It’s not his belief that hurts us. It’s that he actively donated to a cause that directly negatively affected us, personally. It’s not abstract. It’s not a witch hunt. He’s certainly allowed to have his opinion, of course, but I’m allowed to judge his actions of supporting the cause financially.
Actions have consequences."
There you go, sums it up right there. Some past actions are hard to overlook when you're personally affected by it. However you view the news of Brendan Eich's new CEO position and people's opinions of that, you can't ignore the human element of his insignificant (financially) but significant (philosophically) prop 8 contribution and how people take it personally.
Edit: Adding onto my thought of how I view the human element in this story: we all try to be rational, but I bet you everyone of us throw that away for a gut feeling we have of someone. If you don't like someone, no amount of reason will make that go away. That feeling spreads to what they're associated with. In retrospect, we reason our gut feeling and we either turn out right or wrong. I understand hcatlin's decision in that sense since I have felt that way before.
After all, after people get paid from their job, shouldn't it be their right that they can use their money as they please?
"He’s certainly allowed to have his opinion, of course, but I’m allowed to judge his actions of supporting the cause financially."
If they spent that money attacking your family, would you be willing to do business with them?
Before this goes to my personal views: I'm not Californian so I don't vote there and I am one of those small government folks that believe the government should only do civil unions (no mention of marriage) as a matter of contract law between two or more consenting adults.
I'd actually be surprised if this is the case. What possible causes would they donate to that will count as an 'attack'?
Boycotts are effective: I have participated in one against Australia's Kyle Sandilands. You won't always be able to do this, however.
This is a group of people who have been systematically terrorised throughout history, and some people still want to keep that status quo that holds them down as second class citizens, with less legal rights (like the right to immigrate in order to live together.)
Screw that meta-ethical/normative moral relativism.
For those that say don't mix business with politics, think about what you are saying. Politics affect our day to day lives and the way we live or die. How can we separate politics from any other sphere of our lives?
I support gay marriage, but I think that this isn't too much more than needless outrage. When someone boycotts Google because Google supports gay marriage, a lot of us look at them and go "Wow! What an idiot, boycotting Google because they think that Google is immoral! They're the immoral ones!" This is the exact same thing, it just happens that the authors' views align with our own. I think it's ultimately just petty. I'm glad gay couples can marry in California, where I currently live. I think it's a step in the right direction. I just think that needless outrage like this, which only isolates you from potential customers, gets us nowhere. We get it, you disagree with the CEO's personal values. I understand your outrage, and that might mean nothing to you. I just think there has to be a better way than this to actually get your point across.
As the court decisions have shown, keeping them from getting married was an unconstitutional imposition upon their civil rights. Whereas them deciding whom to do business with is totally legit. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.
Notice the difference: we are still defending the corporations from the protestors but now the reasons are a bit weird.
This said, I wish you the best luck in your personal life and I hope you get that gay marriage bill ASAP! All my support from Morocco!
I do not recognise this definition of professionalism, and am happy to be called unprofessional if it is the accepted one.
Mozilla is an organisation that is dependent on community goodwill and support, and if the person they choose as a figurehead is one who has taken direct action to alienate a large segment of that community, then it seems to me entirely proper for that community to react as they see fit.
I understand that right now, it's some tiny app that doesn't affect too many people, which is fine. But imagine if tomorrow, Stripe or Balanced decided to stop certain conservative organizations from using their app. That would definitely be considered a suppression of personal expression and (imho) cause quite a backlash. As your organization grows, you have to be more and more careful about separating your personal and political views from those of your customers. I am glad that this company is not building anything that might be considered essential to startup infrastructure.
[Edit: To clarify a bit more, I'm trying to say that pulling an app from a store / suspending a service for reasons of personal disagreement is a disservice to the users of said app/service. Showcasing Brendan's role in donating against Prop 8 is perfectly fine.]
1. the right of gay people to get married
2. our personal right to pay money to bigots using specific money-transfer services
I'll be honest, I keep re-rolling, and it keeps coming up 1. What am I doing wrong?
To give a better example of why this would affect you as a third-party user not directly involved in the debate -- imagine you use a Mint-like personal finance app on your Android phone on a day-to-day basis. Now suppose Brendan Eich becomes CEO of Google, and the app writers pull their app from the Play store, and revoke API access for all Android devices. Would you be okay with that?
What his employers choose to do in response to that public knowledge and action is up to them, within the limits of employment law. It is my understanding that homophobes are not a protected class under said law, and long may that continue.
