Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

The fact that they can come out and say this demonstrates that these employees, the people best able to assess this, don't believe that Eich will retaliate. That Mozilla is and remains a place where any employee can express their views on political issues, even if they know they're contrary to the CEO's. And that destroys any argument for Eich's role as CEO creating a conflict with Mozilla's ability to welcome LGBTQ employees and community members.

You have a right to work for whom you choose, but not to demand that everyone above you in a company concurs with your political views. This is the social media witch hunts we've seen in last few years reaching into actual corporate boardrooms and tossing out a man's career because he holds a view that is not only mainstream, but that he has demonstrated he won't bring into the workplace.

Let me be clear: I believe Brendan Eich is wrong about gay marriage. But I don't think the price of his convictions should be his career at Mozilla, a company he's played a large role in building, when there is no documented instance of him ever disparaging or otherwise harming LGBTQ employees or community members.




Let me be clear: I believe Brendan Eich is wrong about gay marriage. But I don't think the price of his convictions should be his career at Mozilla, a company he's played a large role in building, when there is no documented instance of him ever disparaging or otherwise harming LGBTQ employees or community members.

I don't know what the price of Eich's convictions should be, but I think that a good way to find out is for people who have been strongly affected by his convictions to say clearly what they think about it.

I don't know whether Eich will (or should) remain CEO, but whether he does or not, having people speak up in this fashion seems unambiguously positive.

-----


No, it's not always positive. Mob mentality like this could be 'good' when applied to civil rights, the fact that he is not a minority and his views not popular in the zeitgeist makes him a good target. Of course this sort of things is considered bad when the target is a minority. Basically, what matters is whether or not you are part of a group that is perceived to have power. That will determine how the mob treats you.

-----


I think that there's a real difference between types of behavior in this category. For example, if the same employees were calling him at night to yell the same message at him, I'm sure you'd agree that would be a terrible reaction. There are some pretty rude acts like that which are legal, but probably bad; e.g. the employees could go stand outside protesting loudly at his hypothetical kids' kindergarten, or spam all the Mozilla repositories with fake issues.

However, the specific behavior in the article does not seem like that. It is employees making tweets like "I love @mozilla but I'm disappointed this week" and "I'm an employee of @mozilla and cannot reconcile having @BrendanEich as CEO with our org's culture & mission. Brendan, please step down." That doesn't seem to be harassing or threatening or a witch hunt to me; it's individuals doing an honest job of saying their opinion.

Time will tell whether people start behaving worse than that, but I feel that so far this is an OK model of something you can do in a society when you feel strongly like someone has wronged you (but have no direct recourse.)

-----


Witch hunts start with one person shouting that someone is a witch, and public opinion slowly grows and turns until someone is literally tied to a stake and has gas poured on them.

Nobody wants to literally burn someone alive. But at the same time, nobody wants to live with a witch in their community. Alone, nobody would go so far; but there's comfort and safety in numbers, and the more people support a cause, the easier it is to jump behind the masses and throw sharp objects without being singled out. If you'd like to see how an entire village can murder someone for, say, being a homosexual, google "necklacing".

Also, your idea of abusive behavior completely negates the real experience of people being harassed online. Women bloggers often get threatening letters and tweets that are hidden from view, telling them they should be raped, murdered, and worse. Even just a majority of people telling you you are a bad person is enough to cause severe depression and anxiety. Without experiencing it yourself, you really have no idea how horrible it can get. And if Brendan actually had a history of mental illness, this could easily drive him to kill himself, as many people have committed suicide from online bullying over the years.

Also: Are you saying these Mozilla employees were wronged? I'm certainly not aware if they were, so I don't see how any of this is justified.

-----


'The mob' actually works on a variety of strange cognitive biases specific to group thinking. Part of it is who you are, part of it is who's leading the group and under what banner, if there's a perceived threat, and of course if there's some moral high ground that can be achieved. In general though, morality and critical thinking go out the window when large groups start agreeing with each other.

-----


> strongly affected by his convictions

These sorts of convictions, that people hold on controversial topics, are like the (modern, non-fundamentalist) practice of religion: something you speak about to espouse your identification with a group, but which holds no sway one way or another with your day-to-day decision-making. They are, in Robin Hanson's terms, "far-mode beliefs."

And, as with the (modern, non-fundamentalist) practice of religion, the best attitude to follow, I think, is "as long as it doesn't affect anything important [like someone else's life], you can think whatever you like." This attitude allows people with diametrically-opposed far-mode beliefs to get along.

-----


He expressed his views publicly. They are subject to public criticism. It's absurd to characterize any form of criticism, especially something relatively mild as this, as a witch-hunt.

Anti-gay bigotry is socially unacceptable. Honestly anyone who thought about it at length ought to have realized we were heading in this direction. And the bar for denying an entire category of people's rights out to be relatively high, personal religious beliefs or not.

