If you don't live in California, you may not understand how bad this is. Never mind losing his job as Mozilla CEO — Brendan Eich may not work in California again after this, simply because so many of the people at every single company simply won't want to work with him. Or he may go from job to job, failing badly, because the people around him are either not following his leadership or may even actively thwart his leadership and any potential success.
You have to realize 3 key things to understand what is going on here:
* California, and San Francisco and northern California specifically, are LGBT sanctuaries. LGBT people come from all over the US and all over the world to live and work in San Francisco and Silicon Valley primarily or even solely because they can live and work here free from discrimination, or essentially free from discrimination. The LGBT population in SF and Silicon Valley is probably 25%, not 10% as elsewhere. And here we are almost all out of the closet. That means we have lots of straight allies who also don't want to participate in Eich's hate.
* All of the court cases on Prop 8 failed to find a single benefit from it. Not a single benefit. It existed solely and only as a way for bigots to bash on LGBT people. Whether you knew it or not, when you voted for Prop 8 or funded Prop 8, you were 100% expressing hatred against a minority. That is all you were doing. Absolutely NOTHING ELSE. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR IT. This is maybe the one ironic benefit of Prop 8: the aftermath was like a mass education teachable moment. But Brenden Eich did not participate in this community growth. He still supports Prop 8, even after hearing all the harm it caused to LGBT families for no benefit at all.
* There is a huge amount of anger over Prop 8. A lot of people were badly hurt for no benefit. People are not only not in the mood to work with an unrepentant Prop 8 bigot, they are in the mood to actually confront him or even harm him physically. So many people recanted their Prop 8 support that we were in some sense left without a villain. Especially because the core of Prop 8 support was from out-of-state. But 5 years later, into that vacuum steps Brendan Eich, just got a big new CEO job in Silicon Valley and he's doing fine, totally unrepentant about his Prop 8 funding, says he'd do it again. People can't make rent in northern California and Eich had thousands of extra dollars to spend on trying to prevent his neighbor from having equal rights. He's the perfect villain.
So even though most people in California today may forgive you for voting for Prop 8 — if you later became educated and apologized for the pure, 100% hatred that you expressed — it is very hard to find forgiveness if you were a funder. And he is not even asking for forgiveness. He's like, “I'd do it again if I got the chance.” That is like being elected Governor of Mississippi and we find out you are not only a dues-paying member of the KKK, but you are completely unrepentant about it to this day. You thought you were in the new Mississippi, but turns out you are actually in the old one. But don't worry, the KKK Governor says he'll treat and promote everyone equally. Trust him.
And what Mozilla is saying is, “hey you, who came to Silicon Valley to live a discrimination-free life, whether LGBT or straight, why don't you work all day for the guy who funded that years-long break in your marriage, or your sister's marriage, or your friend's marriage, and who is not even sorry about it, and just trust us that he won't treat you like the second-class citizens he says you are, and hope he doesn't get another chance at something like Prop 8, and now, let's all make a community-sponsored browser together! And lots of partnerships with other companies that don't want to work with Brendan Eich either!”
It's not going to fly. It has already crashed. Mozilla now has to admit that, fire Eich, and put someone more suitable in there.
The Minecraft guy stopped working with Oculus Rift because they made Zuckerberg their CEO! How the fuck do you think Mozilla is going to get community participation with Eich as CEO?
> "Mozilla recently named a new CEO, Brendan Eich, and as commentators in that article noted,
> there could be some backlash over his private contributions to political campaigns.
No, that is factually incorrect. The backlash is over his PUBLIC contributions to a hate campaign. The only reason we even know he made that contribution is because it is PUBLIC. If you want to sponsor a proposition in California, you have to sign your name to it. It's a public thing. It's by definition a public thing. It is not private as in contained in his private life. It is not private as in contained in a private company. It is not private as in contained in his head. It is PUBLIC. As in you tried to set public policy with your public actions. He took public action to try to prevent his neighbor from having the same rights as he has. He owns that.