Any further inferences you draw from my posts are unwarranted, although I'll tell you for free that any company that asks potential employees what their sexual orientation is can get stuffed as far as I'm concerned.
My problem is he has expressed he's willing to act on those views, by donating to a cause against gay marriage. While of course it's reasonable for him to act on his views if he wants to, that means I personally don't want to support him because I don't want to help him act on those views. Now that he's CEO, how do we know that LGBT people at Mozilla are getting fair treatment? Would he fairly consider a LGBT person for a promotion? What if two LGBT people get married and invite a bunch of their coworkers, or have a small celebration at work during break? Would he be OK with that? We don't know, but taking away from the fact that he's already acted on his anti-gay views, then I would lean towards that he wouldn't, and that bothers me enough that I don't want to support Mozilla.
In normal, day to day operations, the CEO tends to have a bigger share of influence than other employees, but he neither has sole influence, nor always the biggest influence.
One could very well argue that Jonathan Ives had a bigger influence than Steve Jobs on Apple's direction around the time of iPod's release, for example. That product singlehandedly changed Apple's market segment and consumer perception.
In short, a CEO is just an employee, often getting paid more than the average employee, and often having more influence than the average employee, but not always.
(If the majority of employees pull in that direction, then the CEO needs to rethink. But we're talking about individuals).
"In short, a CEO is just an employee, often getting paid more than the average employee, and often having more influence than the average employee, but not always."
Yes always. Your supposed company where the average employee out-influences the CEO simply does not exist.
p.s. Feel free suggest the same thing about my comment. I know you want to.
As long as Mozilla products do not feature a "Not to be used by gays" warning, whatever Eich does in his time is irrelevant. He's free to spend his money in any way he likes. What prevented the authors of this article to spend $1000 to counterbalance Eich's contribution if they are so concerned?
Of course it isn't.
If he was backdooring JS crypto libraries for the NSA, or shooting orphans, or selling crack, that would be seriously inappropriate behaviour and he would lose his job for it.
Many people might consider it inappropriate to be fighting against gay marriage - it's not just a political issue, it's a moral one.
Yet, we are forcing everyone to take a stand on this "moral" issue.
He can either support Bills of Rights, against Bills of Rights, or he can do nothing about it, in which case is pretty much in the same camp as the opposition. The only difference is he chose to not care and yet he will probably be judged for not helping human rights. And human rights, to many is a worthwhile ethic cause. Not an individual morality debate; just as gay advocates would think gay rights is a basic right of human. If Brendan chose to say "I have no opinion" he is neither against nor supporting gay rights but his decision will disappoint the gay advocates in which case the advocates will not be happy with Mozilla. Therefore, everyone has to take a stand even if it were "I don't have any opinion."
There is a limited prohibition against screening for political affiliations enforced by the Federal government when filling certain civil service positions, but that's about it.
For a good summary of what types of discrimination can and cannot trigger legal liability, see here:
So only people who pay for their rights deserve them. Noted.
Bang on, you read my mind.
The problem is not the right to deliver petitions. It's the practice of doing so with cash (or check!) included.
With your prescription of discriminated against minorities offsetting the donations of bigots to parties who would fortify or extend that discrimination, gay people would also have to worry about bankruptcy. There's at least 5 bigots for each gay person.
Outrage is cheaper and gets more attention. Kinda like when a toddler throws a tantrum.
Who says they didn't?
Did Eich imply that he wants special treatment because he donated - probably not.
Do the authors imply that they want special treatment because of this - it looks to me that way.
Again, they are free and welcome to boycott whomever they wish.
I'd say he likely wants special treatment for his particular brand of religious views.
> Do the authors imply that they want special treatment because of this - it looks to me that way.
What special treatment are they requesting?
Also, the position of a CEO on social issues has non negligible impacts on the organization. He won't block Mozilla from hiring gay people of course, but nobody would expect him to actively push gay peoples' rights inside the organization if these were not upheld enough. Or does Mozilla have full parity when it comes to married gays and married hetero couples ? Will married gay people get to work intimately with the new CEO (and not just as a token gay people in the team)?
These are all legitimate questions. Perhaps Eich won't be worse than anyone else on these issues, but now his public karma is negative. If from here Mozilla appeared to be championing gay rights and parity more than ever before, then I think team rarebit would revise their position. But until then their reaction, while emotionally charged, seems fair enough※ and sends the right message.
※ especially as in anyway they are bound to build for Mozilla's platform nor use Mozilla's products.
From Mozilla's donation page :
"At the heart of Mozilla is a global community with a shared mission—to build the Internet the world needs. Support Mozilla with a donation today—for a better web and a better world."
