I can't help but feel like this campaign has done a lot more harm to him than his $1000 donation could have ever done to anyone.
Second, support of prop 8 would have been a mainstream viewpoint less than 10 years ago. In many parts of the country, support of prop 8 is a mainstream viewpoint. People who have different upbringings in different geographic areas are of course going to be biased towards certain views, and it's a bit unfair to chastise them for not completely realigning their viewpoints overnight for something that has probably been the fastest and most productive civil rights movement, maybe ever. People love to talk about tolerance except when tolerance means they have to deal with people who were raised with fundamentally different views, or people who may even have the same views they did a decade ago but failed to "evolve." This could have been an opportunity to attempt bring someone, a powerful CEO, to the side of being informed and support gay rights but instead it was a witch hunt and an embarrassment.
The pseudo-gotcha about tolerance is ridiculous, an accusation of hypocrisy based on a straw man. Gay marriage isn't about some mushy notion of tolerance. It's about civil rights, about equality before the law. As you point out, we don't yet know his views. This is about his actions.
And the concern about him as CEO also isn't about tolerance. It's about safety. Given that Eich has worked against the civil rights of gay people without explanation or apology, it's reasonable for gay employees and business partners to be concerned. When he was CTO, it wasn't as big a deal, because that was a technical role. But as boss of everybody, it's a different thing.
Personally, I don't think he should have left over his donation. I think he should have explained and apologized for his gay-hostile action before or as part of the CEO transition. Failing to recognize the problem in advance and then failing to deal with it quickly and forthrightly did make me strongly question his fitness to be CEO. Mozilla's CEO needs to lead and inspire people, and to adroitly handle the media, both traditional and social, adroitly. At that, so far, he's very much failed.
Unless Mozilla has entered into business of organizing gay weddings while I wasn't looking - no, it's not reasonable at all. No more than gun owner should be concerned if his CEO donated to a known anti-gun politician, or a medical marijuana user should be concerned if his business partner donated to a politician that opposes drug legalization. There was nothing in Eich's actions that would concern his employees and business partners in their capacity as employees and business partners. As far as it is known, he didn't say he would fire gay people (and he didn't do that either), he didn't say he would deny them benefits if affording such benefits were recognized by the law, he didn't refuse to enter any deals because opposing side was represented by gay person - in short, he did absolutely nothing of the sort that may raise such reasonable suspicion. The only base for that is "he's for prop 8, so he must be despicable person, so he's evil, so we have reasonable suspicion he would hate us because that's what evil people do". It's not an argument, it's a series of stretches, one worse than the other.
What if his belief was the blacks should not be allowed to get married? would you have the same opinion on this then? Would there even be a discussion?
An environment where people are allowed to debate over even the most atrocious ideas is much more productive and inline with what the ideal democracy is.
I would have loved if Mozilla had an internal, open, philosophically rigorous, discussion that employees would participate in. Brendan would be forced to change his mind, not by force, but by reasoning.
Unfortunately, this is just my rosy way of thinking.
I think the vote should be taken after influence has been applied, because I think part of what defines a person is their influence (it is perhaps the most important part, especially in questions of politics like this one).
He has refused to speak about his views, so Mozilla employees and partners could reasonably fear that he might take other actions that harm gay people. Those need not be explicit and declared ones. Anybody who has been on the receiving end of bias knows that out-and-out bigots are rare these days; it's the subtle stuff that is more often the problem.
That's reasonable enough.
On the other hand, it's selective at best to limit the applied focus to his donations.
He's spent a lot of time/effort working at and building up Mozilla, a Mozilla that has an equitable/inclusive code of treatment, a Mozilla where by several LGBT accounts his co-workers felt interaction with him was free of aggression, a Mozilla where where co-workers felt free to defend or reject his appointment. And he invited everyone to judge him by those standards had he kept on.
But Eich promising to only work against gay people's civil rights in his off hours wouldn't strike me as enough if I were a Mozilla employee. It's not the kind of promise I'd fully trust.
Really, I feel for Eich. If I had to guess, he's somebody who grew up around a lot of religiously-driven intolerance of gay people. And, like many smart people, he used his smarts to compartmentalize one set of views from another. It must be heartbreaking to be forced to deal with those inconsistencies in the eye of the national media, and to handle it poorly enough that he ended up quitting something he started and believes in. I wish he had sorted this out years ago, but I hope this serves as an opportunity for him to do so soon.
Do you actually have a source of him saying that? Or are you basing it solely on his political donation?
If that's the case, you're engaging in nothing more than pointless conjecture.
The bible also says "Turn the other cheek", meaning that you should give people a second chance, and to treat them kindly despite their actions.
The bible has a ton of stuff in it, for example during times of slavery was used as a basis for both pro- and anti- slavery arguments. Drawing on a slogan from the bible to use its name as an authority is rather pointless - as a collection of aphorisms, there's one for every occasion.
Given that Eich has worked against the civil rights of gay people without explanation or apology
Eich expressed sorrow at the pain he caused in an article on his blog. He also stated in several different channels that the culture at Mozilla was going to remain diverse and inclusive. That's something of an explanation.
You seem determined to crucify a person based on one past bad action rather than the larger, more nuanced picture.
Yes, people have asked him nicely and politely to resign rather than threatening or berating him.
I think it's sort of telling the way ideas like "freedom of speech" or "turn the other cheek" get abused in this particular instance. "Freedom of speech" says the state won't abuse someone for expressing their views. It doesn't mean people can't judge each other for their view - otherwise, we couldn't vote for the politicians of our choice. "Turn the other cheek" means be ready to forgive. But it doesn't say actions should have no consequences. Moreover, "I'm sorry sorry for the pain" is the standard "non-apology apology". A "I wish I hadn't done that and I won't do it again" statement would have been a prelude to a request for forgiveness, in which circumstance your plea would make sense - unlike now.
Basically I'm saying: it's fine if you judge the man on his merits. It's not fine if you turn who he is into a strawman, and then treat him as if he is that strawman.
Re: the bible stuff, I'm just saying that just pulling a slogan from the bible is pointless, because you can always find a counter from the same. Also, 'forgiveness' does mean no consequences (or significantly reduced consequences). That's the whole point of forgiveness. If you make someone suffer consequences, you haven't actually forgiven them. These are not orthogonal concepts.
- He donated to Prop 8.
- He donated to Pat Buchanan, who has largely made his bones on hating anybody who isn't WASPy.
- He donated $750 to Thomas McClintock, another politician who makes a show of being anti-gay. Eich was living in Santa Clara--not in McClintock's district.
- He donated $500 to Linda Smith, she of the "morally unfit inclination" opinion of gay people. She was running in Washington, while he lived in California.
The reason I list these is to dispel the notion that it's "one event". He has a pattern of going out of his way (out-of-district donations) to give money to causes and politicians who are particularly strident in their anti-gay stances (and even Ron Paul, who he also gave money to, is notably anti-gay-marriage and remains static in that despite having vacillated on marriage privatization).
This is, by my lights, who he wants to be known to be. Should that not be considered in the light of Mozilla's self-described values? (I do not believe there exists a coherent, moral worldview where it's not important to prioritize the inclusion of the less privileged ahead of the comfort of the privileged. I say this while thinking of multiple communities of which I am a part that sometimes make me uncomfortable in the effort to make those less privileged feel respected and safe. The actions that result in this piss me off sometimes, but I am an adult and I recognize that it's for the net benefit of everybody.)
 - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/02/controvers...
 - OpenSecrets donor query - it requires a captcha, though, so I've omitted the link.
You lay up some facts [I've not checked but don't doubt especially] but don't look at his actions in his employment - were there objections from staff that he discriminated against them. Did he force modification of Mozilla's codes to deny rights based on specific sexual behaviours of the employees in an unreasonable way?
Mozilla's values are, according to their blog:
>We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.
Except that's no longer true is it. "Mozilla welcome contribution from anyone who believes that homosexual behaviour is right and that homosexual's should be granted civil unions by the state those unions to be called marriage". Not so pithy I guess.
Unless they tried to refuse his resignation then this move strikes out the "culture" and "religious views" parts of that quoted statement.
He was fine as a CTO because of his brilliant technical mind. His actions, however, make him unfit to lead an organization as diverse as Mozilla.
you just cannot compare those to gay rights. Neither of those perpetuate inequality or hate. In fact they are in support of individuals rights.
being against gay marriage is wanting to strip people of their rights and promote inequality. It is like saying only white people can get married, and if that was the case how would you feel about it then?
It's his helping to strip a civil right from gay people. It is reasonable for Mozilla's gay employees and partners to fear that he hasn't entirely stopped trying to treat gay people as second-class citizens.
I also have never stated that all we need to know is one action of six years ago, and have several times stated the opposite.
Personally, I'm not trying to crucify anybody. As I wrote in a number of places, including the very post you reply to, I don't think the donation should necessarily have been a problem. We all make mistakes. But his handling of this has been terrible.
> Even the bible says, "You will know them by their fruits,"
With a little more context: http://bible.com/59/mat.7.15-20.esv
For those not used to reading the Bible. "Them" in this case is referring to people who claim to be followers of Christ. A subset of those people are labelled as "false prophets", people with positions of influence in a "church" (a teacher, pastor, or other leader). The "you will know them by their fruits" bit is a way for the genuine follower of Christ to identify a "false prophet" when deciding whether or not the leader is following Christ. Namely, that there should be evidence in their lives of that following.
If you want to go way out on a limb (heh, puns) and you support same-sex marriage, you could use this text as consolation that if Brendan Eich is a "tree that bears bad fruit", he'll be going to hell.
I'm disinclined to believe that there are many here who want to really get into what the Bible says about homosexuality, but if so, I'm game.
Honestly, I don't think I'm above anybody in that sense. We all believe stupid shit, and sometimes that makes us do bad things. As I said, my problem isn't with Eich's action; a lot of people were on the wrong side of that issue. But until he has recognized that stripping a civil right from gay people was harmful and wrong, and until he says that he won't be trying to treat gay people as second-class citizens, then I think it's reasonable to ask whether he should have a position of power over the people he's helped oppress.
If I were to apply that chapter to this situation, I think it would more be about Eich, a sinner like the rest of us, not using a court to punish people he things have transgressed his god's law.
I'd also note that story ends with, "Go and sin no more." Suggesting to me that forgiveness is bound up with a recognition of error and an attempt to reform. Which is something Eich hasn't yet done.
And indeed, I think that was Eich's way out of this. He could have declared, like a lot of Christians have, that hating on gay people is a sin, one he wanted no further part of. If he had actually apologized for injuring gay people, I think a lot of people could have, like the Pharisees, recognized that they too had made mistakes.
Support for Prop 8 among young people in the SF Bay Area is negligible. These are the people Eich was supposed to lead as CEO of Mozilla. You can't lead people who think you are a reprehensible bigot.
If "gay rights" are really so self-evident, let's confront the haters and explain in a clear, concise manner why their beliefs are invalid. The thing is that reasonable people disagree, and shouldn't be shamed for that disagreement.
Pro-gay activists have gotten all progress by bullying opponents and teaching people that anyone who dares to question them is automatically a "reprehensible bigot", and foolish children have been flattered into accepting this patently ridiculous line of thought.
It's actually pretty easy. Any number of court opinions on the issue are readily available and generally easy to read. These represent the best-of arguments from both sides.
Once the issue was raised as a legal issue, it became subject to constitutional scrutiny and the U.S. Constitution simply doesn't allow for that kind of discrimination and the kinds of argument used in support of.
Nationally binding case law on relevant marriage topics didn't exist until Windsor last year, and even that stopped short of claiming that all bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, and 4 sitting Supreme Court justices disagree even with the narrow logic by which sections of DOMA were invalidated, which essentially punted the issue back to states and said that the Feds were obliged to honor marriages granted by states.