He might not have personally expressed bigotry, sure. But putting up $1K to a cause is almost worse, given that it's one of the more efficacious ways to support a cause. That cause happened to be in favor of denying civil rights.

-----


Try to see this from another angle. It's 1970 and you've donated to an organization that advocates equal rights to blacks. As a consequence, when you rise through the ranks at your company and have the opportunity to be considered for CEO, your board of directors rejects you on the basis of that contribution.

What you're saying is it's ok to deprive a man of his livelihood based on the current state of public opinion, which shifts by the decade. Tell me you see how wrong that is.

-----


Um, it's wrong, but only because of the particulars of this example, in that the board is probably racist. And to close the loop on your example, it would be open season on the board once public opinion caught up with them.

I think you're presupposing that principles are interchangeable and I don't accept that. I believe in some inherent human rights, and the merits of this particular issue are incredibly relevant. The gentleman in question made a substantial monetary contribution aimed at denying a collection of people a set of privileges.

The reasons for why society ought to privilege views like his over the rights of other people are flimsy at best; it's just a lousy idea given that the basis is wholly religious. Substitute something interracial marriage if you prefer. The fact is that some views are not just immoral in the face of society's avowed principles but unsound as well.

-----


So you're arguing my general argument is invalid because in the specific example I use, you claim the board is racist. You then go on to claim that social principles aren't interchangeable and public opinion would eventually obliterate them. My question is, if public opinion has always been and always will be anti-racist, how did so many racists get on the board of not just a single company, but the majority of companies in the 70's? Not to put too fine a point on it, but your belief that principles aren't "interchangeable" (I think you meant "changeable" or "subject to change"?) is provably wrong.

-----


In my view, the key difference is how a position touches 'human rights'. If it restricts it, like anti same-sex marriage, or racism, it is wrong, period.

The concept of human-rights is quite recent and not fixed, that's for sure.

Political, economic, or other personal positions, those should be fine as long as they don't affect your work conduct.

-----


> I think you're presupposing that principles are interchangeable and I don't accept that.

This is essentially saying "my (current) religion is the only true one". Look at history. Principles are interchangeable, there's no reasonable way to deny that.

> I believe in some inherent human rights, and the merits of this particular issue are incredibly relevant. The gentleman in question made a substantial monetary contribution aimed at denying a collection of people a set of privileges.

So you don't believe in religious freedom then ? Or rather, if you are offended by this, just how offended are you by, say islam, which openly advocates beheading homosexuals inside America, and practices it in parts of the world. It even advocates beheading victims of homosexual rape (yes, really, they actually mention that).

The majority of humans currently alive are in favor of killing all homosexuals (not just muslims). Do you believe in democracy ?

All these things are in conflict, making reality way more complex than you suppose here.

Or are you merely having this opinion because you have a good chance of imposing it on this particular "witch" ?

-----


Eich was actively trying to stop what many people think should be a human right. He should face flak, and get a hard time over it, they should threaten his position. Even if they don't get him out of CEO it will make the next idiot that's high up in a company think twice before donating to stop human rights.

-----


(touching this issue with all due care as not to call in the activists; read all the way through before replying)

Redefinition of marriage is not a human right, sorry. I can't decide I'd like to marry my work and have society accept that as marriage. Marriage has a definition, that up until now hasn't included gay couples. Changing that is not trivial, is not a law of nature and is not supportable on human rights grounds.

Let's, for the sake of argument, assume that gay couples are already free to live together and enjoy the protection given to married couples: inheritance, hospital/prison visiting rights, IRS deductions, [whatever social right I may be missing]. I know that is not the case; bear with me.

Now, imagine that a group wants to reserve the right to call marriage limited to a long term commitment between man and woman. Also imagine that gay couples want to call their long term commitment a marriage.

Now, you have an unsolvable problem. Both groups may argue that it is their right to define what marriage is all the way to the end of times. The problem is mostly with the naming of the concept; it is not with rights attributed to gay couples. Framing the discussion around the concept is actually hurting LGBTQ movements.

My personal opinion? Grant all, and I mean all rights to gay couples that classic couples have. Use the first-come-first-served rule and maintain the term marriage to mean a classic family. Create a new term for gay couples.

Give it two generations and this whole shout war will subside, and by then everyone will naturally call gay couples married couples, just like any other. In the mean time, important goals can be reached faster (like visiting rights).

-----


I don't accept this as "redefining marriage." For one thing, the definition has changed throughout history. "Redefining" is a talking point engineered by bigots when the fact is that gay marriage affects straight marriage not a whit. It's orthogonal.

Straight folks just want an exclusive right to define it, and on that basis deny that right to other people. Well, sorry, but nobody ought to have that exclusive right, especially when it's little more than a fig leaf to deny privileges to a group of people. We all know the real reason. It's religious, which just doesn't hold any water, and everybody knows that.

And your remedy is "separate but equal." Non-starter.