I think a lot of people really see Mozilla as organization with strong moral stance, and actually working towards making the world better. Visceral reactions on events like this one are the flip side of the coin.
"What scares me is that there are moral fashions too. They're just as arbitrary, and just as invisible to most people. But they're much more dangerous. Fashion is mistaken for good design; moral fashion is mistaken for good. Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed."
Society has shifted on this issue, such that the traditional is considered unacceptable to hold; you're ostracized with negative labels should you hold the unfashionable position. This is precisely what TeamRarebit is doing to Brendan Eich: ostracizing him for his moral stance, one that has fallen out of fashion.
Couldn't you say the same thing about civil rights? Slavery? Colonization? At some point these ideas were considered 'OK' by society and then at some point they were considered 'Not OK'. Are these simply 'fashions' to you? I think PG's article is interesting and very relevant, but taking it and naming something a 'fashion' without studying it in the same depth as the article isn't pushing the argument forward at all.
Let's play an intellectual game. Is it possible to imagine a sensible reason for Eich to hold the view he and others hold? If you are unable to imagine such a reason, it is because you are misunderstanding that position.
The Principle of Charity  says you should assume your ideological opponents' beliefs must make sense from their perspective. If you can’t even conceive of a position you oppose being tempting to someone, you don’t understand it and are probably missing something. You might be missing a strong argument that the position is correct. Or you might just be missing something totally out of left field.
I propose most people in this thread -- and indeed in the San Francisco-based startup culture -- do not understand the position Eich holds. And it does not hold to the Principle of Charity, choosing instead to ostracize and boycott and demonize with ugly labels.
Perhaps a fair way to approach this debate would be, "Assuming Eich does not hate gay people, why would he be opposed to redefining marriage?"
Why is it that we have to imagine their reasons, when they cannot bother to imagine our reasons?
*I can actually "imagine" some of their reasons, my dad is a rabid fundamentalist and is very anti-gay, I just don't propose they are valid reasons.
Do we really think Eich hates all gay people? Do we really think his position is as simple as, "Well, I irrationally hate all gay people, therefore, I voted for Prop 8"?
I propose to you that Eich holds his position for reasons that are sensible to him, and not because he hates all gay people. If we are unable to afford him even that charity, we may in fact be more close-minded than our opponents.
If someone wants to take away my rights, it's not my duty to psychoanalyse them.
They also aren't shunning him for his views. They're shunning him for his actions. He tried to hurt them; it is not unreasonable of them to refuse to support him or the organization he runs.
The word "bigotry" is a very big stick to swing against two people who could be killed in many parts of the world based on who they are. Bigotry implies a more systemic persecution than the economic decision they've made here.
By way of comparison, I'm not "discriminating" against Sony based on my boycott of their products for pushing out rootkits to their customers.
All social justice is like this. It breaks down under the merest of scrutinty.
Being a fancy CEO, though? That's not a civil right. Especially not if attempting to deprive gay people of their civil rights makes it hard to perform an important function of that fancy CEO job: the recruitment and retention of staff.
Bigotry is not just a description of actions people take but the context in which they take them. Eich, in the context of this specific economic transaction, doesn't belong to a marginalized group. These men who are withdrawing their app do. Eich has taken direct action against them and they are responding. In this case, I believe they could be considered to be defending themselves by trying to deprive people who want to do them harm economic opportunity. I'm pretty much okay with that.
So, yeah, I guess you could say they are bigots. But that train of thought doesn't seem to me to place this situation in any useful context other than "all social justice causes are bad". Am I missing something?
They are doing this because he directly funded initiatives that withhold equal rights from them and treat them as less than human. You can hold views, even as CEOs, I don't agree with. Hell, you could donate to the anti-funds of almost anything I believe, as long as it is an equal battlefield. But civil rights aren't about ideology, they are literally whether or not you recognize other humans as being humans and deserving the same rights as you.
I guess if you want to define the word that way, sure. In which case, I'm proud to be bigoted against racists. But I think words are more useful when they don't include 99% of the population.
Thankfully, your kind is a very tiny percentage of the population.
Also, I think it's awesome I get to qualify as a warrior by sitting in a cafe and pointing out basic legal facts to people. Pew pew! I'm a warrior! 'Scuse me while I go beat my chest and shop for bandoliers.
It's inappropriate to do various things that hurt people around you; but it's perfectly fine to vote and support laws that directly affect quality of life of people in both directions (surprise - pretty much all laws/propositions do!).