Should we all go boycott the Supreme Court as long as John Roberts is Chief Justice?
It's completely misleading to pretend that reasonable, non-bigoted people can't oppose gay marriage and/or can't believe that bans on gay marriage are constitutional and fair.
> Should we all go boycott the Supreme Court as long as John Roberts is Chief Justice?
Well, you and I both know that you can't boycott a court. And losing votes against a decision don't matter much outside of an interesting historical footnote and some light reading of the dissenting opinions.
One of the really cool things about the U.S. legal system is that, at least it seems to me, that the higher the court, the better written the opinions are for the layman. SCOTUS opinions (and the dissenting side) are actually pretty easy reads.
> It's completely misleading to pretend that reasonable, non-bigoted people can't oppose gay marriage and/or can't believe that bans on gay marriage are constitutional and fair.
The ultimate problems is that, when measured by the U.S. Constitution (used by Federal judges and SCOTUS alike), a reasonable legal argument has yet to be presented. At best the arguments (if you read the court case transcripts and opinions) are grossly in contrast with a handful of Amendments and are presented purely as religious and traditionalist arguments -- but not legal arguments. More importantly is that Federal judges keep finding that those arguing against are not able to demonstrate any legal harm to themselves if gay marriage is made legal -- a very simple and low bar that millions of dollars in lawyers has yet to figure out.
So while arguments scoped to a State might succeed, because the State has different legal standards to measure against. It's just a matter of appealing it up to the Federal level where the standards of measure are different before the arguments no longer work.
There's all kinds of Federalist-style arguments that States should be able to be masters of their own destinies in this regard, but that's not the status of the U.S. legal system today.
I'll also note, that some of the State Supreme court decision against gay-marriage have been similarly interesting reading -- as in "we acknowledge that the arguments against gay-marriage are unconstitutional, but we'll go along with them anyway" a la Hawaii.
The beauty of course about our legal system is that the court only has to find a law in violation of a single amendment to strike it down.
If your interested, here's the decision and dissents about DOMA and Prop 8.
They're amazing reads. The last document affirms previously found decisions on the fundamental human right to marry which SCOTUS has found on several occasions and has not yet seen fit to decide against.
For the record, SCOTUS also frequently comes to decisions I disagree with, and I always find reading the decisions illuminating.
Here's one of the best discussions on this topic I've seen on the Internet. http://www.brambletonian.net/forums/topic/16509-the-conserva...
It's a little dated now, but still a good read and accurately predicts most of the Federal decisions that happened after this discussion.
Thanks for the links.
This is actually completely backwards. It only became tenable to approach as a legal issue after gay marriage had become culturally acceptable.
But more importantly, when you actually read the arguments put forward in the cases, it takes the courts a very big legal stretch to side with the non-gay-marriage arguments, as they're almost uniformly non-legal and unconstitutional religious and traditionalist arguments.
It would be great if you could solve civil rights problems by patiently explaining obvious facts to people. But that's not how it works. If you think you can do better than current gay rights activists (who have many approaches besides the ones you acknowledge), you should demonstrate your solution.
What rational reason do you have for misrepresenting the positions of others, publicly and when Wikipedia is mere clicks away?
FWIW I don't think sexual activity where all parties who are capable of consent five it should be criminalised, no matter how weird it might be or how much I personally dislike it.
I honestly don't give a fuck if consenting adult family members decide to fuck. It is not my business what they voluntarily do with each other. How and why could/would it possibly be any of my business?
In other news, this is yet another great example of "refurbished arguments against interracial marriage". What I am not seeing in your comment is any rational reason why somebody should want to criminalize homosexual relationships. Do you have any?
(I think polyamorous relationships should definitely be recognized by the government, though.)
Consent is a real issue, and should be part of the equation. Certainly with Children, but with animals as well.
This is my rationale. Perhaps you don't agree that male-female sexual union is ideal or important. Perhaps you don't think society needs to prioritize or promote opposite-sex unions. That doesn't make my rationale invalid, it doesn't mean I hate everyone (or anyone in particular), and it doesn't mean I'm a bigot. It just means we don't agree. I would suggest that some people no longer recognize male-female sexuality as preferential despite biological imperatives that mandate this as a necessity for continued national, cultural, and indeed basic human survival, indicates that, to a large extent, our society is already extremely ill and probably terminal. The mere fact that homosexual marriage can be a controversial issue shows that.
If anyone doubts that acceptance of homosexuality destroys the place of heterosexual marriage and child-bearing, just look at the discussions that occur now which would've been considered plainly ridiculous by societies more in touch with reality (like ourselves, 50 years ago). The fact that persons can propose with a straight face that marriage be done away altogether is a literal fulfillment of the prediction that gay marriage destroys and impacts marriage as a whole (of which straight marriage is the only acceptable form).
How does permitting people who are homosexual to express their relationship publicly in any way prevent men and women from fucking each other?
A prominent husband-wife historian team once wrote of the lessons of history: "Sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred constraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group."
Our society has set itself for full-scale consumption. We have donned the gasoline-drenched firecracker suit and are currently descending into the lava. I honestly do not believe we will make it more than 1 or 2 more generations without complete social collapse, and I think acceptance of homosexuality and furthermore government endorsement and reward of homosexuality via grant of marriage are tokens of this extremely broken social consciousness. If you look back through the 20th century you can trace the disintegration step by step, and now we're just a smidgen short of ripe. I fully anticipate that ripening to occur, and modern Western society to drop off the tree and into the flames.
Our economic house of cards will be crashing down within ten years. You should probably worry about that first.
Besides, over- or under-population being a problem is related to the economy too. It's all about having enough resources and jobs for everyone, right? The best possible thing any government can do for an economy is to keep its hands off of it and let people produce and accumulate wealth.
Then there's the US police state, which probably won't take long to complete. That's another much more pressing concern than whatever might happen with regard to the population.
Perhaps we should shut down our education systems, health systems and welfare, and tax anyone outside the "1 percent" into poverty in the name of procreation.
(just in case, this being the internet and all: that's sarcasm)
Seriously, what is your thesis here? What do you think is happening? "Oh honey, I just saw two gay men in the park. Let's never have children." ?
What is the ideal balance of masculine and feminine traits in a person's upbringing, how did you deduce this ideal balance, and how does a heterosexual union achieve this balance? Can you point out why a homosexual union does not achieve this balance? Shall we also ban divorce?
Since when is sexual partnership the fundamental unit of social cohesion? I thought it was mostly hunter-gatherer units, which in prehistoric days would have been same-sex groups for both the hunting and the gathering. The analogue in modern man would be the people we work with, I guess, which admittedly is mixed gender - but generally not sexual. Furthermore, I suggest that intolerance of different sexual preferences threatens social cohesion a lot more than the preferences themselves.
Consider that you might actually be a reprehensible bigot after all. I'm not saying this as a judgement of you personally, or to shame you or call you out or whatever, but rather as a motivation for a bit more introspection and maybe some personal growth. I hope it works out.
I disagree that we have enough, and some first-world nations are now starting to become aware that they've decimated themselves and that their national identity is now in real danger of extinction, not because of massive war or famine, but because they simply chose not to have children anymore. In my mind, things must be severely broken to make this condition possible.
>What is the ideal balance of masculine and feminine traits in a person's upbringing
The masculinity and femininity contributed by one full-time parent from each sex.
>how did you deduce this ideal balance
Nature has deduced it for you, and every respectable shred of data in existence supports and admits that children fare better in loving homes with both biological parents. This is instinctively understood by persons not fully brainwashed.
>how does a heterosexual union achieve this balance
The sexuality of the union is heterogeneous, which is to say, there is a male and a female. This provides 1 masculine figure and 1 feminine figure as the major lodestars in a child's life, and their interplay teaches the child how to interact with his peers of both sexes.
>Can you point out why a homosexual union does not achieve this balance?
The sexuality of the union is homogeneous, which is to say, there are two parents of the same sex. This provides lodestars of only one sex, and their interplay cannot as effectively teach children to interact with peers of both sexes because there is no sexual dimorphism among the parents.
>Shall we also ban divorce?
We should not outright ban divorce, but I believe we should make it much stricter, and I believe the proliferation of no-fault divorce and the devaluation of family court is another milestone on the now nearly-complete road to social collapse. Divorces should be much, much more difficult to get, and much rarer. The current rate of divorce devalues the marital institution as a whole, which is not to say that the acceptance of homosexual marriage doesn't devalue it further.
>Since when is sexual partnership the fundamental unit of social cohesion
Since always. Hunter-gatherers were not civilized or socialized at the level which is meant when people talk about human civilization.
>Furthermore, I suggest that intolerance of different sexual preferences threatens social cohesion a lot more than the preferences themselves.
I disagree. Acceptance of sexual deviance is a threat to the cohesion of a group on many levels. I do not accept the narrative that those impulses are uncontrollable and that it's unkind to suggest discipline, just as I don't accept that narrative as applied to other anti-social behaviors, like theft, that are considered negative. Society must invoke the discipline necessary for its survival where the individual fails to do so.
As we've learned: This happens when a nation becomes wealthy, educated, and have sufficient health services and welfare systems. If you want high birth rates: Plunge us into poverty, take away education, and shut down health services. Good luck getting support for that political platform.
Despite the declining birth rates, though, the UN estimates that while the world population will eventually decline for a while, this is expected to be a relatively short lasting stage, while the "bulge" we're creating now through ridiculous growth-levels ages and starts to die off, then all the projections is for renewed, but slower, more sustainable growth.
> Nature has deduced it for you, and every respectable shred of data in existence supports and admits that children fare better in loving homes with both biological parents. This is instinctively understood by persons not fully brainwashed.
Where is this evidence?
Despite the many social pressures brought to bear, people do not universally exhibit the gender roles and behaviors expected of them in their particular cultures.
What of, for example, butch women or effeminate men in heterosexual parenting relationships? I know gay and lesbian couples who have a substantially more "balanced" mixture of masculine and feminine characteristics than did my own, heterosexual parents.
Nature has also produced a sub-population of homosexual individuals. You haven't established that heterosexuals are 'natural' while homosexuals are 'unnatural', so your argument here falls flat.
In fact, the preponderance of evidence suggests that children raised with the involvement of their entire extended family fare the best. The old saying 'it takes a village to raise a child' turns out to be very grounded in reality. It's the so-called 'nuclear family' that turns out to be pretty unnatural. In light of that, whether some portion of unions within that extended tribal unit are homosexual or not seems pretty irrelevant, even assuming your a priori postulate about 'gender balance' turns out to be true. Which it probably isn't, since human populations in a tribal state, i.e. the state we have evolved to live in, tend to have larger female populations in the first place, as men are over-represented in deaths from hunting and inter-tribal conflict.
>Acceptance of sexual deviance is a threat to the cohesion of a group on many levels.
You're begging the question here. The only way homosexuality could threaten social cohesion is if enough of the population considered it deviant enough to make taboo. Since the very point we're arguing is whether that is, and should be, the case, you've failed to make any coherent point here at all. Sorry about that.
^^you might want to delete this
The bullying tactics and manipulation of the argument by pro-gay marriage activists is what's reprehensible. Including forcing CEOs to resign, attacking web browsers, and generally accusing people who believe in a traditonal definition of marriage as "anti-gay", which in most cases they are not.
Were black people who fought against separate-but-equal segregation policies "bullies" to you, too?
For the record, if I had to vote for gay marriage, I'd vote yes - but mainly to shut people up about it because I'm sick of hearing about it.
