Mozilla CEO Responds to Prop 8 Controversy
Brendan Eich, the new CEO of Mozilla, took to his blog Wednesday after drawing ire from two gay married technology developers who called for a boycott against a software company that created the popular web browser Firefox, because of a donation Eich made in 2008 to support the Proposition 8 campaign.
Though he didn’t specifically say if his views on gay marriage have changed in the last six years, Eich writes about the issue in a blog post called "Inclusiveness at Mozilla" and says:
"I am deeply honored and humbled by the CEO role. I’m also grateful for the messages of support. At the same time, I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. 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... I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to ’show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain."
Earlier this week, Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael Catlin said they will boycott Firefox, because of Eich’s $1,000 donation to Prop 8 efforts, until Eich is either fired or announces his views have changed on same-sex marriage.
"Today we were shocked to read that Brendan Eich has been appointed Mozilla CEO," the developers 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."
On Wednesday Eich’s boss, Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker, also responded to the controversy in her blog:
"Mozilla’s commitment to inclusiveness for our LGBT community, and for all underrepresented groups, will not change. Acting for or on behalf of Mozilla, it is unacceptable to limit opportunity for *anyone* based on the nature of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This is not only a commitment, it is our identity. This commitment is a key requirement for all leadership within Mozilla, including for the CEO, and Brendan shares this commitment as the new Chief Executive Officer... The CEO role is obviously a key role, with a large amount of authority. The CEO must have a commitment to the inclusive nature of Mozilla. This includes of course a commitment to the Community Participation Guidelines, inclusive HR practices and the spirit that underlies them. Brendan has made this commitment. Finally, I’ve been asked a few times about my own personal views, and so I’ll add a short comment... I am an avid supporter of equal rights for all. I support equal rights for the LGBT community, I support equal rights for underrepresented groups, and I have some pretty radical views about the role of underrepresented groups in social institutions. I was surprised in 2012, when his donation in support of Proposition 8 came to light, to learn that Brendan and I aren’t in close alignment here, since I’ve never seen any indication of anything other than inclusiveness in our work together."