-----


If we exclude all the practical and legal aspects that are satisfied by a civil union, marriage is a ritual, a cultural custom. Its value and purpose lie in the symbolism ascribed to it. But customs aren't rights and they don't have to be inclusive.

What has been the symbolism of marriage in our culture? Part of it is definitely gender-neutral: celebration of a couple's love and their commitment to each other. But it has also been about the particular dynamic and beauty of a relationship between a man and a woman, including procreation. This part is very important to many people and it is taken away if the custom of marriage is changed to include gay couples.

I think this is a legitimate cultural dilemma where both sides can be empathized with. Opposing gay marriage (but not legally equivalent civil unions) can be a legitimate position that doesn't necessarily imply any sort of intolerance or hostility towards gays. Moreover, it is intolerant not to respect this position. I find it unacceptable for people to be ostracized and disenfranchised just for wanting to preserve a custom which they hold dear and which is part of their cultural identity.

You may think it's all just academic, but I'm actually convinced that a significant proportion (though probably not the majority) of gay marriage opponents isn't anti-gay. The unnecessary polarization of the debate doesn't serve good to the gay community either, as they feel more threatened than they should - such as in the case of Brendan Eich becoming Mozilla's CEO.

As for me, I think marriage shouldn't to be sanctioned by the state any more. Civil unions for everybody and let the cultural stuff be figured out organically.

-----


So it's not about words... or is it?

> "Gay couples have been allowed since 2005 to enter "civil partnerships", conferring the same legal rights as marriage, but campaigners say the distinction gives the impression that society considers gay relationships inferior."

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/britain-gaymarriage...

-----


Society DOES consider gay relationships inferior in many places, unfortunately.

Discrimination exists, and this same "different name" concept has existed, with socially damaging results, in the past:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_but_equal

-----


Yes, and under Islam the punishment for simply being gay is DEATH - stoning, hanging and beheading - so why all the faux outrage at Brendan Eich instead of protesting outside mosques and embassies?!

-----


Are you aware that prohibition of same-sex marriage in English legislation is a recent thing? It was only written into law in 1971.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullity_of_Marriage_Act_1971

Marriage is tweaked when needed.

-----


Actually, same sex unions were illegal under Roman law, even before Rome adopted Christianity.

-----


"Separate but Equal" has been tried before. In Brown v. Board of Education - "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal". Same can be said of marriage, it's impossible to attain equality in a separate "civil union" status. Also - marriage has been been redefined many times, it's certainly hasn't historically been immutable.

-----


https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7482946

-----


Ah, separate but equal. Why didn't anybody think of that?

Oh wait, they did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_but_equal

-----


Do not try to conflate etymology with racial segregation. It is dishonest and an obvious trick.

-----


I'm not conflating it. I'm saying that the logic is exactly the same. And that it doesn't work, because the solution is not to further institutionalize discrimination just because some people can't cope with equality.

-----


Come on, he didn't fund the war in Uganda. I don't share his views or anything but I don't see why "not liking the gays" or whatever should have any influence at all on whether or not he's suitable to run a tech company. It's not a political office.

-----


He didn't "not like the gays". He helped keep gay people from their civil rights and harmed gay families.

The relevance to the CEO job is that he is a) boss of everybody at Mozilla, and b) the public face of Mozilla to customers, donors, partners, and the public. Having actively worked against the civil rights of gay people gives both groups cause to question their involvement, and has to make some employees nervous that they will face the same sort of discrimination at work that they have faced elsewhere in their lives.

-----


He has a large say in the benefits and culture of the company he's going to be running. If he doesn't believe gay people should have all the rights and protections of straight people, how are they supposed to feel about the future of their benefits and culture of the company they work for?

Also, it's not about "not liking the gays". It's about things like letting gay partners have the same rights in medical cases of their spouses as straight spouses. It's about child custody, death benefits, and lots of other very important things that may not be a war in Uganda but they are massively important and life-changing for the people involved.

-----


> but I don't see why "not liking the gays" or whatever should have any influence at all on whether or not he's suitable to run a tech company.

If a person in a position of power over others (hiring/firing/promoting) has openly held views of discrimination against a certain group of people, it is a problem. It doesn't matter if he's the president, or a CEO of a tech company.

Of course, its entirely possible that he doesn't let his views impact his work or the way he treats his employees.

-----


What if his contribution wasn't because of his personal beliefs, but was out of business consideration? Perhaps Mozilla pays more in benefits for employees that also list dependents and so to help protect "the bottom line" he is resisting paying out more in benefits even if we disagree with how he is "saving" the company money (by preventing gay marriages).

-----


To some degree, CEO is a political position. It is not so surprising that, if you are gay, or even if you are heterosexual but support gay rights, the publicly stated views of your organization's CEO would have an effect of your sense of belonging at that organization. I believe that it's unlikely that Eich's political views will ever affect his decisions for Mozilla, but they can certainly affect Mozilla's culture.

-----


I don't share his views or anything but I don't see why "not liking the blacks" or whatever should have any influence on whether or not he's suitable to run a tech company. It's not a political office.