It's exactly the same as boycotting a company because CEO belongs to a really opposite political party - USA doesn't have any really opposite parties; but the rest of the world has seen quite a lot of such partisanism, and it ends up just as ugly as any other bigotry.
So there would be no or little recourse, much less voting.
Rather, to call this issue a moral fashion rightly describes its fluctuation over the course of human history. If we are honest, tolerance of homosexuality to varying degrees has fluctuated as much as the age of consent. Greece once tolerated homosexuality, especially when practiced through pederasty, for instance. And that culture likewise thought it was the most advanced society ever to have existed, and, like many in this thread, could never imagine society moving in the opposite direction.
Eich has the misfortune of taking the side that has grown to be labeled heresy, and he is being ostracized for it. This is exactly the sort of idea Paul Graham spoke about in his modern heresies essay.
Sit down with me for 5 minutes and I'll find a whole bunch of personal things about you I don't like either, but should that affect weather or not I employ you?
"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." - Cardinal Richelieu
They outlined that they were personally affected by his political choices, and therefor hurt that Mozilla would promote him. This isn't about someone's personal flaws. It's about someone's actions affecting someone else personally and boycotting a company for not acknowledging that.
Seems valid to me.
Continuing your line of thought..So you are saying if someone had slaves today, you would condone that act and continue supporting other stuff they make? Sorry, I would not.
Much like Proposition 8 was, at the time.
This is not something that I was familiar with.
I wish you would give Brendan the chance to repent.
First of all, and most importantly, it's unlikely they are going to shitcan him as CEO.
Second, he has not spoken about his motivations for donating to Prop 8. If he was doing so in pursuit of abolishing the marriage institution altogether, I consider that very different than doing it because he only wants straight people to marry. (Since this is a politically charged issue, I will say that while I am personally in favor of abolishing marriage altogether, I think actively working to deny gays the right to marry in the interim is an exceptionally absurd idea.)
Third, his views may have changed over the years.
If he came out saying he was wrong and donated 10x the amount he donated to Prop 8 to a LGBT charity, I would consider that a win. There are ways to make this right without shitcanning him.
The authors addressed this point. From the article:
> If, months ago, he had apologized and said that he’s changed his mind, then this would be water under the bridge. He has not, and said he will not, so it’s too late in my mind. Any public change of opinion at this time would only be to ensure his new powerful position at the Mozilla foundation.
That does not seem like an unreasonable position.
> That does not seem like an unreasonable position.
I don't think their stance is unreasonable, I just think there is a more constructive alternative.
Section I. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act."
Section 2. Article I. Section 7.5 is added to the California Constitution, to read:
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
They have, and he hasn't. This is mentioned in the article.
> He has not, and said he will not, so it’s too late in my mind. Any public change of opinion at this time would only be to ensure his new powerful position at the Mozilla foundation.
I disagree with this, hence my post. I think if he puts his money where his mouth is, that good undoes his past failings. I don't think he is going to use Mozilla as a vehicle for promoting homophobia. Therefore, I see two options:
1) he leaves, Mozilla doesn't contribute to societal homophobia, and there is no monetary contribution.
2) he stays, Mozilla doesn't contribute to societal homophobia, and there is a monetary contribution.
(Option #3 where he leaves and also makes a monetary contribution is extremely unlikely to happen, so I will not list it here)
I am admittedly very pragmatic about these issues. I don't care if he is shamed by being forced out of the company. I don't think that really helps.
Which aspect of marriage are you referring to, the religious and/or legal ceremony?
We need to be accurate here, "the legal distinction between married and unmarried couples". The benefits from marriage come from the legal process, so for unmarried couples to get the same benefits another equivalent legal process, or a new and universal process as a replacement would be required.
It seems that another legal process would be the answer, but only if it improves upon the process(es) that it replaces.
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_but_equal
That was my exact point of thought.
Surely this is a form of oppression in itself. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, whether you approve of them or not, and so by effectively black-mailing others to conform to your perceived social 'right'.
I see this as a sad attempt at press. Having never heard of this company or product before.
These two people decided that they don't want to associate with an organization where the CEO is, in their opinion, anti-gay. That's entirely within their rights, isn't it?
As others in the thread said, action have consequences. One consequence of being publicly perceived as anti-gay is that gay people and their supporters may not want to associate with you.
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.
A quick interpretation would be "Mozilla should never pick someone who doesn't like gays."
That's against employment equality even though CEO is a unique position. But still, personal belief doesn't always mean the CEO will turn out bad and disrespect everyone else.
