It might be time to finally download Chrome, folks. Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, has come under fire after it was revealed he donated to Proposition 8, California's (overturned) gay-marriage ban. And with that, OKCupid has asked their lovelorn users to boycott Mozilla's open source browser, Firefox.
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there's a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we're asserting ourselves today. This is why: we've devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it's professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
As noted on The Verge, Mozilla responded to OKCupid's request, saying:
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. OKCupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.
For his part, Eich responded to the outcry with a detailed, bullet point-riddled blog post about being humbled by the experience.
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. [...]
While some members of his own staff have asked for him to resign, not everyone in the tech and queer community believes that to be the best answer. Take, for example, openly gay tech scribe Owen Thomas, who penned a thoughtful piece at on ReadWrite. In lieu of resignation, Thomas asks Eich for something more, something better. In part, he writes:
So here’s what you need to do—not for your own sake, but for Mozilla, its employees, its developers, its partners, and Internet users everywhere
Stop saying that this was merely a private matter that won't affect your work as Mozilla's CEO. That’s disingenuine and beneath a leader of your stature.
Say that whatever chain of logic led you to conclude that your personal views required you to support Proposition 8 was flawed, erroneous, incorrect. You may well maintain those same views—that's your prerogative—but you don't have to draw the same conclusions from them today as you did six years ago.
Go further. Say that you support the rights of people to enter into same-sex marriages everywhere. Say that you will not only support employees in the United States who are in same-sex marriages, but that you will also fight for the civil rights of Mozilla employees who work in societies with less progressive views.
Hear, hear. Sound advice to follow. Mozilla might want to get on this before they get saturated with Palinian-like supporters championing the noted free software community in the name of God and crying bald eagles.