-----


So if he donated to the KKK, would you still think "not liking non-white people" or whatever should have any influence on whether or not he's suitable to run a tech company? It's not a political office.

-----


Just so you understand, you're comparing the KKK to Prop 8 supporters.

-----


The hullabaloo 50 years ago about interracial marriage followed a very similar course to what's happening today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

For a long time, everybody was opposed, but now it's just fine with most people:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/163697/approve-marriage-blacks-wh...

Hardcore racists now know that talking about "miscegenation" will get them ostracized. So yeah, the KKK is a pretty reasonable parallel here.

-----


I think one of the big problems is that he is head of Mozilla which has a reputation of being a do good organisation. Having someone who did bad (as some people would say) isn't really in line with that

-----


Well, we're talking about real people with real families who want to be able to have equal protections under the law and look out for themselves.

It may not be "the war in Uganda", and it may not affect you personally, but it's certainly a critical issue for some people.

-----


>when there is no documented instance of him ever disparaging or otherwise harming LGBTQ employees or community members.

Except the bit where he contributed $1000 to a campaign to vilify them and take away their rights.

-----


Here's the proposition's full text:

http://www.ag.ca.gov/cms_pdfs/initiatives/i737_07-0068_Initi...

It hardly vilifies anyone--it's pretty stupidly worded as is ("marriage"? What is that? How does it compare with "civil union"?)

Look, did you vote for Obama or Bush? Then you too have actively vilified people and acted to take away their rights.

We can't punish people for participating in our form of government, even if we disagree with them. Aaargh.

-----


>"marriage"? What is that?

Marriage is a defined legal construct, not an abstract idea.

>We can't punish people for participating in our form of government, even if we disagree with them.

Of course we can. It's the government that can't. We can freely choose who we associate with, and we can freely choose to not associate with people who hold opinions that we feel are immoral, even if the opinion isn't illegal.

-----


>> Of course we can. It's the government that can't.

Is that true? I'm not American or a lawyer so I don't know what workplace discrimination laws are like, but I would assume that in many western countries, you can't legally discriminate against or harass workers or fellow employees based on their beliefs.

This opens up a legal question to which I don't know the answer: Where would these "step down" tweets tread legally with respect to workplace harassment?

-----


I don't think he could be fired for his belief. The goal is to pressure him to step down of his own accord.

You may have a point on workplace harassment, although I would doubt that he would push for that because of the negative PR that would rain down upon the company.

-----


The difference between voting for Prop 8 and voting for Obama or Bush is that voting for a political candidate is a much more complicated affair. Obama and Bush have opinions about many issues, and it's impossible to find a political candidate that agrees with you on every issue. So you necessarily must make compromises.

But Prop 8 is much more simple. Here is the full text:

>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.

Voting on that measure is a very simple decision: you either agree with that one point or you disagree with it. So yes, it is possible to create a much better opinion of a person's view on a particular matter who votes one way or another on Prop 8 than on which candidate they vote for.

-----


> Look, did you vote for Obama or Bush?

He lives in the UK, so I doubt it.

Also: when there are only two candidates with any real chance of winning, voting for the one who (personally and party-affiliation-wise) has a more liberal attitude to gay rights is obviously not actively vilifying gay people and acting to take away their rights.

-----


Voting for a person who does a variety of good and bad things is very different than taking a specific action whose only person is to strip gay people of their civil rights and harm gay families.

-----


Last election, I voted for Stella Creasy. So far she's been pretty good value and low on the vilification factor.

-----


https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7483726

-----


We have secret ballots for a reason: what you do in public has consequences.

When you speak in public, it's possible that you will face censure from your employers, your employees, or your customers. You can't control how other people feel about what your actions.

-----


Sure it's possible, and of course legal. But it behooves your employers, employees and customers to remember that we live in a civil society, and banishing the heretics rather than gracefully tolerating and persuading them is poisonous for that society.

-----


No one is being banished or burned at the stake.

His suitability for a leadership position is openly questioned by employees in light of his publicly espoused views. Nothing more, nothing less.

-----


> His suitability for a leadership position is openly questioned by employees in light of his publicly espoused views. Nothing more, nothing less.

No, it's more than that: people are actively calling him to step down.

-----


Asking someone to step down is openly questioning their suitability for a leadership position. That is the general method.

-----


Questioning their suitability is saying "I don't know if X is right for the job". Saying "X should step down" is answering that question.

-----


I actually consider it worse for an individual to have contributed to the marginalization of a group (in this case financially) of American citizens than to just have a documented instance of disparaging comments towards the group. In the former the individual is actively involved in marginalizing the group whereas with the latter the individual is stating an opinion. Your opinion matters, but what you do with your opinion matters even more.

-----


> That Mozilla is and remains a place where any employee can express their views on political issues, even if they know they're contrary to the CEO's. And that destroys any argument for Eich's role as CEO creating a conflict with Mozilla's ability to welcome LGBTQ employees and community members.