I have question for the founders: if you were told one of your employees doesn't believe in gay rights will you fire him?
Is it though? Are homophobes a protected class? Would a company be forced at the point of a lawsuit to hire a goose-stepping neo-Nazi if he or she had impeccable credentials?
Will I want to work with someone who is pro-Nazism? Probably not, but will I respect his belief? Yes. But will I use that to disqualify him from being my co-worker? No. I would be lying to say I wouldn't feel threaten to know I am working with someone who believe in Nazism, but I don't think that's enough to justify a demotion or firing.
Why would you respect his belief? There's a difference between respecting his right to hold whatever belief he wants and respecting the belief itself. The former is true, and no government should punish someone for their beliefs. The latter is not true, and I am free to judge neo-Nazis however I wish. That judgement would include not wanting to do business with them, and I would not feel bad about it.
Maybe I should be clear.
"Probably not, but will I respect his [right] being a pro-Nazism believer? Yes."
I am not making this up. My revision is actually in the context of the original quote. I will respect his right without endorsing his belief. I can dislike him and may distant from him as much as possible...
Sure we all carry bias. If the whole organization is against Nazi hiring a pro-Nazi would be stupid because that can cause internal tension. But that being said, not aligned with gay right advocates is not in the category as aligning oneself with someone with extreme thoughts. I bet people disagree on abortion and religion and tons of other very controversial issues.
- National origin
- Age (40 and over)
- Familial status
- Disability status
- Veteran status
- Genetic information
Hiring is supposed to be done according to credentials and explicitly ignoring belonging to a political party - and there shouldn't be any differences between major parties such as Democrats and minor parties such as American Nazi Party which apparantly was a real thing until 80ies.
No one is demanding that Brendan Eich be forced by the government to step down, they're doing things the market way, by speaking out and using whatever economic power they have.
Obviously I'm stretching this some, I'm not claiming that $1000 to Prop 8 === being an open Neo-Nazi. However I'm asking you consider that maybe the political views of employees do matter some, and that this is a gray area where you can't completely claim that "All political activity should be protected" or "Employers should be able to fire anyone for any belief". Maybe you should try and have a little empathy for this person's partner who was essentially prevented from starting a business because he was gay, albeit indirectly, and see why this could make someone a little bitter against people fighting to keep that status quo.
They are not blackmailing anyone, that is an absurd statement in fact. If what they have done is blackmail, then leaving a negative review on a product or app is also blackmail. Tweeting about bad customer service also becomes blackmail. If this is blackmail then expressing any negative opinion at all is blackmail.
It's a majorly shitty decision though no doubt.
Translation: not putting an app in an app store.
> It’s not a witch hunt.
You bet your ass it is. It's another in a string of incidents, including boycotting chick fil a for it's owner's beliefs, boycotting duck dynasty for that one guy's beliefs, boycotting starbucks for it's owner's beliefs, the list goes own.
Now this is not to take a particular stance on the issue. It's to say that dismissing the legitimacy of other's beliefs besides your own shows a pretty absurd level of intellectual hubris (not unheard of around these parts).
Also, it's worth trying not to use the term "witch hunt" to describe attacks on a group which has held an oppressive majority for hundreds of years and which is actively continuing to attempt to deny the rights of a minority. The analogy does not hold.
I have been subscribed to the main mailing list of the German Pirate party for four years now and from this very rich data set I can give you the following piece of insight:
Discussions about LGBT issues will invariably degenerate into pure horribleness. It might not be obvious to most people why this should be the case, but believe me, if there is only one single troll that knows one of the big red buttons to push, the whole thing goes off the rails.
I'm reeeally uncertain if I should do this, but to illustrate my point, I'm now going to describe one of those buttons: Many of the LG and B people are not really comfortable with the T people (and some are quite T-phobic!). A troll that identifies one of those anti-T LGB posters can "craft" a post that destroys any room that might have been there for meaningful discussion.
At least this has been my experience on that particular mailing list. While the conversational level of the HN community is fortunately well above that of said list, I already see some pre-pathologies which indicate that HN might not be immune to the LGBT-shitstorm-effect.
My personal feelings about this particular instance, without knowing any details are this: Guy I've never heared of before with anti gay-marriage history becomes head of Mozilla? Dude, show some heart-felt sensibility for the issue, tell everybody that either you've changed your views or that at least your professional actions in this regard will follow the broader community attitude, and then let's move ahead to other issues.