This is because I don't particularly believe in marriage to begin with. So if I hold such a low opinion of marriage to begin with, how do you think I'm going to react when I visit okcupid to find them discouraging my fav web browser because someone donated $1000 back in 2008 to.... you know the rest.
Please don't draw parallel lines between gay marriage and the struggles of minorities to achieve equal rights in basic services such as catching the bus. That's completely different.
This is another example of drawing parallels with obviously blatant racism from well before the 60s and hoping it fits the modern argument.
If one of the main functions of marriage is a platform for starting a family, then right away gay couples have a problem. If they marry, the mother or father is sorted out, but not both. And only one of the parents is biologically linked to the child. A third person is needed, and marriage by definition excludes a third person. Something new is needed that brings in the third person. Because who wouldn't want to know and keep in contact with their biological parent? Even if it was a "sperm donor", it's still the biological father.
Obviously we make the best of the situation, but it still goes against the grain of the billion year old natural process. It's like trying to force normality by applying an existing ceremony (marriage) to a biologically unnatural situation, all for "love" and "health benefits". Well, I think you can have love and legal equality in a recognised same-sex relationship without calling it marriage. That's what I now argue for after this Firefox thing because I don't like tactics where certain groups push their opinions in such a manner. So I'm in favour of giving gay couples legal rights for all those things such as medical emergencies - but stopping short of marriage.
Most of the people who argue against gay marriage are fine honorable people, who are very sincere in their beliefs - but totally dead wrong when measured to any objective standard.
Being wrong doesn't make you reprehensible, it just makes you wrong - to borrow from judeo-chrisian ideology "Hate the sin, not the sinner".
Being actually anti-gay is reprehensible (see the above person who stated that homosexual acts should be illegal).
I agree that many of the Christians that support Prop 8 don't know that they hate homosexuals, but the act of supporting Prop 8 is a hateful act. Whether they realize it or not, they are actively attempting to prevent their fellow Americans from being able to live as equals in our society.
>If "gay rights" are really so self-evident, let's confront the haters and explain in a clear, concise manner why their beliefs are invalid.
When it comes to deep-rooted beliefs, whether they are religious or not, most people aren't going to change their minds. Yes, reasonable people do disagree with one another, but not every disagreement involves two reasonable people.
I've nearly always been an atheist, but when I was younger I was highly opposed to the concept of homosexuality. However, when I actually started to think about it, I couldn't find a single, reasonable argument for homosexuality being immoral. I challenge you or anyone else who feels up to it to present a logical, non-religious argument that illustrates why homosexuality is immoral. I'm pretty sure it can't be done.
Just to clarify, no reasonable person would consider the lack of child-producing capabilities as a valid argument. Its perfectly accepted among the overwhelming majority of Christians and non-Christians alike for a sexually active couple to refrain from having children, so it can't reasonably be considered an issue of morality.
>Its perfectly accepted among the overwhelming majority of Christians and non-Christians alike for a sexually active couple to refrain from having children, so it can't reasonably be considered an issue of morality.
It's actually not perfectly accepted among religious communities. Many believers have chosen to discard their religion's guidance on this topic, but most religions do not look kindly on contraception. The opinions typically range from "no, it's never ok to do that" to "you should think REALLY hard before you do that, and make sure you have a good excuse to present when God asks you about it later".
Fertility is never guaranteed in heterosexual unions, but infertile heterosexual unions are allowed and blessed anyway for a few major reasons. First, a happily married heterosexual couple supports and promotes marriage as the bedrock of social cohesion and encourages others to get married by example, whether children can be produced or not. Second, you never know when infertility will go away, and if the potential is there because the partners are heterosexual, it's worth it to wait and see. Third, the male-female sexual duality is still ideal for child-rearing and the stable married couple may be able to adopt an unwanted child and provide him with a normal and healthy upbringing where both sexes are represented and where marital protections are in place to safeguard the domicile.
Well, the overwhelming majority of people in our country use some form of birth control, even if its just the rhythm method, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are Christian.
>Fertility is never guaranteed in heterosexual unions, but infertile heterosexual unions are allowed and blessed anyway for a few major reasons.
This really doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about. I mentioned specifically those who CHOOSE not to have children, not those who are unable.
>First, a happily married heterosexual couple supports and promotes marriage as the bedrock of social cohesion and encourages others to get married by example, whether children can be produced or not. Second, you never know when infertility will go away, and if the potential is there because the partners are heterosexual, it's worth it to wait and see. Third, the male-female sexual duality is still ideal for child-rearing and the stable married couple may be able to adopt an unwanted child and provide him with a normal and healthy upbringing where both sexes are represented and where marital protections are in place to safeguard the domicile.
These arguments aren't logical, objective, or rational.
I wonder why people find it so important to note a person had/have homosexual sex but not mention they had/have heterosexual sex.
There's evidence to suggest he was [also] interested in women. Wikipedia doesn't mention it but a BBC article, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22099082, says he was engaged. Of course that could have been a way to court interest from [female] fans; but it seems equally others could have lied about the extent of his homosexuality. Often people mistake flamboyant-camp for homosexual, it's possible to have either without the other.
The whole Wikipedia page for Liberace appears to be an attempt to force him in to a mold that he refused repeatedly. Perhaps he was asexual as some reports hint, or maybe bi-.
Not to mention before that, there were people, even in the small town south, that everyone knew was gay but just didn't discuss in open terms.
Now it's true the cultural stereotype for "gay" was the Village People or Liberace or whatever, but a large number of people knew ordinary gay people as well.
Of course, even today, and even in a place as open as San Francisco, I suspect most everyone knows more gay people than they think they do. I know that's true, in fact. A lot of people just never talk about it.
As someone who is entirely unconvinced about the need for the government to recognise any kind of marriage at all, my view could also be characterised as anti-gay marriage, but without the context to do so would be misleading.
And this 'hangup' is simply idiotic. Christians that speak of 'civil unions' are trying to hold homosexuals' rights hostage so they can pretend that they have carved out a small victory. Christianity invented neither the concept nor the terminology for marriage. Most of us at HN rave all day long about how stupid it is when a company tries to patent a generic English word, so why would it be OK for a religion to do the same thing?
That being said, I'm not entirely sure that he should have been forced out of his job. I mean, while we're at it, why not harass everyone that voted for Romney or Bush? Anyone that votes for either of them was basically voting to oppress homosexuals and atheists. What's the difference?
On the other hand, I also think it'd be completely valid to say that the government shouldn't be in the 'marriage' business at all (gay or straight) and it should only handle contracts -- aka civil unions. One could then parse "marriage" to be something reserved for whatever church/belief system/personal labeling one wishes to subscribe to. In the end, however, the government would treat all people equally, as it should.
A "marriage" is a multifaceted social institution that has civil/economic implications (first and foremost) and cultural implications as varied as the number of people on the planet. To state that it is only a religious institution is incredibly myopic to it's history and evolution in human society.
That all said, we pretty much have the same view, but I propose a slightly different solution: drop one of the terms entirely. There is no reason to differentiate between civil unions and marriage. They are legally the exact same thing - no reason to have two terms for it.
I would say we drop "civil unions" and stick with "marriage", but that's just my opinion.
See: handfasting, "celestial marriage"/"eternal marriage"/sealing etc. from Mormons (but having different names for their own marriage rites wasn't enough to stop them from supporting Prop 8 I guess...), common law marriage if you want to take the government out of the equation...
I think the fairest way to characterize it is that it is a term that means multiple things to different groups, much as you said... However, while it may not be your view, many religions view the institution of marriage as being much more than just a civil contract as you have by saying "that is the entire point of the institution."
>That all said, we pretty much have the same view, but I propose a slightly different solution: drop one of the terms entirely. There is no reason to differentiate between civil unions and marriage. They are legally the exact same thing - no reason to have two terms for it.
Again, to you there's no reason to differentiate, but for many, there are two parts to it all -- the contract via the state and the religious vows via the church. I think it's actually more helpful to understand the two parts, lest we make the silly mistake many anti-gay marriage types do, which is to assume that the government wants to push anything on anyone's religion.
Instead, the argument is most easily made, IMHO, that inasmuch as it's solely a civil matter, irrespective of religious matters, then gay marriage is a simple matter of equality under the law. What churches do with their marriage rituals is up to them and is a non factor for the state.
But arguing that a Government marriage isn't a "marriage" is a subjective and value laden position. Marriage is a civil union, they are the same thing as far as the law is concerned. This should always be the case - there is zero ethical ground to argue for a seperation of the terms. In so doing, you create a class system based around gender discrimination, something that is CLEARLY prohibited in nearly every bill of rights, charter of rights and freedoms or whatever document your society uses.
If the Catholic church doesn't want to support gay marriage, fine, don't support it. But do NOT inject that belief system into the civic government and attempt to control who can and cannot be "married".
I'm not sure how I gave you the impression that I was doing so. I didn't say "Christians speak of 'civil unions'", I said "Christians THAT speak of civil unions."
I agree that the government shouldn't be in the 'marriage' business. I'd be OK with the government calling all marriages 'civil unions' for legal/tax purposes. That would be fair and impartial. Unfortunately, the subset of Christians that is currently arguing for a monopoly on the term 'marriage' would still be upset, because then it still wouldn't be able to stop homosexuals from using it.
I'm not placing the blame on all Christians, just the ones that happen to be opposed to gay marriage in general, or opposed to calling gay unions 'marriage.' I said as much in my previous statement.
>First, I could introduce you to more than a handful of non-Christians that do not support gay marriage.
This is actually very interesting to me. What are their reasons for holding such a view? Perhaps there is a good reason that I haven't considered. I'd love to hear it.
>Second, take a look at other countries, specially theocracies, see how they treat gays.
This isn't really a productive thing to say. Right now there are anti-Christian genocides going on in some parts of the world. Using your own logic, I could simply respond to every single grievance that Christians might have with life in the United States by saying "Christians don't have it that bad. Look at how they are treated in some other countries!"
He made a very public post saying, I'm happy to discuss my views - reach out to me and I'm happy to do it in private.
The alternate would have either been a public spectacle, or farce - sorry, but the real world isn't quite like 4chan, and adults are able to sort things out without resorting to baying mobs.
"If we are acquainted, have good-faith assumptions, and circumstances allow it, we can discuss 1:1 in person. Online communication doesn’t seem to work very well for potentially divisive issues. Getting to know each other works better in my experience."
I think it's clear that the vast majority of people that would like to discuss his views with him couldn't actually take him up on that offer, because they're not acquainted and couldn't meet in person.
Having a flame way on 4chan, or HN benefits nobody - it just feeds the mobs, and rapidly degenerates into the lowest common denominator.
If you were genuinely interested in having a dialogue, and engaging as one human being to another human being, then what he suggested is exactly the right thing to do.
If you just want to get up on a soapbox, or mouth off at somebody in a public forum to inflate your ego, then he's not interested - and I applaud him for that.
And look, I'm not even in the US - but if I wanted to engage in a dialogue with him - I'm sure a Skype or phone call might suffice.
"He made a very public post saying, I'm happy to discuss my views - reach out to me and I'm happy to do it in private."
That is a severe mis-characterization of what he said, and I pointed out your error.
I agree that him debating pseudonymous internet commentators, or even engaging in private email threads with interested but unknown people, would be counterproductive. Given his seeming unwillingness to change his views, there's nothing better he could have done.
I'll note that the tone of what he wrote (e.g. saying "if you have good-faith assumptions" as if most people who disagree with him wouldn't) comes off to me as a one-sided offer. It reads like "if you want me to explain my beliefs and let me try to change your mind about why they're so bad, then let's talk". There's no willingness to accept that he might be wrong, no "I'd like to give you an opportunity to change my mind". Perhaps that's reading into it slightly, though.