Not that I necessarily think having Eich as CEO would make Mozilla unable to welcome LGBTQ employees, but this argument is absurd. It is not at all difficult to imagine a rule set that permits free speech while still discriminating against LGBTQ employees in some other way.

-----


Mozilla, much more than most is a political organisation (about freedom and openness) not just a commercial one. It has a mission, it will succeed with community support and goodwill. The political views of the CEO matter.

People are not saying (as far as I have heard) that there should be no place at Mozilla for Brendan Eich due to his political views but they are clearly uncomfortable with him leading a political organisation. A commitment and career somewhere does not entitle you to be CEO of the organisation if that is not what is best for the organisation.

-----


> Mozilla, much more than most is a political organisation (about freedom and openness) not just a commercial one.

What about the freedom to have personal beliefs, and do what you want with your own money and time?

If anything the people criticizing Brendan Eich are trying to take away his freedom...

-----


> If anything the people criticizing Brendan Eich are trying to take away his freedom...

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from criticism, and criticism isn't censorship. Freedom of speech isn't freedom from social consequences for speech. Freedom of speech isn't an unconditional guarantee of employment.

Sometimes, freedom of speech becomes distasteful. I don't feel like this is one of those times, but I can understand why someone might disagree. In this situation, I see one person exercising their freedom of speech (in the form of a campaign donation) and a group of people responding with their own speech. That seems fine to me; if you disagree, could you elaborate on why, or describe what you think these employees should do instead? It seems to me that people responding to Brendan Eich should not have less freedom of speech than him.

-----


Trading freedoms for employment is quite normal (my speech was constrained while employed - mostly about my company and it's products) but anyway Eich used his freedom which he is welcome to. However, having done that and expressed his political views (money is speech etc.) it should not be surprising that his political views are relevant to his ability in a political leadership role. If he can't take the community with him he is the wrong man for that role.

-----


No, they're not. Freedom has to do with what the government is allowed to punish you for. No one is saying he shouldn't have been allowed to donate money in support of Prop 8. But actions have consequences outside of what the government can do.

-----


I wouldn't call it a witch hunt. Now every Mozilla employee's work is contributing to Eich's paycheck. The paycheck with which he will (has) donate(d) to oppose gay marriage. If I was a Mozilla employee, this is not something I would want to be contributing to.

This argument can obviously be applied to any employee in the company, but it's severely exacerbated when it's applied to the CEO, who's getting a huge paycheck and is serving as the face of the company. It would be nice if we could separate his work from his personal life, but that separation does not actually exist. His personal endeavors are fueled by his professional life. (This is why we all work, really).

-----


"This argument can obviously be applied to any employee in the company, but it's severely exacerbated when it's applied to the CEO"

So, you're saying then, that they should go through the donations of every employee, ever, and fire anyone who donated to a cause that a sub-group of employees disagrees with?

-----


I don't see it simply as disagreement. I draw the line at oppression. He's spending money earned, in part from any given employee's contribution to the company, to support the oppression of a group of people. It actually doesn't really matter if it's the CEO, this type of thing at any level in the company derails morale.

With this line drawn, it's not about going through and ratting out people who donate to stuff you don't like, and it's not about limit free speech. This is about supporting human rights, and more specifically to the private company, maintaining a workplace that is inclusive to everyone, and a vision for the company that everyone can get behind.

Yes, everyone has free speech and should be able to support whatever they want, but when you support oppression, I think it's completely fair that there is backlash and questioning of whether you should be part of, and benefitting from, a inclusive group. The employees have every right (freedom of speech, remember?) to voice opposition to you in your role, because it really does affect everyone in the company.

-----


If you work for a private company, and look up the causes that your CEO contributes to, you might be surprised at what you find there, too.

I'm not saying Eich's contributions are irrelevant, just that he would hardly be the first CEO to hold political opinions many or all of the people who work with him find repugnant.

> it's severely exacerbated when it's applied to the CEO, who's getting a huge paycheck

I haven't looked at their financials, but I would have to assume that CEO of Mozilla is one of the less lavishly paid "CEO of a major tech organization" jobs. Nobody goes to work at Mozilla to get rich.

-----


Liberals have power, feel the need to enforce their social order.

Is this supposed to amaze anyone ? You should see how bad this get in some parts of Europe, although that could just be me having more experience with it in that part of the world.

The problem liberals have is that while they're endemic in the rank and file of these companies, they're not exactly common at the top.

-----


The problem is the liberals "enforcing their social order" with their power... by individually reacting to someone spending money to make sure the government resumes enforcing a particular social order? This is entirely a contest between a liberal desire to enforce social order A and a conservative desire to enforce social order B. There's a few who basically want government out of marriage all together, but that's a tiny minority in my experience and is made up of people from both sides of the left-right spectrum.

