Mozilla’s New CEO Support for Prop 8 Sparks Outrage
Mozilla, the software company best known for creating the web browser Firefox, hired a new CEO Tuesday, who donated money to a campaign supporting California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, Beta News reports.
In protest of Mozilla’s decision to promote Brendan Eich, who gave $1,000 in 2008 to support Prop 8, some have decided to boycott the company by refusing to use FireFox and other software.
"Today we were shocked to read that Brendan Eich has been appointed Mozilla CEO," developers Hampton Catlin and husband Michael Catlin said in a statement. "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."
They add: "I certainly recognize that there are great people at Mozilla. And that lots of people there want the org to be open and supportive. However, the board could have chosen ANY of those other, awesome people at Mozilla to be CEO. Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea, how about a woman at Mozilla? Nope. Out of all the possible candidates they could have chosen, they chose Brendan Eich. CEO’s are extremely important to an organization. Their ideas, beliefs, philosophies, and personalities drive organizations."
Hampton Catlin also sent a letter to Mozilla and say:
" As a married gay couple who are co-founders of this venture, we have chosen to boycott all Mozilla projects. We will not develop apps or test styles on Firefox anymore.
Effective today, we’re removing Color Puzzle from the Firefox Marketplace and stopping work on all of our Firefox-related applications, notably the about-to-launch Firefox version of the popular Dictionary! app for iPhone and Android.
This is in protest of the appointment of Brendan Eich to the position of CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, where he had previously served as CTO.
We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla, which we believe is extremely unlikely after all he’s survived and the continued support he has received from Mozilla.
This makes us very sad, as we love the little guy fighting to make things better. But it’s because of our status as a minority that we simply can’t ignore this slap in the face of giving him a promotion to lead your organization."
Eich’s donation sparked controversy in 2012, causing him to write a blog post about the situation. He writes:
"A donation that I made in support of California Proposition 8 four years ago became public knowledge and sparked a firestorm of comments in the last few days, mostly on Twitter. People in other countries or other U.S. states do not know why ’Mozilla’ was listed in the donation data. Donors above a certain amount are required by the State of California to disclose their employer. Mozilla had nothing to do with the donation. I’m not going to discuss Prop 8 here or on Twitter. There is no point in talking with the people who are baiting, ranting, and hurling four-letter abuse. Personal hatred conveyed through curse words is neither rational nor charitable, and strong feelings on any side of an issue do not justify it. In contrast, people expressing non-abusive anger, sadness, or disagreement, I understand, grieve, and humbly accept."
Unlike other tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft, Mozilla hasn’t commented on LGBT equality, Gay Star News notes. Mozilla also does not have any extra protections or benefits for LGBT employees not already required by California law.