Or perhaps you have a different definition of what "good faith" means?
For example, WIkipedia say:
> In philosophy, the concept of good faith (Latin: bona fides, or bona fide for "in good faith") denotes sincere, honest intention or belief, regardless of the outcome of an action; the opposed concepts are bad faith, mala fides (duplicity) and perfidy (pretense).
The way I read it is, if you honestly want to have a discussion - which means two minds coming together and having a dialogue, and both parties will hear out the other side - then I will be happy to talk.
If your'e going to be a dick, and just bait him, then he'd rather not.
How is that not reasonable?
Unless you have another source for a definition of good faith?
Any debate about marriage and a government's role in it is sidestepping the issue. It's a civil rights issue, and he chose to put money in an attempt to create discrimination for a certain kind of people.
There's no excuse, he doesn't deserve death threats, but he deserves everyone talking about it and making it a big deal.
I have no idea why Brendan donated $1,000 to support prop 8, and I'd be skeptical that he'd do so if he didn't actually have much stronger beliefs than the civil unions point. But I still feel like this entire situation where a donation to a widely supported political cause, context free, can cause your life to be ruined is chilling.
... then you still see gay people as fundamentally different from and less than straight people.
There's no way out of this.
EDITED to add: Also, what's happening to Eich isn't happening just because he made that donation.
As furious as I was about Prop. 8, I could understand someone supporting it in 2008 just because gay marriage was a new and strange issue to them at that time. What I have more of a problem with is someone who has spent the intervening 5+ years working shoulder-to-shoulder with gay people in an atmosphere in which acceptance of them was espoused and apparently practiced, and in a world in which gay marriage was being debated vigorously and often, and yet has not reconsidered his beliefs. That, I think, really says something about who they are.
All that said, I don't really feel I have standing to object to his being CEO of Mozilla. I think what this comes down to is that many Mozilla employees felt they couldn't work for him.
Sure there is. Many people who oppose gay marriage not because of their feelings towards gay people but because they believe or were taught that the Bible says that God says that marriage is between a man and a woman, and regardless of their personal views they defer to the Bible as the word of god.
Is this a fucking stupid belief? I think so, yes. Is it the same belief as thinking that gay people are subhuman? No.
Seeing the difference is what makes it possible to get through to people who feel this way in order to persuade them their beliefs should be reconsidered. Calling them bigots and shutting them out as being intolerant and evil (and getting them fired from their jobs) is a sure fire way to ensure they become entrenched and feel it's an "us vs. them" environment.
That's why the rules can change whenever the church feels like it.
I certainly have not mastered the art of getting through to gay marriage opponents. Have you actually had any success at it? (Not, I assume, by calling their beliefs "fucking stupid" :-)
/s/gay people/homosexual behavior/g
/s/straight people/heterosexual behavior/g
Societies have a right to regulate the private behaviors of their citizens, including (and in fact especially) sexual behaviors. Societies also have the right to determine which sexual and interpersonal unions they will bless and which they will not.
Public homosexuality is a behavior, not a biological trait. People aren't administered a test to check for a "gay gene". It only comes up when a person engages in homosexual behavior.
Under your argument, it is not possible to make anything legal or illegal, and we must simply say, "You see thieves as somehow less than non-thieves, and that makes you a bigot. Thieves can't help it, there is a biological imperative that they engage in theft."
You may state that you believe theft is more damaging than private sexual behavior, and others may disagree with you. A dialog could be had if one side wasn't so busy trying to bully the other into submission with name calling like "Well, if you don't agree with me, you're automatically a bigot".
The point is that behavior is being regulated here. People are being punished or rewarded based on their behaviors, not unchangeable biological traits like sex or race, and not private philosophy or the exposition thereof like religion. There is nothing wrong with laws precluding certain sexual behaviors or laws refusing to solemnize and acknowledge certain sexual unions.
This is pedantry. The many people that comprise a society hold in aggregate the ability to enforce rules that ensure their survival and prosperity. This is the basis of all governance.
>Where would such right come from?
Governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed, regardless of the institution that governs. The right comes from the unified concurrence that some behaviors are dangerous to social survival, and the unified strength to enforce that concurrence.
>Why do you think I have the right to tell you what you can and can not do, even if it doesn't concern me at the least?
See above. The government has the right to forbid behavior insofar as the people believe that behavior to be detrimental to their survival.
>Why do you make special emphasis on sex - why do you think I have the right to say how you can have sex? Sex is one of the most private affairs in our culture - why do you think it is especially appropriate for me to intervene in it when you engage in it without my participation?
I put special emphasis on sex because sex carries very unique properties. Sex is the only mechanism by which a child can be conceived, which roots it directly in the core of a society's concern -- their perpetuation, their survival is directly impacted by sexual practices.
Furthermore, most people have very strong sexual instincts and impulses that are evolutionary necessities, but are threatening to social survival if they are not checked by the aggregate behavioral standards of the populace. Some people have powerful violent impulses, but not most people. Some people have powerful psychotic impulses, but not most people. Sex is special because almost everyone has overpowering instinctual responses to sex, and sexual behaviors or displays therefore demand special control and attention from the governing authority.
Sex is super great and everything, I'm not saying it's bad. I'm just saying it's dangerous as well as necessary and pleasant. Rules must be established to ensure that the dangerous side of the coin sees minimal face time.
Are you aware that sexual orientation is set and can't be changed by puberty? It may or may not be entirely controlled by genetics, there may be an environmental component as well. But one has about as much control over it as one's height.
Societies are not set in stone.
If you have an issue with the term marriage, then you're coming at it from a religious perspective. There's separation of church and state, it's a constitutional thing.
If you want to redefine something as a Civil Union, then you help create and vote for that specific legislation. There was/is no logical or rational reason to vote for Prop 8.
Eich's persecution for his beliefs was bigotry.
Everyone complicit in it is a bigot.
And your sympathies lie with the poor persecuted CEO. Won't someone think of the rich white guy for once?
Just as importantly--if not more so: board members and employees in the organization were complaining.
That is not remotely true. There were thousands of people stumping and many people donating tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Eich's donation wasn't even a hundredth of a percent of Prop. 8's support.
But that actually makes the comparison even better! Lots of people pushed for prop 8, which in turn affected lots of people. Lots of people complained about Eich, which in turn affected... Eich.
Yet the GGP is focusing on the masses who tried to pass a constitutional amendment to prevent Eich from being CEO. Wait, no, I must be confused.
There is no comparison.
In fact I think the harm done to Californians and other Americans by the passage of prop 8 is vastly more than is implied by that simple calculation. I'll just link to my other comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7525692
For this purpose you don't even have to accept that it was a net negative; you could even believe that prop 8 was overall positive for society. Just that it also caused some harm to some people, and that Eich suffering harm as well is not some crazy unjustified notion, but can be talked about in the same way.
It's not a witch hunt if we really did catch him red-handed using his magical powers for evil.
Your moral judgment concerns no one but you. It is binding on no one but you.
You are a bigot. Everyone that is complicit in disenfranchising this man of employment because of his political opinions is a bigot.
Political persecution doesn't just happen in the third world. It also happens here. And it's a crime against humanity wherever it happens.
You are responsible for what you did. I am holding you responsible for your actions. I am holding you responsible for what you did to this man.
I don't want him to not have a job. I want him to not have this job.
I'm curious why it's okay for him to pay money in an attempt to enforce his opinions on others via law, but I'm a bigot and a pox upon civilization for talking on Twitter.
Free speech is a 2 way street. I can disagree with him and express that, just as he can express his own views. Free speech is not expressing an opinion with everyone else shutting up about it. Why is this so hard to understand?
Edit: The more I read your comments, the more ridiculous you sound. People protest and boycott things all the time. Why is this any different? If he can't handle public outcry to his own actions, well, that's his problem, not mine.
Yes, you very much physically attacked this man.
I'm not going to waste my time with your factually incorrect pedantry.
Let me start by saying that I find both scenarios (pro-civil union/anti gay marriage and plain old anti gay marriage) equally reprehensible, but your logic is flawed. I'm an atheist married to a young-earth Christian, so I get to hang out with quite a few other young-earth Christians. The logic behind prop 8 is that if you clearly define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, with no exceptions, then you are leaving homosexuals with no other alternative than to form some kind of alternate terminology, such as the civil union. You have to look at the entire situation outside the context of the actual proposition, such as the views that Christians are openly expressing outside of the legislative process. There are Christians that are 100% against allowing homosexuals to form any sort of a bond with one another, but there is still a significant percentage that would be somewhat OK with a 'civil union.' There's no way to tell which view Mozilla's former CEO held without talking to him.
Like I said, I disagree with him either way, but its disingenuous for you to pretend that you know exactly what he's thinking.
They both passed with nearly identical results. To me that indicates that a pretty large percentage (at least in Washington) of the electorate that opposes same-sex marriage, opposed anything - no matter what it's called.
Yes, there are some people who really are concerned about the name of the relationship, and he might be one of them. However, based to the Washington results, they seem to be in the vast minority of those who oppose same sex marriage.
I just don't get this, so please explain if you can as you seem to have some insight here: why does marriage have to be between a man and a women? Why can't gay people be "married"? Why does it affect anyone else if they do?
You're misunderstanding me. I think gay people should be allowed to marry. I was illustrating the rationale behind proposition 8. Its supporters knew that they didn't have the support that was needed in order to outright ban homosexual unions, and so they wanted to at least prevent them from calling those unions 'marriages'. If they were successful in excluding homosexual relationships from their constitutional definition of marriage, then they would have successfully forced homosexuals to call their marriages something else.
Perhaps his situation would have been better had he explained his views that way. But, like the people who think a functioning laissez faire market in medical care would spring forth if only the government would get out of the way, such views are unrealistic.
Unfortunately, his actions are indistinguishable from those of a bigot. As for growing up in a different environment, there is a vast amount of racism in some homogeneous societies. And there is no reason to give it any leeway.
You cannot in any way extrapolate from that vote 6 years ago to how things might be now. No sir, you cannot.
Yes, a majority of Americans apparently now support gay marriage! Yay! But 43% remain against it. Of course, reasonable people could disagree about exactly what constitutes a "fringe view." But I doubt many would say that the term covers views held by 43% of the population.
So, yeah, maybe the ballot was confusing, and maybe that was six whole years ago. But I'd say it is, nonetheless, a generally pretty accurate indicator of people's views on the subject.
oh well, that's okay then.
you do realize these people only have "hangups" about "marriage" vs "civil unions" when it concerns gay couples, right?
see on the one end of the spectrum you got bigots who hate minority X, and other other end you got these people who simply have hangups about treating them equal.
> As far as I know Brendan has never articulated his opinions on the matter, they have just been extrapolated from a $1,000 donation.
The most charitable opinion on the matter I can extrapolate from donation $1000 would be if he believed that this money would somehow be used to abolish "marriage" in favour of "civil union" in general, for same-sex, gay or corporate couples all alike.
Which would be such a dumb assumption that stepping down as CEO seems again very reasonable.
> In many parts of the country, support of prop 8 is a mainstream viewpoint.
In many parts of the world, hunting down and lynching gays is a mainstream viewpoint.
Also in those very same parts of your country, there's many other rather questionable mainstream viewpoints being held.
> People who have different upbringings in different geographic areas are of course going to be biased towards certain views, and it's a bit unfair to chastise them for not completely realigning their viewpoints overnight for something that has probably been the fastest and most productive civil rights movement, maybe ever.
It's not been "overnight", it's been years (maybe decades even). Now you can argue it's not fair to chastise large groups of people over geographic areas for realigning their viewpoints over many years. I could also argue that it is fair, but that's not even the issue here.