-----


Except of course that conservatives are pretty much about that, while liberals' great claim is that they don't enforce any social order. They are about freedom, you can do anything you want, believe anything you want, want anything you want !

Here it's obvious that the exception is that this is predicated on you wanting exactly the same they want. The problem is the hypocrisy. The problem is that liberals constantly scream bloody murder if anyone uses the "but those guys do the same" defense.

The problem is that they enforce their own rules on others but not themselves. The problem is the blatant intolerance, the attempt to destroy a man's career because of his beliefs.

-----


If you don't see the problems with this, I'm not going to get dragged in.

-----


liberals' great claim is that they don't enforce any social order. They are about freedom, you can do anything you want, believe anything you want, want anything you want !

I think you are really confused, that's some anarchists and libertarians. Liberal democracy is about the idea of a social contract and trying to balance the greatest freedom for the greatest number, not limitless individual freedom. It has always been philosophically against limitless individual freedom as it considers that damaging.

-----


It definitely is a witch hunt. What next? Are you going to fire any employee that goes on vacation to Russia, Turkey, or gasp Cuba? Or anyone that contributes to a charity you don't agree with?

-----


There're any number of reasons why someone might visit those countries. When you put up $1K towards a political campaign whose raison d'etre is to deny gay people the right to marry, it's rather well defined what the expectation is.

I don't understand what charities have to do with this, though. Surely there are charities which would be morally objectionable. If he'd donated to a charity with similar aims to the Prop 8 campaign, I imagine it would change people's opinions rather little. Or how about a charity which campaigned against interracial marriage?

-----


> There're any number of reasons why someone might visit those countries.

People were calling for a boycott of all things Russian, or did you forget that?

The irony of course being that Russia decriminalized same-sex relationships in 1993 long before the US, effectively, did the same in 2003 even though 14 states still ban sodomy.

-----


And yet the US, EU, et al, still sent their Olympic teams to Sochi. I remember hearing something about how companies are usually pretty happy when people call for a boycott because it means it's a vocal minority and nothing organized.

I don't really see how this is relevant except for a tit-for-tat comparison b/w Russia and the US, which is kinda pointless.

-----


Do you support employees being fired for supporting gay marriage then?

I don't see any difference in the two positions (both are using their paychecks to advanced a political cause), except that you personally agree with one position and not the other.

-----


The difference is that only one of those positions in a boss is threatening. Take interracial marriage as a parallel. If you are in a mixed-race marriage and your boss has tried to prevent interracial marriage, you could reasonably feel threatened. Whereas if your boss supports equality, you won't worry whether you are in a same-race or mixed-race marriage.

-----


If my boss paid money to a political cause against mix-marriages, but inside of work took no action to discriminate against people who were in mixed marriages, I'd think he was an asshat, and express such opinion, but not tie it to work any more than he was.

Of course, I don't need to feel threatened by people disagreeing with life choices I've made just because they don't like them, nor do I need to retaliate against people having different views. I can act like a professional at work while expressing my dissent in the marketplace of ideas.

I don't think Mozilla employees are wrong to say he's wrong on Twitter - I think they're wrong to link it to workplace politics sans any demonstration of him doing so.

-----


Do you often tell your boss he's an asshat? If so, you should read the people commenting here that the Mozilla employees speaking out may be making career-limiting moves.

Regardless, it sounds like you haven't experienced significant workplace discrimination. Some people are prone to see discriminatory behavior as threatening because they have been threatened or harmed.

-----


No one, as far as I'm aware, has pointed out examples of him behaving in a discriminatory manner - just that he holds a different view than them and engages in the political process.

I certainly agree that workplace discrimination is a problem, I just don't think that one necessitates the other, as people are claiming here.

> Do you often tell your boss he's an asshat? If so, you should read the people commenting here that the Mozilla employees speaking out may be making career-limiting moves.

I'd expect that the career limiting move is largely that they're linking their speaking out to how things should be at Mozilla, rather than distancing their speaking out from workplace politics.

But for the record, yes, I've told superiors, up to the CTO (while I was working in IT) that they're wrong on a number of social issues. I've also literally used the word "asshat" to describe people who hold opinions contrary to mine on those same issues on social media.

I just don't go out of my way to link it in to workplace politics, and haven't worked for people petty enough to punish their subordinates for having differing opinions.

If the Mozilla CEO is doing that, I'd be happy to see evidence of it. If the Mozilla CEO is discriminating at work because people are gay or support gay marriage, I'd like to see evidence of that. So far, all I see is people intentionally linking their dissent to workplace politics and people trying to punish him for having a view they don't like.

Feel free to cite evidence to prove me wrong.

-----


I'm pretty sure that helping to remove a civil right from a group of people can be taken as discriminatory.

I agree that nobody has come forward with proof that he has done something wrong at Mozilla. Which is why he's still at Mozilla.

But I don't think "hasn't been caught being an egregious bigot at work" is the only bar a CEO of a major nonprofit needs to clear. And whether or not he stays on as CEO, I think it's entirely reasonable for some Mozilla employees to decide that they're better off elsewhere.