I happen to agree with your side of the issue, but let's talk about the issue, not make it a David and Goliath straw man debate. The term "witch hunt" may or may not apply. As an example, we might say that during the French Revolution, the proletariat (oppressed majority, wat?) went on a witch hunt against aristocracy (minority holding majority power) and members of the royal court, regardless of their fault.
More to the point, the David/Goliath straw man occurs at the point that someone says "witch hunt", invoking ideas of a prosecutorial mob hunting an innocent scapegoat down. Addressing the inappropriateness of the term directly is not a strawman (and additionally, I specifically addressed the content of the OP's argument in the first part of my post).
But now that you mention it, the organization - in overlooking this particular view - sent a clear signal that it takes the issue a good deal less seriously that a significant number of its stakeholders. That's starting to look like a major mistake.
Nobody boycotted chick-fil-a because of the owner's beliefs, they stopped giving the company money because they were made aware of the fact that some of that money would almost certainly support a cause they didn't want to support.
There are bright, shining lines between right and wrong. This isn't a fad, it isn't a witch hunt. When there is a minority being refused a right that the majority has, something needs to be done. This isn't hard.
> I don't know what it is about gay marriage that draws people in to this ridiculous witch hunt.
It's that we've seen this movie before.
I reject your implication that because I am pro-gay marriage, I have refused to give other viewpoints any sort of legitimacy. I have, in the past, and have come to the decision that pro-gay marriage is the correct moral stance. You may disagree with me, but I am not ignorant or blind.
> It's to say that dismissing the legitimacy of other's beliefs besides your own shows a pretty absurd level of intellectual hubris
Why is Brendan donating $1000 to Prop 8 not "dismissing the legitimacy of other's beliefs", but a boycott is? Where do you think that money goes?
Eich isn't in hot water for his personal beliefs. Indeed, as far as I know, he's never stated them. People are holding him accountable for his action, which was trying to keep gay people from their right to equality before the law.
We don't know what BE's point of view is, because he has refused to explain. But we certainly know what gay people believed, and what gay marriage proponents believed. And we know the effect of BE's actions on gay people which was to help keep them from their civil rights for a little while longer.
Don't feed the troll.
Comparing Brendan to Chick fil-A is actually totally absurd comparison.
1) It wasn't the owner in the Chick Fil-A case, it was actually the Chick-fil-A organization itself that was taking anti-gay marriage actions. Those actions also went well beyond simple donations.
2) Even if it was simply the owner, the owner gets his money from customers. If he then spends than money in ways that negatively impact you then it is perfectly rational to take that into account in your purchasing decisions (eg, it seems perfectly rational to think "for $3 I get a chicken sandwich and $0.05 towards a cause that I don't like"). Brendan donated $1000 of his own money: the marginal success of Mozilla is extremely unlikely to have significant impact on gay rights. There was strong evidence to think that the marginal success of Chick-fil-A was going to have significant impact on gay rights going foward.
3) Chick-fil-A also used to force it's employees to Christian prayers before working (and it isn't clear whether they still discriminate likewise for Franchise owners: it settled out of court for large sums with several non-Christians who were treated negatively in this way). Chick-fil-A have taken actual hate-group actions as an institution, which seems completely unlike a single man giving a fairly small donation of his own money to a cause.
What's complicated about allowing people to do what they want as long they are not hurting others?
By saying "it's complicated" you are saying that you have some complicated thoughts about something that is absolutely none of your business, Why? I seriously want to know, I don't understand this obsession with what others do if it has no effect on you what so ever.
You are saying that you yourself should also not be free to marry who ever you want, do you propose to set up a jury to judge who can and cannot marry?
Please help me understand what's complicated about this issue.
Assuring basic equality under the law was the whole point of the 14th Amendment. And on this point, the law is absolutely, perfectly clear. People treat it in black and white terms because those are the terms that actually apply.
Indeed, it's no more complicated than "Should black people be allowed to vote?" or "Can we buy and sell women like slaves?"
Would you argue with every idiot who presented an objection? If you didn't believe in the omnipotent sky being, would you waste time debating? If someone wasn't in the oppressed group of straight white men, wasn't affected by your choice but decided that their moral code made them feel threatened, would you waste time with them? Or would you expect them to own their own issues? After all, we all have enough to deal with in our lives. We can't be expected to pander to every idiot who feels threatened by choices that don't even affect them (I assure you, no LGBTQ person is going to marry you without your consent. :P )
My minority group isn't as persecuted (visible disability) but I get _so sick and tired_ of being expected to debate with those who feel threatened or confused by my existence. At least my struggles are only employment/social-related. It'd suck if laws prevented me from marrying and having kids, and you'd better believe I'd waste no time arguing with any who oppose me.
They don't even have to argue. Just ask questions. Questions that are meaningless. Or pose hypotheticals. Or pick at that one sentence and one word in that sentence that can be interpreted in multiple ways.
Or they'll just reply with your question with a lie...
> Would you argue with every idiot who presented an objection?
Why of course I would. Because I am right, because by answering this question in the affirmative, I've proven you wrong, which makes me right.
Part of me doesn't really care - I have no particular interest in "protecting the sanctity of marriage" because I think that personal relationships are personal and don't require anyone else's validation. But I can't imagine that society as a whole would agree with me on that. For better or worse, we need some way of delineating what is considered to be acceptable marriage and what isn't, and this is largely an arbitrary choice. You can probably ground it in the notion of consent, which would rule out marriage to dead people, imaginary beings, non-humans (that we've encountered so far) and inanimate objects. It would still leave polygamous and incestuous marriage open, but maybe that's OK (and rare enough that nobody really needs to care).
So, as a disinterested party I can kinda see where the anti-gay-marriage people are coming from, in an anthropological observation sense - they're aware that an arbitrary choice must be made somewhere, they've made their choice and they don't see why they should change. If you truly believe that marriage is something that can only happen between a man and a woman, that it's sanctified by tradition and some ineffable spiritual wisdom, then you won't think of yourself as denying homosexual couples the right to marry. You'll be utterly perplexed by the fact that they want to - you'd see it as a doomed enterprise, people pretending to be what they cannot. The thing is, this has really nothing to do with what you think of homosexual people in general, you just believe that they can't marry, in much the same sense that they can't fly, shape-shift or shoot lightning from their fingertips. It just doesn't work! Weirdly, civil partnerships can still make perfect sense because there's an obvious reason for them to exist (people can still love each other and spend their lives together even if they're not, or can't become, married).
I'm probably being overly-charitable here. Some anti-gay-marriage people are probably homophobic bigots who just enjoy telling people what to do and punishing those who aren't exactly like them. Even the ones who have some internally-consistent reasoning behind their position and don't otherwise dislike or discriminate against gay people can be faulted for their sheer lack of empathy. In the end there is no point in trying to argue the specifics because everything hinges on whether you believe marriage between two people of the same sex is a legitimate concept. I'm a little bit ambivalent about this, because I don't really see a reason why there couldn't be some special club for straight people who want to commit to each other, and traditionally that's what marriage has been. I suspect, however, that there will be no great call for such an institution to be created, now that "marriage" is open to everyone.
Now, on the actual matter-in-hand, I don't think Brendan Eich deserves to be vilified. Not because I think he's right about gay marriage (I don't), but because I believe that people are entitled to think and act how they like when in private, and they should conversely be held to rigorous standards in their public conduct. We're all adults and we're all capable of putting our private beliefs aside when conducting a public role. The fact that Eich's views are public should actually make it easier to hold him to account for his public actions as Mozilla CEO. Debates about gay marriage are good for our society, but it's the debate about the issues that is healthy, not the attacks on particular individuals.
I must admit that his stance makes me think less of him as a person. But it doesn't really make me think less of him as a technologist, advocate for Mozilla, or CEO. If he uses his position to advance an exclusionary political agenda then I would think very much less of him as a CEO, and that's where the distinction between private beliefs and public actions is relevant for me.
Anyhow, I realize you probably agree with this. My point is that the individual lines we draw aren't relevant when people's lives, health and financial livelihood hinge on whether or not society determines them married. This is a civil rights issue, nothing less, and it's hard to see support for an anti-gay-marriage organization as anything less than funding an organization that fights against equality. I wonder how we'd feel if the donation was instead for, say, a proposition that would bring back some aspects of Separate but Equal, and how the rhetoric would change.
 I'm not sure whether we should give benefits to married couples at all, but if we are then all couples should be eligible for them if they desire.
 Besides the opinion of a single person on HN, I've never seen anyone against gay marriage because they are against marriage as a whole. Its always that it offends them in some way.
The owner of Chick-Fil-A is quite a wealthy man. He's not likely to notice twenty or thirty protesters in any way other than simple recognition. But, if you hit back at his wallet, he's more likely to notice. Not because he's a pompous jerk or anything, but because other people within and without the organization will notice.
This witch hunt you speak of cuts both ways. People on the left want to "out" every anti-gay person of any note. People on the far right want to out all the gay people and get biblical on them. Personally, I think we can all live with an outed billionaire or two. I'm pretty sure that a properly biblically punished gay man or woman wouldn't live long enough to see the headline about it.