An individual can be expected to realign their viewpoint much quicker and can therefore be held to a much higher standard. And when this person is the CEO of Mozilla, I don't think it's unfair at all to hold them to that standard either. Whoever gets to make that call.
> This could have been an opportunity to attempt bring someone, a powerful CEO, to the side of being informed and support gay rights but instead it was a witch hunt and an embarrassment.
It's not a real witch hunt until we test the hypothesis that bigoted CEOs do not actually catch fire if you burn them at the stake, because they will be saved by The LORD for their unquestioning dedication to the sanctity of marriage. This is a widely held belief in many parts of the world and I guess the only real solution is that everybody just have at it and we'll see who gets out alive in the end (a traditional method of conflict-resolution that is also practised pretty much everywhere in the world).
What I can't understand is why anyone who espouses the view that opposition to gay marriage is akin to the most heinous racial bigotry could possibly have voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I'm a pretty reliable GOP voter, but I wouldn't think twice about voting for a Democrat for president if the Republican candidate expressed support for segregation! I'd vote for a third party if they both did.
My point is that it's basically free to express outrage at Eich. Six years ago (when Eich actually made his donation), a lot of folks here and at Mozilla who are so worked up about this issue now were not so unforgiving about it when it came to getting "their guy" in the White House.
I suspect that many Republicans nominally against gay marriage are privately for it, but the political ramifications for saying so would be much graver for an older, whiter and more religious constituency. Do we give them a pass, too?
I don't care about that (much). 'Twas always thus...
I'm pointing out that there are surely things 2008 Candidate Obama could have said and positions he could have taken that would have disqualified him in the eyes of many of the folks here, even if they suspected he didn't really mean them. I'd like to hope some of those would include expressing support for racial segregation or opposing interracial marriage. But many in this discussion are claiming that BE's 2008 opposition to gay marriage is morally indistinguishable from support for racial segregation or opposition to interracial marriage, and that he should be judged accordingly. Then how can they square that with a vote for Senator Obama in 2008?
The analogy with the Civil Rights Movement to end racial discrimination absolutely has some force behind it, but I don't think making that analogy ends the debate over how to treat folks on the other side.
I'm not sure why we assume that he's not just doing this for political expediency now if we accept that he may have held the previous position for political expediency as well.
Handing over the reins to the crazies, though, is significantly dangerous, and all candidates are going to have downsides. Obama's been wrong on gay marriage in the past, but it's quite clear that his administration has been far better for gay rights than a Republican one would have been.
Goldwater was portrayed as a dangerous right-winger when he was around. The famous "daisy" campaign ad  was anti-Goldwater after all. This crazy man is going to kill kids in a nuclear war!
He did break from the Republicans later, and once he was no longer any sort of political threat, he magically became an icon of moderation or something.
It's worth keeping in mind that in the moment, the political opposition is always portrayed in the worst possible light. It's just how politics works.
People need to quit equating this to being a Nazi or a 60s era segregationist or all kinds of things which are so incredibly different.
(1) Barack Obama didn't contribute money to Prop. 8, and in fact specifically spoke out against it and similar measures in 2008, e.g., "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America's about." 
(2) Barack Obama's wasn't appointed CEO of Mozilla Corporation, so the people that think that Eich made a bad head of Mozilla because of that don't have that basis to object, and
(3) Barack Obama's position on gay marriage has changed since 2008, and he has spoken on that evolution at length.
Therefore the POTUS withholding support is a far, far greater impact than some dude contributing $1000.
Yet I imagine a super-majority of the people pitchforking Eich also voted for Obama. Whatever justifications they had -- "lesser of two evils", "he's right about most other things" -- should apply to both people.
But of course they don't, because some people apparently need a monthly Paula Deen or Kony or #CancelColbert controversy to serve as their moral compass.
By the way, I fully support marriage equality. But it feels wrong that I even need to state that like it's some sort of Pledge of Allegiance litmus test.
There are probably thousands of of other companies and people HN'ers interact with every day that have done worse things than this man. It's a point about which to rally; it's not that important in the grand scheme.
No, I think actually using (or advocating using) power of government to discriminate is a bigger problem than merely failing to oppose such abuses, though both are bad. But, in any case, this is irrelevant because:
> Therefore the POTUS withholding support
On Prop. 8, the President didn't withhold support from the side that Eich spent money opposing -- Obama opposed Prop. 8 specifically and measures to entrench prohibition of same-sex marriage in Constitutions generally in 2008.
Even if he also said Prop 8 is bad (?), I think overall he has withheld far more than $1000 worth of support for marriage equality.
I don't understand people who are willing to overlook that in Obama's case, but not Eich's. Not only is that inconsistent, it's even more confusing when you consider that Obama was elected to represent people's views on political matters, but Eich was not.
I voted for Obama. I deeply support marriage equality. I don't know Eich well at all, but if the Mozilla board thought he was qualified to lead the organization I think he should get more than 2 weeks to demonstrate that. (Also at this point some board members ought to resign, because they've demonstrated they can't handle one of their few non-trivial responsibilities.)
Our election system is deliberately designed and maintained so that only two parties--only two candidates--matter. That sucks, and I'd change it if I could, but in the meantime my options are to either stay home, which accomplishes nothing; vote for a third-party candidate, which shows admirable idealism but is also unlikely to accomplish anything; or vote for the lesser of two evils, which at least has a chance of producing some of the results I want.
Look up first-past-the-post voting. It is impossible for a viable third party to do well in such a voting system.
And politics partly. I don't think anyone without their heads in the sand actually believed that Obama was against gay marriage. He was clearly playing the game and paying due lip service in order to get the votes he needed, like any politician. Eich refused to play that game.
Don't support welfare? You're against poor people.
Support welfare? You're against the working man.
You're pro-choice? You're against babies.
You're pro-life? You're against women.
Pretty much every political stance can be viewed in the same fashion as people are viewing Eich's. The thing is, Eich has been at the company for 15 years; if he wanted to discriminate against gay people in the workplace, it could have been done already - he's a co-founder, don't you think he had some input towards the policies in place? And if it has been done already, I haven't heard of it, but I would fully support trying to get him to step down. The thing is, it probably hasn't been done, which would mean he has done nothing wrong in my opinion.
This is simply a horrible and almost completely ineffective way to argue your point. You can't pull the "so obvious" cop-out on any issue that has a clearly decisive split within a country.
your black or white stance is a logical fallacy.
You and I may agree that this is a universal right that is "not up for discussion", but we can't deny the fact that there is a sizable portion of people that would disagree with us. Many of them believe as strongly that we are wrong as we believe that they are wrong.
In my eyes, this shows that there are certainly different viewpoints on the matter and makes it as political as anything else.
We had the right to marry in California. Proposition 8 took away that right. We gained the same freedom everyone else has and then the proposition Brendan Eich supported took that right away. Of course politics are involved, but you have to understand how hurtful that turn of events was to many in the gay community.
In the US, that's why the federal government steps in and requires at least the appearance of fairness. If they hadn't, my family would still be sharecroppers.
If the state treated everyone equally without regard to marital status, then gays and straights could marry privately and it wouldn't become an issue. It's an issue because married gays want the same marriage privileges as straight couples.
We need to separate marriage and state. Except for enforcing contracts that the married parties sign themselves, the state should not get involved and grant special privileges to those who are married, such as tax deductions.
I'm for consensual gay marriage. I'm against state-approved or state-disapproved marriage, whether it bans consensual relationships or rewards or punishes marriage with privileges.
Even consensual polygamy should be none of the state's business.
One would think that, as a proponent of polygyny, you would realize just how unfair your position is. Personally, I can't imagine anything scarier than the government controlling love, sex and reproduction. As a fellow citizen, I have no objections to your romantic choices or with whom you can form a legal contract. Why do you persist in objecting to mine?
I support your rights because they are my rights as well. If your camp could reciprocate, maybe we can legalize polygamy, not just polygyny, so that we might all live in a maximum of happiness and freedom.
I hope we never legalize polygamy in general, but I hope we do legalize polygyny. I see polygyny and same-sex marriage as polar opposites; polygyny represents maximal social good, and same-sex marriage represents maximal social chaos, almost to the point where one has to admit that society is already practical disintegrated. I see polyandry as less bad than gay marriage, but also majorly problematic.
Gay rights supporters would rather nobody ever express this opinion because they think it is bad. They have just now kicked Brendan Eich out of his job because they believe that strongly no one should ever be allowed to believe things they don't believe. Why can't we have a truly free dialogue on these issues? Why can't people say what they believe? Is there any meaningful dialogue at all if half of the populace is terrorized out of expressing their true beliefs?
I'm all for correcting incorrect things and I am beyond happy to acknowledge when I've been misled or when I need to change my mind. I am all for teaching other people to see things more correctly. I just don't think we need to do that by shame, humiliation, demagoguery, and persecution.
But by all means, lecture me on "shame, humiliation, demagoguery, and persecution" that you have endured!
I guess the difference between myself and the gay rights camp is that I believe people are still worth something when they disagree with me, or even when they participate in behaviors I consider destructive.
I believe that homosexuals still have basic human worth, just as I believe other criminals still have basic human worth. I believe that homosexuals as well as other criminals can make useful contributions despite their crimes because they are not "evil at their very core". I still believe crimes should be punished, but I don't believe a significant portion of criminals are naturally and permanently evil, and this includes those who engage in the criminal behavior of homosexuality.
No doubt you disapprove of Brendan Eich's treatment. Normally, I would disapprove of mob rule as well. But if he ever held only a fraction of the hatred and stupidity you harbor, then with all vindictiveness I say that it is good that the mob stormed the castle and cut off the kings head. Put his head on stick, as an example to others like him. As long as the homos have the upper hand, let the shoe be on the other foot.
I hope you remember these moments, should the day come, when someone makes the declaration that something about your nature, say your religion, is now criminal. You could have lived and let live but you didn't. We are winning and you have not made an ally in me. Gay marriage opposition is falling like dominos. When the twitter mob comes for you, and I hope they do, I will not be there to defend your rights.
My religion is not part of my nature. You may want to look up that word, "nature". While religion or other matters of belief and practice may be very important to me, they are not "natural", and I wouldn't claim that someone was assaulting my very nature as a human because they didn't like one element of my personal belief or conduct. I suggest homosexuals drop the inconsistent, unjustifiable victim narrative and get some perspective. And for the record, my religion has been criminalized repeatedly in the good old U.S.A.
I can and do live and let live. I have no interest in guiding the affairs of other persons' lives, I only have interest in preventing criminal activity that jeopardizes the survival of our society. I believe homosexual conduct is such a criminal activity. Reasonable people can debate whether that is a valid position without feeling that their natures have been denigrated. Gay rights dudes are doing what gay rights dudes always do, turtling up and screaming that they're oppressed because someone tried to confront them with information that they couldn't contest rationally.
I agree that for now, gay rights people are winning. I don't believe it's because their logic is prevailing, I think it's because the strength and intelligence of normal people is failing. I think it is idolatry at its core, self-worship. And I believe that in a short time, society will reap the consequences of all of that, which are utter destruction and extinction. I believe your twitter mob will come after me, but they'll do so to beg for food and decent life, not to attempt to lynch me.
There are people in any camp that say deplorable things. Generalizing this way, and patting yourself on the back, isn't terribly useful.
People should be judged by actions, not thought. If he was mistreating gay employees, that's a totally different matter.
And if somebody has a problem differentiating between civil and religious marriage, that's their problem. A few people's failures in civics classes should not be a rationale for injustice or a pass for people who wish to encourage further injustice.
I would rather work with and disagree with someone who has the integrity to stand by what they believe.
