, especially when they border on hate.

That's what people have to keep in mind that even on a forum, where everyone tries to wrap themselves in the First Amendment when a mod dings them for posting something, that as long as the forum isn't a government run forum, it's civil, so no such rights exists so the forum is free to censor away at will.

Now whether the Mozilla CEO was actually fired for cause (yeah right, he resigned) or not would be a matter for a jury to decide. I would say that if he was fired for making that donation, IMO that could be a real problem for Mozilla. However, his donation (thanks to the so-called press generating scandals to increase readership) could be grounds for termination when the results causes him to be ineffective at his job and sites to block their product due to his actions. For those reasons I think he should've been fired, or resign, not because he did the act of making the donation itself.

Shame on the press for throwing people under the bus. He was a CEO, not a senator or representative, nor a mayor, councilman, not even a dog catcher, not running for office to the best of my knowledge, correct me if I'm wrong.

It's not like the man had committed a crime and needed to have the whistle blown.

While I don't agree with this politics I believe he has to right to his opinions, as we all do, without getting dragged out in public for it.

If every time every one of us made donations to valid political campaigns or ballot items and it all became public fodder, half of us might suddenly end up unemployed for one reason or another.

Personally, I think the press needs to dial it back a bit and if he takes them to court I hope he wins because individual politics shouldn't be scandalized unless it's a politician or some off the wall heinous stuff, which this wasn't.

The problem is the political pendulum is swinging hard to the other side at the moment and there will be more collateral damage like this until it settles down again.

graeme_p




msg:4661318
 6:04 am on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Is sexuality a choice" etc. are all red herrings.

The point is that, given huge variations in which is regarded as a legal marriage, and a multiplicity of rationale's behind marriage is that it is reasonable for people to disagree over who should be married.

If you're going to say procreation _within_ the relationship is critical then you're taking marriage away from postmenopausal couples, infertile couples, and career-oriented couples


No. In none of the other cases can the law verify it without horrible intrusions of privacy. IN the last case the possibility exists.

But at the end of the day there's a lot more to marriage than what you list


It is a matter of opinion what is critical to marriage.

As for the practical issues, they affect lots of other people, and should really be dealt with in other ways:

1) The UK dealt with the immigration law problem decades ago with visas for couples that were not married, could not legally marry, and acted as married - i.e. gay couples. Also, the real problem is unfeeling and xenophobic immigration laws. I do not know about the US, but in the UK other family relationships (especially adult parents and children) are no longer taken into account, often leaving people in a different country from their entire family.

IN fact the current UK government legalised gay marriage, but also stopped people with below average incomes from brining in foreign spouses, AND changed benefit laws to give couples with more than three kids a financial incentive to split up.

2) The hospital visiting problem is also shared by others: unmarried couples, single people who have fallen out with their families and want a close friend to act as next of kin etc.

3) Insurance - unmarried couples, ditto.

4) How on earth does a beneficiary being gay increase the cost of writing a will? Also, if most people cannot get a will written cheaply (or do it themselves) your elgal system is screwed up anyway.

5) inheritance tax - this is only valid point so far

6) " And every attempt at "civil unions" has failed spectacularly to give gay folks the same benefits as straight married folks." Absolutely not true. Worked perfectly in the UK for several years. Gay marriage made zero practical difference except its harder to dissolve a marriage and the word used.

graeme_p




msg:4661325
 7:01 am on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

If skin color is grounds for discrimination in employment for certain jobs (in the case you cite), then surely one's actions are legitimate grounds as well


You are missing the point. Such discrimination is ONLY allowed where skin colour is DIRECTLY relevant to the job. If you are casting an actor to play a Shaka Zulu in a film you cannot choose a white man.

where you have to market to people who include members of that group


Which essentially means, fire people with the "wrong" opinions. Should an atheist CEO gives some sort of backing to Richard Dawkins be fired because he is endorsing a position that may upset Christians (I pick Dawkins because he is contemptuous rather than disagreeing politely)?

All you have demonstrated with that comment is how hate-filled an intolerant "that group" are!

NB: by "that group" I mean vocal activists, not gays in general.

ronin




msg:4661337
 8:56 am on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Which essentially means, fire people with the "wrong" opinions.


Which sounds awful. Not the kind of society any of us would want to live in, I imagine.

But this all sounds like a convenient backdoor for those who wish to make society more discriminatory.

If donating privately to political campaigns is regarded as a private matter, even though it may have public consequnces;

If the public consequences of that political campaign (it could be a ban - or ongoing prevention - of social, religious, cultural practices or a promotion of repatriation) cause an individual (or many individuals) unnecessary upheaval, discomfort, ongoing unhappiness;

If those donations remain secret (because they are a private matter);

If potentially affected individuals continue to act as customers / work as employees, thus bolstering (ultimately) the private wealth of the donor - enabling that donor to make more donations which continue to cause those individuals upheaval, discomfort, ongoing unhappiness;

Then... all those customers and employees are acting (entirely unknowingly) as self-saboteurs.

There would reasonably need to be some sort of "health warning", wouldn't there?

graeme_p




msg:4661445
 3:23 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

It looks like the key people behind the campaign against Eich were incredibly hypocritical. The CEO of OKCupid donated to a politician who voted against a ban on anti-gay job discrimination: [motherjones.com...]

I cannot think of any possible justification for discriminating against gays in matters of employment.

@ronin, almost every political campaign causes someone upheaval or distress if successful. People donate precisely to campaigns over controversial issues - there is no point campaigning over an issues that there is a broad consensus on (unless you are trying to change that consensus).

I am sure much of what I buy, and many places I have worked, supports things I am opposed to. I have even promoted things I am very much against as part of my work (because it was my job to give people unbiased advice and the ethics of it was up to them). I have to pay taxes whether or not I agree with what the government does with them. It is entirely unavoidable without opting out of the economy altogether.

incrediBILL




msg:4661660
 12:52 am on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

We're drifting too off topic and I think all the points have been covered.

Closing this thread.

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