OkCupid CEO Responds to Anti-Gay Donation Controversy
Early Tuesday, reports surfaced that the co-founder and CEO of the dating website OkCupid donated $500 to a Republican lawmaker from Utah in 2004 who has a staunch history of anti-gay voting. The news broke just a week after Brendan Eich resigned as the CEO of Mozilla for drawing ire because he donated $1,000 to a 2008 Prop 8 campaign and after officials from OkCupid urged their users to boycott Mozilla’s popular web browser Firefox.
Before OkCupid users and LGBT rights activists can criticize the Sam Yagan, who is also the CEO of Match.com, for donating to Rep. Chris Cannon’s (R-Utah) campaign, he issued a statement to the Huffington Post, claiming he wasn’t aware of the Mormon lawmaker’s views on LGBT rights and that he backed the Congressman because of his stance on Internet and intellectual property rights.
"I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular," Yagan wrote in an email to HuffPo. "I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today."
The rest of his statement reads:
"A decade ago, I made a contribution to Representative Chris Cannon because he was the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversaw the Internet and Intellectual Property, matters important to my business and our industry. I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular; I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today. However, a contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right."