I work in a group with folks of Indian decent from different religious backgrounds (Islamic, Hindu, Catholic), an Orthodox Jew, a bunch of Irish catholic types (including myself), and a person from Nigeria. We are literally from many corners of the earth, with different backgrounds, traditions, etc. If we delved into politics, we'd probably find a lot of contested ground.
Part of democracy and free society is that we need to get past those differences. If you believe that gay marriage is against your moral code, you have a right to vote your conscience. Likewise, if you campaign for LGBT rights, you have that same right, and I would make the same argument 20 years ago for people similarly mistreated for taking that stand.
I'm Catholic, and contribute regularly to a church congregation. I'm also a public officer in a secular government, whose policies are often not consistent with the church. Should I be booted out of my job (or contemplate "spending more time with my family") because I provide financial support to a religious organization whose doctrine re: things like birth control or LGBT issues are out of step with many in our society?
Where do you draw the line? Once you decide that it's not OK to think different, you end up on a steep slope.
But I don't think one can to try to harm gay people and then expect to have no problem becoming the boss of a bunch of them. They have a right to express their opinions too.
I also think your live-and-let-live stance only works as long as others share the same view. Eich's donation is just the opposite of what you advocate: he refused to live and let live. Would you still be calling for tolerance if Eich were working against interracial marriage, or against letting black people vote, or working to have the Catholic church made illegal in America? I'm guessing not.
Which you would know if you had read the decision overturning Prop 8.
Nobody's saying he can't believe what he wants to believe. Nobody. But he is not allowed to hurt people because he doesn't like that some dudes like other dudes, do you get me? Are you reading me, Major Tom? Hurtful jerks don't get to run nonprofits dedicated to being good to everybody and if they're appointed to do so in what we view as contravention of the organization's core principles we are totally free to refuse to do business with them. If Eich doesn't like that, all he had to do was not be an hurtful jerk. Or, that being in the past, apologize for being wrong. If he can't do that, if he thinks hurting people is OK and that he was justified, then yes, it is entirely cromulent to use our freedom of association to have nothing to do with his--because it is his--organization.
You can complain about slippery slopes all you want, but from where I sit the calculus is not hard: you don't get to hurt people who aren't hurting you. Punching downward is disgusting and Eich did to do that. Eich chose to do it publicly, too. And Eich is reaping his very just rewards for his behavior. Nobody's telling you that you can't have your religious beliefs but the day you start hurting people who've done nothing to you based on your religious beliefs you have crossed a line. I don't do business with most businesses with leaders whose behavior I find repugnant, and the few I do I do because I have no other choice.
(If they show a renewed commitment to their principles--and I have every confidence they will because they have so many good people working for them--I'll go back, because they have a browser I like more and I appreciate their stated goals even if they misstepped here.)
Not necessarily. It's quite possible to support gay partners' legal right to live together, file taxes together, set up wills and visitation rights, adopt children, etc., but still oppose changing the legally-defined notion of marriage.
Sorry, but I call fake.
In many countries, you have the concept of de-facto relationships - you don't even need to be married, let alone have a civil union, and you have the same rights.
So it's not like the courts couldn't do it - and in many cases have.
However, this entire debate is purely one of ideology and semantics.
It was never about "privileges" (whether tax, medical, or whatever), but about two different people trying to define what marriage meant.
For some groups, marriage has ties to family and raising children - and human society has sort of flowed along those lines for thousands of years.
Another groups says times are a changing, and we need to redefine marriage to also include homosexual relationships, which while nothing to do with families (as we know them) or creating children, are still marriages.
The definition of the traditional nuclear family unit, and the inherent roles and responsibilities as we currently know them is very much geared towards man-and-woman relationships.
You could argue that we should change these definitions - but until the, how the majority of people in most countries think of families is very much coloured by the concept of the nuclear family.
Then again, times are a changing - so maybe you'll argue that in the future, we'll do away with the concept of this procreation business, and just clone humans, or have surrogate artificial wombs and we'll just pick our kids off an assembly line fully grown =).
Anyway, to answer your question: If I found out that my CEO had donated to an anti-interracial-marriage campaign, but had never discriminated against or otherwise treated people in such relationships differently, I wouldn't particularly care.
Not true! Knowing someone's entire ancestry since the beginning of H. s. sapiens may be impossible, but less-rigorous standards of discrimination are practical to implement.
Nazi Germany defined how Jewish someone was based on their number of Jewish grandparents. This means checking genealogical and religious records back two generations. I've heard that some positions, like the SS, required proving your ancestry back to 1750. I don't know how many people were certified, or how extensive the research was -- could someone walk into an office with a few badly-copied baptismal records and get their "I can marry a German" card stamped? did it require checking government databases? -- but it must have been a large number.
The existence of terms such as quadroon and even octoroon show that people of centuries past seriously considered and even legalized notions of how 'black' people were, but I have no idea how well-implemented they were in practice. (I imagine there was a lot more "yeah, you look white enough" and a lot less "please come back tomorrow after I've telegraphed the Census office".)
My brain kind of needs a shower now.
My knowledge of these subjects is limited to about 90 minutes of reading Wikipedia, by the way. I was vague enough that I don't think anything I stated is actually wrong.
Incidentally, apparently Nazi Germany had a scandalous number of women who suddenly admitted under oath that their children were the product of an extramarital affair with a conveniently non-Jewish and dead family friend. How well this worked may have depended on how well-connected you were. The senior Luftwaffe officer Erhard Milch is a prominent example.
If your point was "in practice it is not enforceable", mine was that it was enforceable enough that a lot of people put a lot of effort into trying, even if they didn't pull it off perfectly.
That's not a political belief, that's saying that people should starve in the streets simply because of who they love.
Any CEO who supports lower taxes is clearly hateful, and needs to resign.
Paying more taxes and a larger government is more apt to distribute wellfare properly.
Most child deaths are in poor families.
So voting for less taxes and a smaller gov is directly killing babies.
This is marching well out into controversial territory, but I don't see any clean division between "political" and "ethical" grounds.
If you look at the founder of modern economic thought (called for a time "political economy", BTW), his other book is The Theory of Moral Sentiments, an explicitly moral work. Much of Wealth of Nations concerns "ought" rather more than "is" (though Smith focuses on both).
As von Clausewitz observed that war is the continuation of politics by other means, politics is the continuation of war by other means. More recently you'll find voices such as John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) and Smedly Butler (of Business Plot fame) who'd come to realize that as a marine general he was "a racketeer for capitalism":
In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.
Given that taxation and government decisions have social implications, and those, based on the distribution of resources implied, have moral elements, all of the areas you posit are in fact value-laden questions: what is fair, what is appropriate, how should power be allocated, how should wealth be allocated?
The same holds true for technology as well Michael and Joyce Huesemann argue, among other things, that all technologies have implicit value-laden judgements, and that adoption of those technologies includes adopting the values of those technologies. They might be of cars (personal transportation autonomy, pedestrian minimalization, land-use planning, air pollution), television (individual isolation, advertising, mass media), or web browsers (cheap information dissemination, subversion of censorship, voicing of dissident or minority views, cats, free access to pornography, pop-up ads).
Moral and other viewpoints aren't so easily divorced.
3. http://redd.it/21pc8c https://archive.org/details/scm-33066-michaelhuesemanntechno... http://newtechnologyandsociety.org/
But the effects are actually much greater, because the CA decision was not made in a vacuum: it affected public sentiment all over the country, and the world. Delays in full marriage equality in CA mean delays in general societal acceptance of gay people, which means more bullying of LGBT children and teenagers, more suicides, more people getting disowned by their families.
Equating the harm done to him to even a fraction of the direct and follow-on effects of the prop 8 campaign seems almost offensive, to me.
[Edit: Even so, I think the reaction was a little over the top and this outcome was unfortunate. However, I don't feel bad for him.]
Who holds up America as an example/ideal of socially progressive policies? People who are waiting for Americans to lead the way with socially liberal laws might be waiting for a good while.
Of course, the relationship between the US and the rest of the world is totally different.
Bullying: tweeting/emailing/blogging an opinion on Mozilla's decisions
Not bullying: taking significant monetary action to push for discrimination against 5-10% of the country
Saying that you don't like that? Shocking oppression of an innocent man.
He was not qualified for his job. Mozilla is a non-profit organization founded on ideals. It has a social and ethical mission as opposed to a directive to earn profits for shareholders. His social views made him unqualified to lead a company whose purpose was social good.
There are plenty of for profit businesses that do not fit that mold where he would be a better fit.
Additionally, he was not bullied. He gave publicly supported both in words and tangible resources initiatives to deny equality to others and people within his organization and without responded vocally and negatively. If that falls within the definition of bullying (I don't consider vocally calling out bigotry and intolerance as applicable here) then I'd argue he was a far bigger bully than those outraged by his actions and appointment.
Labeling one's belief in fundamental inequality among citizenry as a "political view" simply serves to make the argument for inequality sound OK.
It's not OK.
edit: The statement from Mozilla even says "Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech." Eich's views were contrary to this mission, so him leading the company made no sense at all.
The problem now will be what is starting to happen on certain social media sites with other employees of Mozilla. It looks like quite a few people are looking at what they have donated. So far, it looks like someone actually donated to Lyndon Larouche who has been accused of being an anti-semite. I would imagine if any employee of Mozilla has donated to questionable groups, its going to be all over the place now.
I wish Mozilla had worked all this out in advance and thought of the consequences. It is no fun having everything you've ever donated to put under a microscope. I wonder if it is just rumblings or will we see the typical "second wave mob" that generally happens in these situations.
You can say none of these people are CEO, but that really won't stop anything.
1) search for yourself, I'm not spreading these links and I'm not very fond of the behavior, and I could write an article on how it is taught on both sides of the political spectrum. Tit-for-tat is scary at a personal level.
Just so you know, the official slippery-slope argument is "I could marry my horse".
You anti-minor-marriage bigot you.
(To be clear, this is sarcasm hopefully in the service of making a point. I am not arguing for marriage between adults and minors.)
So, what about a post-menopausal mother marrying her adult son? If "consenting adults" is the standard, it must be sanctioned as "marriage," yes?
For the record, I'm not really against gay marriage, but I am staunchly against inconsistent reasoning in service of realpolitik.
(Whether or not one agrees with that is besides the point. Mozilla's board does, which is what matters with this decision.)
Mozilla's board put him there to begin with. This is not a moral issue for them.
> Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
Ok, Mozilla believes in free speech? Not according to how they have behaved. So why was their last CEO canned (oh... he "stepped down"... whatever)? If they really believed in free speech they would've left his opinion his opinion, and judged his capacity as CEO based on his work.
None of what I have read or heard about all this actually offensive until I read that sentence in the report.
I live in Czech Republic and our past president was global warming denier, he wrote several books about that. I will not judge if he was right or not, but because he had so strong and controversial opinions, it shed bad light on our country.
I think that when you are "public person" or spokesman, you have to be very careful about what you do and say, because then you aren't hurting only yourself, but whole organisation you represent.
I'm usually very angry with people who oppose gay marriage (why do they care??)
But this is just bullying. This is another form of hate.
Segregation is a lot more than a political issue, but also a human rights issue. That $1000 actively helped pass a bill that prevented consenting adult couples who wished to spend their lives together from having the same legal rights as everyone else. His donation in this case was more than having a political view, but actually helped to promote segregation.
Why would I want someone who has tried to take away my rights as the CEO of a company that I care about? If it was just his "view", this would not be the issue that it has been.
>I can't help but feel like this campaign has done a lot more harm to him than his $1000 donation could have ever done to anyone.
He's been punished by not being allowed to be CEO. Feel free to cry for him, but he's 5 billionth on the list for me. The donation was made years ago, we all know about it, we still respect him and work with him. I just don't want him being my boss, or the boss of anyone I love.