-----


> I'm pretty sure that helping to remove a civil right from a group of people can be taken as discriminatory.

Sure, he holds views that some people should be discriminated against, and contributes to political causes advocating that. Lots of people hold those kind of views, and lots of people hold other objectionable views. My objection is to punishing him at work for that, and that alone.

I'm fine with Mozilla employees deciding that they're better off somewhere else, because they don't like their boss for any reason. That's their decision about who they associate with.

I think it's more of a problem when they decide he should be somewhere else because they don't like his opinions, or his political actions. I think that's discriminatory, and a large problem in a free society.

-----


Gosh golly, what's it coming to when right straight white people can't discriminate against unpopular minority groups without facing consequences! It's as you say: minority groups should just quit if their boss might be discriminatory. That will surely end the problem of discrimination.

-----


Threatened how?

-----


Threatened with the sort of discrimination that minority groups often experience from people who have an irrational bias against them.

-----


Sorry, when did those threats happen?

-----


I said "reasonably feel threatened". You don't have to have someone directly threaten you to reasonably feel threatened.

-----


OK, so what was the reasonable cause to feel threatened?

-----


That your boss has helped strip you of your civil rights.

-----


I wish I could give this post 10 upvotes. There is a reason that the US has employment laws [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Section 703(a)(1) & (2)] related to discrimination -- and its to stop precisely these sorts of questions from ever being questions in the first place.

-----


Where did all of this moral relativism come from?

What Eich believes goes against basic human rights. This isn't some argument about tax rates.

-----


Which basic human right does his belief go against, exactly?

In all sincerity, if you had to write down a list of human rights, ordered by most-to-least basic, where would it fall on the list? Which rights would be more basic? Which less?

-----


I think free speech is a basic human right, too, but I wouldn't demand my CEO be fired if he gave a million dollars to try to get a Constitutional amendment passed to overturn Citizens United.

-----


I'm sure there exists a political cause that if your CEO was funding it, would cause you to demand their resignation or make you leave the company.

Say they are funding a campaign calling for speech restrictions of a group of which you are a member, for instance. You presumably have a line somewhere.

-----


You're positive about that? They could fund a campaign calling for speech restrictions for a group I'm a member of, and I'll probably feel peeved about it (or even stronger feelings), but so long as it doesn't affect the workplace, and the CEO is still doing their job, I wouldn't call for their resignation.

-----


That's pretty lucky for them then, because you won't legally be able to after their bill goes through about speech in the workplace.

edit - that's a pretty unfair hypothetical, and it would be directly affecting your work then, but I still suspect you have a line, if only to avoid things ever getting a little bit too Kafka.

-----


I suppose it's lucky for them, but I don't see removing them as CEO as an action helpful to the cause. It probably won't weaken their beliefs, and might even strengthen them. They might even want to retaliate against the group they see as booting them out.

I just don't think that stripping them of their lands and titles really helps anybody. Arguably they won't have a source of income, except that they probably would receive a fairly nice severance package, and could still look for more work elsewhere.

----

I really like your last line of "things ever getting a little bit too Kafka".

-----


So marriage is a basic human right?

So the right to marry whomever you choose is universal, for everybody, no exceptions?

So why doesn't the campaign for "marriage equality" fight for the right of a brother and sister to get married, or a mother and her son?

-----


How much money (as a private citizen) has he spent on anti-gay causes?

How much money has he spent (as CEO) {i'm having trouble with wording here} keeping Mozilla a safe play for LGBTQ staff?

-----


> The fact that they can come out and say this demonstrates that these employees, the people best able to assess this, don't believe that Eich will retaliate. That Mozilla is and remains a place where any employee can express their views on political issues, even if they know they're contrary to the CEO's. And that destroys any argument for Eich's role as CEO creating a conflict with Mozilla's ability to welcome LGBTQ employees and community members.

Or these employees have consciously chosen that they'd rather the knife come, if it's going to come, sooner than later.

-----


Definitely. Or that it's better to stand together than to fall separately. Or that during this moment of transition they're mostly likely to win out. Or that they want to be on record so that if something does happen, they'll have better material for a press push or a lawsuit. Or that they figure they might as well give fixing things a try before they leave Mozilla. Or a bunch of other things.

The notion that them speaking out now proves that they have nothing to worry about is ridiculous. If nobody had spoken out, that would also have been used as proof that everything is fine.

-----


Have these employees been harmed in any way? Has Brendan Eich ever even been accused of mistreating another Mozillian because of his views on this issue?

In short, are they speaking out against real offenses, or merely hypothetical ones?

-----


He has already worked against their civil rights. They can choose to overlook that if they want, but fear of mistreatment is real and justifiable.

-----


These are employees who are dogmatic and who may have mistakenly believed they were working for a political organization rather than a technology company.

If Brendan Eich being CEO means they are not able to perform their duties as stipulated in their employment contract, they should resign.

