Editorials, Opinions

Our view: Mozilla CEO’s forced resignation is not ‘OK’

America is a very special place to live; in this country we are free from persecution of religious beliefs and discrimination based on personal opinions. That’s the idea, anyway. In reality, people are still unfairly punished and ostracized for expressing themselves in perfectly legal ways.

Prior to stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of the Mozilla Corporation, Brendan Eich, was exposed by “OkCupid,” as a donor to the Proposition 8 campaign back in 2008. The proposition was a ballot measure that sought to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In the days after Eich was “outed,” Mozilla employees demanded that Eich resign from his CEO position, which  he did. We feel that this is incredibly unfair. By contributing to a campaign, Eich exercised his right to political liberty by participating in the American democratic system. To punish him for that, and to ridicule him for that is unethical.

There is no indication that his personal views would have influenced how he ran the company or how he would treat his employees. He didn’t jump on a platform and yell homophobic slurs — he merely emphasized his vote in favor of traditional marriage.

His campaign contribution totalled only $1,000, according to Tech & Gadgets. Let’s be real — that’s a pittance in comparison to the total funds major campaigns raise. He didn’t fund the entire campaign as a whole, and his contribution was moot anyway as the proposition was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.

OkCupid not only criticized Eich’s campaign contribution from six years ago, the online dating site also denied access to the site to anyone using a Mozilla, or Firefox, browser. We are uncomfortable with this reaction because it only furthers tensions between supporters of gay-marriage, and supporters of traditional marriage.

Eich had been with Mozilla since the project was born in 1998. In the early 2000s, he helped to create the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. If anything, we are critical of the employees who demanded his resignation; we feel that these employees are quick to judge and quick to discard someone who had an integral role in their employment.

BBC News reported that Eich responded to this unfortunate turn of events by saying, “I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.”

We applaud Eich’s professionalism, and wish that his employees had been more understanding of his views. Open-mindedness is a two-way street, and it looks like Mozilla is on the wrong side of the road.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Kevin Clinton

    The misappropriation of the term outed is disrespectful to the LGBTQ community. A bigot being revealed for his bigotry is very different from overcoming the social stigma of having to come out as an LGBTQ person. This is the fourth time to my knowledge that the Daily 49er as an entity has supported the maintenance and support of discrimination within society.

    The first time was the entrenching of racism within UCLA campus despite appropriate backlash by media and UCLA students. The 49er came out against fixing the problem of racism. The 49er then attributed the problems at UCLA to media influence and not the students who helped raise awareness.

    The second time the daily 49er supported racism by supporting the maintenance of discrimination in regards to keeping affirmative action off the ballot for SCA 5. Since 1996 when prop 209 passed removing affirmative action from government organizations. People of color representation at schools has dropped dramatically. The racist agenda of the 49er became consistent as not only does the 49er editorial staff seem to support racism on campus, but racial exclusion as well.

    The third time was the daily 49ers support of exclusion of gay people by an argument of tradition. Though the 49er did support of Lesbian & Gay inclusion of the Saint Patty’s day parade they did so only on the ground that the parade lost funding. The daily 49er editorial staff consistently shows that exclusion is perfectly okay with them. They do not however support losing money which was the main argument in support of altering the Saint Patrick’s day parade.

    Personally I would be more upset at the outright racist and homophobic bigotry of the editorial staff, but aside from myself I have not been able to find any students who seem to read the daily 49er. The staff who I have brought the issues discussed here have repeatedly told me that the 49er is a unreputable organization. Leading them to not bother reading the materials. I frankly support the decision to not read the poorly written and thought out works of this organization.

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