7 million other Californians also voted for Prop 8. Does that make them all homophobes?
"Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs."
It's pretty clear to me that campaigning to prevent homosexuals from enjoying the same rights as heterosexuals falls under this definition.
Someone who does not like homosexuality can have a positive attitude toward homosexuals. The Wikipedia definition of "homophobia" is just a straw man fallacy waiting to happen.
mostly its a pervasive attitude that homosexual relationships are "abnormal" or "ungodly" or something like that. its homophobic to feel that way, even if you're polite in public when discussing it.
People were voting against the rights of gays even though the right for same-sex couples to marry had no effect on them personally.
> Does that make them all homophobes?
"only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"
I don't think a supporter of such a clause is automatically a "homophobe". It might just be that the proponents did not wish to make same-sex marriage an institutional reality. That's not an infringement of gay rights so much as an expansion of gay rights.
Note that I'm not taking a personal stand either way, but I do dispute that it was correct to demonize Eich (and millions of others) who support the traditional definition of marriage. There's no evidence that Eich or anyone else sought to actively discriminate against gays.
> There is a substantive difference between the sexes
> that could rationally limit what combination should
> be allowed to get married
Also, please could you let me know if they extend to: couples where one or both are infertile; couples where one or both partners have a genetic intersex conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome; couples where one or both partners had gender reassignment shortly after birth due to medical intervention; couples where both partners are living as men, but one was born female, but no surgery has been performed; as the before, but surgery has occurred; couples where medical accident has led to removal of genitalia; completely asexual male/female couples who have decided they wish to live together and support each other.
Also any links to your research in this area.
The government has an interest in promoting social policy it believes is a benefit to society, by way of its power of taxation. It is not entirely unreasonable to believe that society is better served with the family unit being anchored by one man and one woman, and thus believe that government benefits should be limited to this "ideal" case.
Personally I don't care one way or the other, but I don't entirely dismiss this idea either. I am hardcore "evolutionist", in the sense that I believe there is hidden value in the way things have played out over the eons. The fact that we evolved distinct sexes and sexual dimorphism is not something to be dismissed as an accident of history. There is information encoded in these facts that may not be readily discernible from our vantage point, but it is there nonetheless (just like there is practical information encoded in various culture's scriptures against eating pork). I do believe society is better off with the "traditional" family unit as its cornerstone, and so government reserving benefits for this traditional unit does make a certain amount of sense. I don't think the benefit is big enough, nor do I care enough, to try to deny people the symbolic label and a handful of tax-breaks though. But framing the issue of marriage as a civil rights issue has always seemed a little absurd to me.
Before Prop 8, couples could get married. After, only straight couples could get married. The effect of Prop 8 was to actively discriminate against gay people, so if people supporting it meant to do something else, they weren't paying attention. I'd rather that Eich have been a homophobe, because that's something he can get over. And I hope he does.
I don't know what I would say about that, but that's not a true analogy except in the political sense, certainly not in the biological or anthropological sense.
Since you bring up racism, though, it should be noted that 70% of African-American voters in California supported Prop 8.
It did affect his ability to fill his role as CEO of Mozilla. A CEO is not just another employee. A CEO is the face of the organization.
You want the face of Mozilla? Look at http://planet.mozilla.org/, not the CEO.
When the message the Ceo sends out grabs more attention and is detrimental to the corporate identity of a company, then it is time to part ways, as this will manifest into a huge consumer base loss. Why? Because consumers align themselves even stronger with corporations that push charity, tolerance and freedom as their main identity like Tom's shoes. The biggest sin a company can do in a highly competitive market is to alienate their most vocal consumer base, where they no longer see their principles reflected in the company's identity. Mozilla is now bigger than Brendan Eich.
I'm sorry, but this simply isn't true. I would argue the very first criteria for someone who "strong[ly]" supports gay marriage would be that they consider it a civil rights issue and not a political one.
Bigotry isn't a sacrosanct opinion, and just because politicians have debated about it doesn't make an issue solely political.
I would wager that plenty of those opposing Eich don't actually use Mozilla products. Chrome is the most popular browser, not Firefox, and their other products aren't monopolies either. Of the several screeds I read against Eich, not one of them said "We currently use a Mozilla product and now no longer will".
but their relatives might use Firefox, and these relatives might listen those who oppose Eich because they are family...that's called social effect.
I disagree that those views had no effect on his qualification. Mozilla's values specifically talk about diversity and inclusion; Eich has previously acted in a way that's totally incompatible with those views.
On top of that, he did not succeed in defusing the situation before it got to this stage – something which I would expect a person in an important and visible leadership position to be able to deal with.
Remember that Eich had previously actively campaigned against removing civil rights from people employed within the ranks of Mozilla, and indeed members of the wider community. How can it legitimately be called bullying to oppose the appointment of somebody as a community leader when that person has been actively seeking to harm you?
The quote by Baker which Swisher highlighted nails it: Eich had become a distraction and his presence at the helm, and as a figurehead for Mozilla, was a distraction.
The fact that Mozilla itself is a symbol for freedom from oppression also doesn't sit well with Eich's political beliefs, and more importantly, activities.
There's also the fact that times and beliefs can change: I'm not a believer in absolutes of ethical and moral values. Often very quickly and disconcertingly for those who live through those changes. I can remember when discrimination and abuse against gays and others was simply part of the landscape and widely accepted (as it still is in too many places). But within the cultural, creative, and intellectual cores of the world, that's no longer the case.
Can we please stop comparing Eich's hateful, hurtful and downright delusional notions with ordinary political or personal views?
Being anti-gay is not a political view. And being anti gay marriage is just a very, very lame and transparent attempt to make being anti-gay seem somehow less hateful.
Hating people for what they are may be very human, understandable even, but it's not a "political view".
So, many things can be argued to be a "political view" somewhere.
In this case, you cannot speak generally like this. In this case, it really matters exactly what those political views are, not just that they are "political". And that's why there was such an uproar, and why he's stepping down.
People seem to be willfully misunderstanding this. It's not like, "Whoa! Guys! We can persecute people for their ''''political'''' views now? What's up with that?" No, it's more like we're sick of having to liberate all the people that some people find too 'othery', one group at a time. We've seen this before. We know how it goes. We know how it ends, and we're less inclined than ever to play nice with the oppressing side.
And it really does not take a genius, or an orator, to see which side is the oppressing one.
"And it really does not take a genius, or an orator, to see which side is the oppressing one."
Also, now I have to take back that line anyway. Maybe it does take the ability to categorize well.
>“It’s clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,” said Baker, who added that she would not and could not speak for Eich. “The ability to lead — particularly for the CEO — is fundamental to the role and that is not possible here.”
The most damning aspect of this was their a) inability to predict this would be an issue and b) their inability to deal with it once it did.
All he had to do was lie and say "I understand how my activities can be seen as divisive and wrong and inconsistent with my commitment to upholding the diverse values underpinning the Mozilla community and I apologize for my behaviour at the time. I will do everything in my power to make up for it and I hope the community can judge me based me on my record from this point onwards".
Then, find ways to anonymously engage in whatever political causes he supports, or wait till he's no longer CEO.
The tone deafness of his last interview was kind of the last straw.
I fully support gay marriage and I personally think Brendan is on the wrong side of this issue, but I also fully support the right of people to hold their own opinions, even when other people find them unpopular. If they weren't allowed to hold unpopular opinions, then pretty much all the social progress we made in the last century - racial equality, feminism, gay rights, etc. - would never have happened.
On the other hand, there's no absolute right to be a public-facing CEO, and it's not unreasonable for the public to name-and-shame companies for their stances on public issues and the people they choose as corporate leaders.
In some cases, this means right-wing activists boycotting and gay-marriage advocates praising Target for same-sex wedding registry ads; in others, it's blue-staters deciding not to eat at Chik-Fil-A for its right-wing political donations, and red-staters buying that 24-piece combo for the exact same reason. Personally, I do think that Eich did all the right things as far as policy and PR goes, and I'm actually a bit sorry that he's stepping down.
I think that the real sin here was not his political donations, it was the fact that he and MoCo didn't make at least cursory efforts to wargame out the possible PR issues that they ran into, which meant they were unprepared to deal with the firestorms.
It's obvious that a significant number of board members weren't happy with Eich's promotion on strategic grounds, and the Prop 8 issue was just the icing on the big poisonous cake of bad publicity. Generally speaking, if you're the CEO, the company should be in the news, not you, and Eich was getting hammered left and right.
I see the point that it's different for a non-profit than it might be for a for-profit, but I'd also think differences in primary focus matter too.
If I was looking at the conversation over the last week as a representative, I'd suppose that Mozilla is more of an LGBT standard-bearer than an open-web advocacy group.
One could argue that's a ridiculously narrow window to focus on, and that's probably correct, but it's no more narrow a focus than that turned on Eich's donations vs the whole of his behavior and what he had to offer as CEO.
Pretty sure that is incorrect.
Mozilla =~= Google
He was the CEO of the for-profit Mozilla Corporation, not a non-profit.
I'm aware of one board member that's true for. Note that the Wall Street Journal blog post that everyone has been quoting on the board member issue pretty much just got the story wrong. Two of the board members had been meaning to move on to other things for a while and just stuck it out to the end of the CEO search, since that's one of the board's key functions.
How is it obvious? The board appoints the CEO. It's true that several board members left shortly after the appointment, and some outsiders have claimed that it was in protest, but I've not seen any confirmation of that. At least some of the ones leaving must have approved, because the remaining board members, I believe, do not have a majority.
I've seen other claims that these people had already planned to leave, and were just staying around to finish the CEO search. Some evidence for this is the fact that the people who left also announced their next major engagements. People who quite on short notice in protest generally don't know where they are going next.
What makes this obvious? I haven't heard any statement to that effect from any of them.
If he had defended or explained his position on the basis of religious beliefs -- this might not have ended any differently, but it would at least give the community context for why he feels the way he feels. Not having that context and his outright refusal to elaborate on it, only made it worse.
We have the exact same protection for political expression as East Germany. That's freedom? "The Lives of Others" was a warning, not an instruction manual.
But it's obviously a totally different case when you become the CEO. You are meant to be the highest public-facing representative of the corporation. It was publicly known that Eich holds very conflicting views to what many consider a basic civil right, and per his interviews seems to still hold. I can fully understand how this is an impossible equation with leading a company that claims to be committed to equality and inclusiveness.
Do not confuse freedom of speech with lack of public accountability.
That's not to say I wasn't uncomfortable about the CEO appointment though.
Presumably, Mozilla Corporation's board and its sole owner (Mozilla Foundation).
The government derives its authority from the people. If the people go right ahead and oppress you themselves instead of going through government processes, you aren't any less oppressed.
All those who participate in a boycott are of course also oppressive. So are those on strike.
Do you really think this is the exact same as East Germany?
It's tough to bear, but we do allow private clubs to discriminate on the basis of race. That's part of what freedom of association means in the US. (For that matter, in most states, if I am a business owner and I have two employees, then I'm still allowed to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, etc.)
Your point can be valid, if there is widespread inability to get work when publicly holding a minority viewpoint. That does not seem to be the case here. All evidence is that Mozilla would have been able to continue in some fashion with Eich as CEO, and that Eich could easily get work elsewhere.
If you mean you form an angry Internet mob to try and force someone's employer to fire them just because they talk too loudly, you're crazy. If not, I don't think you're making a fair comparison here.
> Do you really think this is the exact same as East Germany?
No, I think it has much more in common with the Red Scare in 1950s America. "This guy holds a political opinion that would abridge my liberty if it took over the country. Let's get him fired."
> Your point can be valid, if there is widespread inability to get work when publicly holding a minority viewpoint.