-----


Or maybe these employees have cynically protected themselves from layoffs... because they could claim the CEO targeted them due to a difference in opinion!

-----


> The fact that they can come out and say this demonstrates that these employees, the people best able to assess this, don't believe that Eich will retaliate.

Or they're willing to risk speaking out, regardless.

-----


Exactly right, until he demonstrates an inability to bracket his personal affairs from his professional life (which he hasn't done) we as a enlightened pluralistic society should assume good faith and accept that he rose to this position based on his merit and contributions to the company and is probably a great candidate for the position.

-----


People are employed on what they contribute to the company, not on their social or political views.

If these employees are such bigots and fascists, that they can't fathom someone having a different opinion to their own, they should resign and work elsewhere.

Mozilla is a technology company with the mission to promote a free and open web. If these employees believed that Mozilla was some kind of political organisation, they are wrong and have been deluding themselves.

-----


So preventing equality is not bigotry then? I would argue that calling out something like that is noble, not fascist.

Labelling the people who criticised Eich as fascists is as bad as calling him one for his beliefs.

-----


Does Eich refuse to work with gay people? Is he suddenly firing people because of their sexual orientation or political beliefs? No. So who is the fascist? Looks like the mob who demand he resign or be fired because they don't like his views.

BTW:

Marriage equality? So why doesn't the campaign include polygamous families? They exist, they have kids, they even have TV shows, and there has been a cultural history of polygamy around the world for thousands of years until modern times.

The campaign for gay marriage is exactly that, gay marriage, but it is not a campaign for civil rights for everyone, because if it were, it would support the right for polygamous marriages to be recognized.

-----


But he did give money that denied people's rights, so by your (weird, wrong and stupid definition) of fascist he is one. There is no mob, there are a few people and the "demand" is worded rather weakly. I would have expected a bit more of your fascists to be honest.

-----


Please articulate how they are being bigots. Also, how exactly are they fascists? I don't see any of them advocating for the subjugation of individuality or economic freedom for the furtherance of the state. Fascism has an actual meaning, it's not just some mud to sling around.

-----


"when there is no documented instance of him ever disparaging or otherwise harming LGBTQ employees or community members."

Other than financially supporting and lobbying for the passage of Proposition 8, you mean?

-----


Yeah, wouldn't it be terrible if you were persecuted and had your career ruined because of your perceived feelings on marriage or political commentary/donations?

EDIT: Downvote away, but it's pretty obvious that these folks are abusing the freedom they have to attack somebody who deserves our respect and admiration, and are tarnishing the reputation of their cause.

This witch-hunt isn't helping anyone--it's saying that those involved care more about politics and sex and gender and bullshit than about creating good code and leading well and supporting freedom.

-----


This isn't a witch hunt. Publicly professing your convictions has ramifications.

"these folks are abusing the freedom they have to attack somebody..." What abuse? These people are exercising their freedom. Their freedom of speech, their freedom of association. There is no abuse here, this is exactly what people have a right to do.

"politics and sex and gender and bullshit..." There is more to life than technical ability.

-----


"What abuse?"

-> Demanding that he resign and step down and/or pressuring people to force him to resign? If that comes to pass, that he is forced out of his position against his will, then that isn't free speech at work, it's tyranny of the majority. He will have been effectively fired for his religious beliefs.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Section 703(a)(1) and (2)

"(a) Employer practices

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

What the hell else do you (rhetorical you) need? Why is anyone suggesting that he should be forced out of his position and that he "should have known that there would be ramifications". Perhaps a shitstorm, but never unemployment. This violates the law.

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

-----


Employees are not employers so I don't see how this a violation of Title VII since nothing of the nature has come to pass. I can demand anything I want this does not constitute abuse of any sort.

-----


I agree it does not if you do.

It would be if Mozilla Corp (an employer) fired him or told him he must resign, hence the part "pressuring people to force him to resign". You can demand and complain all you want, but until management responds to that opinion with a loss of employment, no it is not abuse, and I would agree. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

-----


He didn't "profess" anything--there was a note in a public ledger saying "so and so donated thus and such to this cause".

That's a far cry from hopping up on a podium and decrying the evils of the homosexual agenda. Had a muckrake not come across it, nobody would've known, and fewer still would've cared.

-----


There is a documented instance of him supporting treating gay people, including Mozilla employees, as second class humans.

You expect employees to keep working for a CEO who doesn't consider them equal human beings?

Why do people keep pretending this is a valid political view? This is about vicious hatred, and if he can keep that under control I admire his discipline, but no employee should have to work under that threat.

-----


>> You expect employees to keep working for a CEO who doesn't consider them equal human beings?

Not to be cheeky, but in my experience, many CEOs don't consider their workers to be equal beings (and I find this to be more true with very large organizations), and it has less to do with demographics/politics/religion than it does with the status that comes with the position of power.

--edited a word for clarity

-----




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: