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April 1, 2014

Dating Website Calls on Members to Boycott Firefox

OKCupid Wants Resignation of CEO Brendan Eich for His Support of Proposition 8 Six Years Ago

OKCupid has no love for Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.

In fact, the dating website is calling for the resignation of the new CEO and is asking its members to boycott Firefox until that happens.

OKCupid launched its anti-Mozilla campaign after learning Eich does not support gay marriage and, in fact, supported the passage of California’s Proposition 8, a state-wide initiative to ban gay marriage, with a $1,000 donation in 2008.

The dating site posted a letter on the company blog in such a way that every person who visits OKCupid via Firefox will first see the letter before entering the site.

Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich

The letter describes Eich as an opponent of equal rights for gay couples.

“If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly eight percent of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal,” the missive reads.

“Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

Although OKCupid concedes that people can change — after all Eich made the contribution six years ago — the letter goes on to say that “Eich’s boilerplate statements in the time since make it seem like he has the same views now as he did then.”

“His donation was known to Mozilla at the time of his promotion, and, furthermore, CEOs are rewarded based on their company’s performance,” the letter reads. “The CEO is the visionary for a company and its products. We are sad to think that any OkCupid page loads would even indirectly contribute towards the success of an individual who supported Prop 8—and who for all we know would support it again. We wish Mozilla’s institutional commitment to freedom and openness were better reflected by their choice of leadership.”

OKCupid also included links so its users can download alternative Web browsers, either Chrome, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer, which it called ‘Internet Exploder.’

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Mozilla, in response to the OKCupid’s campaign, released the following statement to the media:

“Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally,” a spokesperson said, adding, “OKCupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.”

Eich, in a recent blog post, said he is committed to ensuring Mozilla is supportive and accepting of all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status or religion.

“I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla,” reads Eich’s post. “I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results. A number of Mozillians, including LGBT individuals and allies, have stepped forward to offer guidance and assistance in this. I cannot thank you enough, and I ask for your ongoing help to make Mozilla a place of equality and welcome for all.”

Eich laid out the following four commitments:

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

Despite Eich’s assurances, he has been lambasted for his beliefs by more than OKCupid.

Some well-known Web developers have also called for a boycott of Firefox unless Eich steps down. Hampton Catlin, app developer of Rarebit, expressed his feelings in a March 24 blog post.

“Today was supposed to be the day we launched a dictionary for Firefox phone, based on our Dictionary! app for iPhone and Android,” the blog post reads.

“Except it wasn’t to be. Today we were shocked to read that Brendan Eich has been appointed Mozilla CEO. As a gay couple who were unable to get married in California until recently, we morally cannot support a Foundation that would not only leave someone with hateful views in power, but will give them a promotion and put them in charge of the entire organization. Many people are outraged in a political way, and Michael and I thank all of you for being so supportive. But, for us, this is very, very personal.”

Some Mozilla employees have alsowent public with their feelings, calling for Eich’s resignation on Twitter.

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But not everyone, it seems, believes Eich should lose his job because of his personal beliefs.

A column in the LA Times by Karin Klein — who does, by the way, support gay marriage — described equality as a two-way street, not just for those with liberal ideas, and called the campaign against Eich discrimination.

“It would be pretty unthinkable for the CEO of a company to demand the resignation of employees because they supported political or social campaigns with which the boss disagreed,” she writes.“So what has given a number of Mozilla employees the idea that it’s OK to call for the company’s new chief executive to step down because he supported and contributed to the Proposition 8 campaign?

“Chief Executive Brendan Eich is entitled to the political views of his choice, and employees are entitled to theirs. Neither has anything to do with whether they should be allowed to hang onto their jobs or receive a raise or a promotion. I doubt any of these people who are outraged by Eich’s elevation would think it fair if the situation were reversed — if the new head of a corporation had contributed to the anti-Proposition 8 campaign and was detested for it by employees who felt same-sex marriage was wrong and wanted him to lose his job over it.”


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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