> Well, it turns out that they were correct,
> and despite a statement from Brendan Eich pledging to continue Mozilla's inclusiveness,
And also a statement from Brendan Eich saying he is not sorry for his support for Prop 8 and continues to support it today, even after it has been declared unconstitutional. Even after millions of dollars worth of lawyers could find not one single harm that would come to Brendan Eich if everyone in California has the same marriage rights as him. Prop 8 has been exposed and defined as being about nothing more than an opportunity to hate LGBT people and actively attempt to destroy their lives.
This is not academic. Lives were destroyed by Brendan Eich's ACTIONS. He funded a hate campaign of lies and propaganda, and innocent people suffered personal and financial trauma as a result.
> some Mozilla employees are calling for him to step down.
Not just employees. Also a large part of the Web development community and the Silicon Valley community in general, and people all across California and elsewhere from every walk of life.
> Should private beliefs
Again — factually incorrect. At first I was thinking you are just uninformed or maybe stupid, but now you are reading like propaganda.
This is not about private beliefs, it is about PUBLIC ACTIONS. Some people said, “let's fuck with the homos, who is with me?” and Brendan Eich said sign me up, here are thousands of dollars you can use to launch a campaign of lies and try to create a 2-tier system with second class citizens so that we will always have an opportunity to exclude LGBT people from the public discourse.
There was nothing private about it from Brendan Eich's point of view. The privacy that has been violated is the private lives of many LGBT couples who were refused marriage licenses by their county clerks because of Prop 8, and then suffered all kinds of public humiliations and trials and tribulations because of that. If you want to defend someone's private beliefs, defend the private beliefs of any LGBT couple in California who believe they are not second class citizens. Why? Because a) courts have shown that they are right, that their private belief in not being second class is in fact a public truth, and b) it is the right thing to do. Defending Brendan Eich is just nerds circling the wagons. Fuck you, nerds. Grow up. Some of you think you are being Libertarian but you have your heads up your asses. There is nothing Libertarian about Prop 8, it is Authoritarian in the extreme.
Eich took ACTIONS. He is responsible for those ACTIONS. He is unrepentant about those ACTIONS. Stop acting like he doesn't want to join your bible class and start recognizing that he tried to kick 10–25% of Californians out of the community because he considers them second-class citizens who don't deserve the equal rights that he enjoys.
This is not, “I'm a Lutheran and he's a Mormon so we agree to disagree,” or even “I'm a Democrat and he's a Republican so we agree to disagree.” This is, “Brendan Eich tried to destroy you because you are LGBT, and the only thing he's sorry about is that he failed.” There is no agreeing to disagree because we are all members of the same community here. He tried to kick us out of the community. He attacked us and he wants to attack again. The idea that we are going to work with him is asinine.
> be enough to prevent someone from heading a project they helped found?"
Yes, joining the KKK should exclude you from becoming CEO of Mozilla. Joining Prop 8 is the same thing.
What's worse, he is still unrepentant about it many years later, after court after court failed to find anything but hate in Prop 8, after news article after news article exposed the harm that was being put on wives and husbands who are lying in a hospital bed after a car accident or being eaten alive by cancer and they couldn't see their spouse because of Prop 8, or did not have health insurance at all because of Prop 8, or were unable to get housing because of Prop 8, or were being evicted from their house because their spouse died and they can't pay the taxes on the “platonic gift” of the house from one “unmarried” spouse to the other because of Prop 8.
So this is not like Hillary Clinton voting for the Iraq War and then a few years later saying, holy shit, that was a mistake, I really got fooled on that one. This is G.W. Bush, 10 years later, Iraq is a smoldering ruin, a million people have died for no reason, trillions of dollars lost, brave soldiers betrayed, the US made a fool in front of the world to the point where we have no moral authority on Crimea, and still, G.W. Bush is totally unrepentant about the Iraq War. Ready to start it again if the opportunity presents itself.
No, Brendan Eich cannot be Mozilla CEO. He cannot be CEO of anything in California. He needs to move to Russia or the moon or the bottom of the Pacific. Whatever he prefers. Move fast before he takes Mozilla down with him. It is probably already too late, though.