Mozilla Officials: We Support LGBT Inclusion
In a press release posted to Mozilla’s website Saturday, officials from the software company, which is best known for making the web browser Firefox, said they support LGBT equality.
The statement comes just days after a controversy was sparked when the company hired new CEO Brendan Eich, who came under fire for donating to a Proposition 8 campaign in 2008.
The statement reads in part:
"Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just. This is why 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.
We realize that not everyone in our community or who uses our products will agree with this. But we have always maintained that as long as you are willing to respect others, and come together for our larger mission, you are welcome. Mozilla’s community is made up of people who have very diverse personal beliefs working on a common cause, which is a free and open internet. That is a very rare and special thing.
Mozilla has always worked to be a welcoming community, committed to inclusiveness and equality for all people. One voice will not limit opportunity for anyone. That was true yesterday and will be true tomorrow."
Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit that supports Mozilla, executive director Mark Surman also reacted to the controversy in a blog post called "Mozilla is messy."
"I worry that Mozilla is in a tough spot right now. I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves, that people are angry and don’t know who we are or where we stand," he wrote. "And, I worry that in the time it takes to work this through and explain ourselves the things I love about Mozilla will be deeply damaged. And I suspect others do too."
He added: "If you are a Mozillian, I ask that you help the people around you understand who we are. And, if you have supported Mozilla in the past are frustrated or angry with us, I ask you for kindness and patience. What Mozilla is about is working through these things, even when they’re hard. Because the web needs us to. It’s that important."
The drama started last week when it was revealed Eich donated $1,000 to a campaign that supported the efforts of Proposition 8 in California in 2008. Two gay married Mozilla developers came forward and said they would boycott Mozilla’s products until Eich either steps down as the company’s newly named CEO or admits that his views have changed and he supports same-sex marriage.
It didn’t take long for Eich to respond. In a blog post Eich didn’t specify if he’s changed his mind in the last six years and supports gay marriage but 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."
Hampton Catlin, one of the men who first called for the boycott, took to Twitter Sunday and wrote he is "very happy that @mozilla is unequivocal in its support now. Took longer than it should, but #proud."