Finally, there's not much reason for reason when someone is calling for your death or the death of your child or parent simply because they aren't heterosexual.
Are you surprised by the way people react after someone insults one of the most precious and important parts of their lives?
Edit: I see he is being accused here of blackmail and oppression himself. Wow. Fuck you guys.
BTW, Apple rejected quite a few gay apps in the past. They should strongly consider rejecting everything Apple made.
Also please do not paint the Gay marriages as some kind of black & white issue. There are plenty of subtle differences here. Traditional marriage laws which gives so many benefits to couples were designed with an assumption that marriages are only between man and woman. We can not mindlessly extend them to all kind of marriages.
Just the way I support gay marriages, I also support man-woman-woman or man-woman-man or [man|woman|] relationships also. Does that mean if an American man marries 3 Arab women all of them should get a green card ? Should a person with two wives be given more tax benefits ? What happens to parent's property distribution when brother marries his sister ?
The only moral position I feel worth taking is that government should protect individual liberties which involves getting into any kind of partnership among consenting adults. Beyond that everything has shades of grey.
Unless you can point out that his (asshole, imho) views affected how he worked for Mozilla, than doing what you are doing is as bad as people that fired or did not purchased from companies supporting gay rights.
That's a bit of an assumption.
In my experience, anyone expressing any viewpoints other than a pro-LGBT one are vociferously attacked, which again would be fine if the tone was more reasonable. People who fight for LGBT rights were once treated with extreme disrespect and abuse. It sadly still occurs. But now the shoe is on the other foot: I think it's odd that those who were previously mistreated start mistreating others when they gain acceptance.
This has a name, is called extortion, I would definitively boycott Firefox if they remove this person.
With that being said... Marriage seems screwed up. Why do we have unions of two people? Why don't we allow the union of three people? Or more? Where do we draw the line? What if some guy/gal wants to marry his waifu/husbando, or another person wants to marry their car?
People say stuff about the sanctity of marriage, but it seems like a horrible joke. Look at divorce rates! Traditional marriage looks like a joke.
I'll admit I'm not very well educated on the topic, I'd love to hear the reasoning for these limitations. Maybe it would make sense to just break out the benefits  into more types of unions. For example, I can see how you might not want to allow a 5 person marriage where only 1 person has citizenship in the US; then you would have four people gaining citizenship at the same time.
Yet every time Rand Paul gets brought up his own opposition to same-sex marriage doesn't seem to draw 2 separate 200+ comment HN threads dedicated to how morally bankrupt he is. Is that simply because opposing the NSA is more morally noble than building an open browser that we feel inclined to overlook his baggage?
Better yet, what about people who support the Republican Party. As recently as April 2013 (i.e. not even a year ago) the Republican Party re-affirmed (unanimously) their opposition to same-sex marriage in their party platform. If you donate to or support a GOP candidate you are opposing gay marriage just as surely as if you'd funded Prop. 8 yourself.
It's for this reason that it's very important to separate a person's own political preferences from professional duties to the extent possible.
And since I apparently have to be worried about pitchforks I'll pre-emptively make clear: I'm proud to support, and have supported, equality of gay marriage rights.
As Uncel Dolan once said:
I'm okay with that.
You have a shitty puzzle game that's getting "thousands of downloads" and you want Mozilla to fire their CEO over that.
Not going to happen. We can do without your shitty puzzle game, thanks.
Discrimination on the basis of political stance is bigotry, too.
Their position is extremely hypocritical, and by defending it, you become complicit in their hypocrisy.
All right, goodbye... some marginal puzzle game.
The part these folks don't get is that their tantrum is not affecting Brendan Eich as much as it's insulting to the fans of their game (whoever they are). They're trying to sic their fans and us against Mozilla with their actions.
Prop 8 was justly overturned. It was a battle worth fighting. But we're all equal now. So do we owe these two fools our support right now? Is this "battle" they're starting worth fighting? What's the cause? To prove we don't take kind to them folk like Brendan Eich round 'ere?
Hell no. Part of equality is that I, Mozilla and our society as a whole shouldn't feel the need to care more about the games (literally and figuratively) of these two guys than we care about anyone else out there, now that we're equal.
I don't care about "your history", I don't care about your wedding photos, I don't care about any of that. To me, you're just two average folks with a crappy puzzle game. Might be gay, straight, white, black, red, brown, tall, short, I don't care. Your cheap outrage doesn't mean anything more than usual to me just because you're gay.
I'm equally indifferent.