The fact that these people aren't consistent in trying to get Prop. 8 supporters fired doesn't change the fact that, if they were consistent, "there is widespread inability to get work when publicly holding a minority viewpoint" would probably be the case. The lack of consistency in putting their beliefs into practice doesn't really make me like the philosophy of personally targeting your political enemies any better.
As to the Red Scare reference, see my comment in the sibling thread at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7526405 , which starts:
> "I don't want to do business with a company which has Eich as a CEO" is rather not the same as the Stasi. It's closer to US sentiment during the Red Scare of "I won't do business with any company which employes a member of the Communist Party." (The US still has a number of anti-Communist laws still on the books that I consider reprehensible.)
(I then point out a couple things which I think are even closer.)
Even then, there was several decades of government involvement, from state representatives to Congress and the president. That's not the case here. And without that high-level government involvement, we likely wouldn't have had the Hollywood blacklist and laws to prevent Communists and leftists from being able to work.
As to your consistency point, you propose that the issue is "trying to get [all] Prop. 8 supporters fired". You haven't shown that to be true. It could be limited mostly to non-profit organizations which promote community development and "doing good." (Mozilla.org says "Doing good is part of our code".)
Nor might have you shown it's a universal goal. As Sarah Silverman once said "If we can send a person to the moon, we can send someone with AIDS to the moon, and then someday we can send everybody with AIDS to the moon." Clearly a partial goal is acceptable even if a universal goal isn't.
There are also strategic goals. If I boycotted apartheid South Africa am I inconsistent for not boycotting other countries with deep racial, religious, and caste segregation? Perhaps. Or perhaps I realize that South Africa is a special case where a boycott might work.
Mozilla made a business decision that the guy was a liability for a public non-profit. That's capitalism, not totalitarianism.
The Hitler thing is uncalled for.
Or even closer to people in Northern Ireland still who will choose or avoid a Catholic/Protestant-owned store because of strong Unionist/Nationalist beliefs, even when the store itself has no basis.
Or a boycott on a chain of stores in the US where the owner contributes to anti-immigration policies, even when the chain itself has taken no political stance.
These later ones fall squarely under a right of free association. The East Germany comparison does not. That's why this comparison is malarkey.
With the Red Scare (which started decades before the Cold War), the government was involved early on, and at a high level. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Red_Scare for some of the details of what happened in the 1920s. Senator McCarthy of course used the bully pulpit to push anti-communist policies. The House Un-American Activities Committee played a key role in starting the Hollywood blacklist.
Of course there were certainly non-government pressures as well. People were anti-bolshevik and worried that the US would be overthrown just like Russia was. Others saw anti-Communism as a way to frighten people, and use that freight as a way to gain power. But without the government we wouldn't have had laws like the Taft–Hartley Act, which for 18 years prohibited union leaders from being members of the Communist Party. The Communist Control Act of 1954 is still on the books.
With Eich there's absolutely no government involvement, and the opposition is based on the right of association. Some Mozilla employees, some volunteers, some citizens, and some organizations don't want to associate themselves with Mozilla.
With East Germany, the police wanted to be involved in the actions of dissenters, and had the power to do so. With the Red Scares, the US government also used their power to force others to not associate with Communists. But with Eich .. what power do the dissenters have other than their right of free association?
That's why these cases are very different.
Mel Gibson ruined his career with unpopular statements, Tom Cruise nearly did, and nobody started talking about the Stasi then. The Stasi comment was completely uncalled for itself, a Godwin rejoinder was begging to be made.
Eich went beyond merely having and expressing an unpopular opinion. He took action to support the effort to have his opinion forced upon others by the government. He couldn't restrain himself to respectful disagreement, and that's why he's suffering more severe consequences.
You are advocating a double standard. Why is it ok for people to support "gay rights" being forced upon others by the government, but not ok for people to support traditional marriage values being forced upon others by the government? In either case, there are people who do not want the government to force those opinions upon them. So, if the majority is going one way, you're saying the minority should do nothing other than "respectfully disagree"?
The East Germany comparison is actually quite appropriate here.
Plenty of people on this forum have radical political philosophies, ranging from anarcho-capitalist to communist. Some of them are probably far more radical than Brendan Eich, who might be utterly mild in his politics otherwise. And yet because they are not speaking out against individual rights, all these bomb-throwing radicals coexist.
Whether or not it's appropriate for the duplicates of a controversial thread to be deleted, you've effectively squashed all productive conversation on a massive, contemporary topic.
Such conversations predictably and egregiously violate all of Hacker News' values, especially those of intellectual substance and personal civility. Pinpoint interventions, like I've been making in less inflamed threads, have no hope of working on these, so we have to do something else. Doing nothing is not an option; neither is killing discussions outright on subjects that are, after all, on topic for HN.
If the community were capable of discussing this kind of subject maturely, we wouldn't think of intervening. But it's been so painfully clear for so long that that isn't so, that in my view the thing we can perhaps be faulted for is taking so long to deal with it. That's a measure of how reluctant we are to intervene.
This is a major topic, with major ramifications for tech, and it's going to be discussed.
True, most of the discussion isn't productive, but it's still better to let it happen, and to focus it all in one place instead of it being scattered around.
Nobody's going to stop discussion from happening, but discussion that repeatedly, predictably violates HN values can't be handled the same way as isolated comments. If I try to respond everywhere that the HN guidelines are violated in those threads... well, it's impossible. I actually tried in one place, and someone immediately asked "why here?"... which was such a good point that I just deleted it. (Edit: oh yeah, it was this very thread!)
I agree it's it a tough call. There's a ton of inflammatory comments on both sides of the issue, and it's both predictable and impossible to moderate on a practical level.
Often I get annoyed at the obvious flamebait political stories on the front page. They usually have a lot of back and forth that's just people talking their side, saying nothing that we haven't all heard before. Not much plus to offset the minus of the flamewar.
This one felt different, though, since it's one of the biggest people in tech and one of the biggest companies. And I personally feel it will have ramifications for years to come in the tech business world.
I don't know. What can you do when a topic really does merit discussion on HN, but most of it will be a flamewar?
Maybe fencing it all in one place is the best of no perfect choices...
Yes. That's what I didn't get at first, and needed feedback in order to see. It seems obvious now, of course. But I'm not really reading the stories or threads for content—I'm thinking about the site, and don't have the time and/or the brain cells to do that as well as process the news itself the way I used to. This is a bummer—especially when the "news" involves kdb+ or a new paper on JIT compilation—but it's ok, as long as we can actually make HN better. In this case, though, it caused me to miss something that actually mattered for HN. Dang, as we say!
The only people in this entire story that were/are trying to take away the rights of others were the people who pushed for Prop 8. The right to support legislation like Prop 8 remains intact. The right to not be criticized by others for doing so has never existed in the first place. There is no "right to not be criticized".
[Edit] The voting swings on this comment indicate to me that it is controversial, so I will attempt clear some things up:
* Whether or not you believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry, the fact is that before Prop 8 they did have the right to marry.
* The purpose of Prop 8 was to remove this right, because the supporters of Prop 8 felt that it should not be a right.
* After this entire series of events, Brendan remains free to donate to similar political causes in the future. He remains free to publicly hold these beliefs. He remains free to be a CEO.
* The general public remains free to criticize Brendan for anything that they please.
* The rest of the general public remains free to criticize those criticizing Brendan for his political beliefs.
People aren't taking this seriously because in this case they disagree with Eich's opinion, so they feel it's all okay. They're letting that blind them.
What if Eich actually had the "right" opinion? And this is hypothetical at this point--I'm not talking about gay rights anymore. Suppose you are an oracle and you know that the mob was wrong rather than right and Eich was right rather than wrong. Don't fool yourself into thinking that things would be different. They wouldn't, and this has caused extraordinary difficulty in righting many wrongs of the past, including slavery. It can severely impede the democratic process because people are afraid to hold dissenting opinions--not due to legal ramifications, but social ones.
There are and have been plenty of movements to boycott companies that I am certain are misguided. "One Million Moms" is an example of a group that organizes pushback on companies that I feel is wrong.
Even in those cases, it is their right. If they had been putting pressure on Eich to step down because he supported same-sex marriage, I would maintain that no rights were being removed from Eich.
What are you proposing? That we shouldn't object to injustices, on the off chance we're wrong and too many people agree with us?
We can all only do what we think is best. Eich thought he was making the world a better place by trying to block gay marriage. It seems the world disagrees.
Actually there were a small number of rich and powerful people with the "right" opinions. They could hardly voice those opinions or they'd risk losing all that power and, as a consequence, wealth.
The whole point is that the people who had the power to do something about it didn't do anything for a very long time, for the most part, because it would ruin their reputation, at best.
> What are you proposing? That we shouldn't object to injustices, on the off chance we're wrong and too many people agree with us?
Yes and no. You conveniently phrased this as a loaded question, making it hard for me to respond.
No, we shouldn't ignore injustices. But yes, we should be tolerant of certain things to a certain degree. But it turns out we already have a centuries-old system that allows us to do this without resorting to public shaming and near vigilante tactics. I'm suggesting we just use that system rather than trying to scare people into sharing our opinions.
> It seems the world disagrees.
You're jumping the gun. It's entirely possible that many (or even most) people who are against gay marriage don't even know who Brendan Eich is.
Not so fast. Rabbling at a village gathering is surely the most ancient form of protest. :)
But you're dropping a lot of context here. This wasn't just some dude with some job holding some opinion. He acted to enforce his opinion on others, then became CEO of a company whose entire schtick is to not do that sort of thing.
That nobody has come out in support of Eich's opinion is exactly why he's unfit to be CEO: Mozilla believes in some things, the people who care deeply about Mozilla also believe in those things, and Eich actively opposed those things. He represents the company, and he has a known history of acting against what the company is supposed to stand for.
If it turned out Ballmer had donated to prop 8, would there be nearly this outrage? I seriously doubt it; I would still call him something uncomplimentary on Twitter, but it's not like I have any existing philosophical expectations of either him or Microsoft. People called Eich a dick two years ago, but nobody expected him to quit his job.
Each one of the rights currently afforded to people in a marriage or civil union should be split up and any two people for whatever reason should be able to opt into some, none or all of those rights.
I'm hoping that one day those pushing for additional rights afforded only to married people, straight or gay, get the exact same treatment that Eich did here.
Marriage shouldn't even be within the purview of the government, only religions.
Why can't I have an easy way to pass on my estate to someone with all the same tax benefits without having to have sexual relations with that person? Why can't I get insurance options that can be extended to those I cohabitate with regardless of the nature of the relationship beyond the fact that we live together. Why are there not citizen affordances for other relationships such as extending rights to siblings as well? I'm talking exactly about all those same rights the gay community wants. Just like there is no reason many of those rights should be restricted to straight people, there is also no reason that many of those rights should be restricted to two people in a long-term sexual relationship. There's also no reason why we shouldn't be able to pick and choose which rights and obligations we want to opt into or which rights we may want to share with person A and which rights we may want to share with person B.
There is absolutely no reason in this day and age that we can't switch over to a la carte packages over 10-20 years. All you need to do is start offering those options on each of those rights individually and to let all the rights for married couples expire and for those that don't expire, you can work on sunsetting them once a suitable a la carte solution is available.
For example, if I want to jointly own a home (and only a home with no other possessions jointly shared) with someone, we would not receive a total $500k capital gains exemption on the sale of the home after 5+ years of ownership. Only married people filing taxes jointly get this right. Instead, me and the other person would only be allowed a $250k exemption. How can such a situation possibly be fair? The correct abstraction would have been to allow up to $250k capital gains exemption for each individual on the deed. 
At the end of the day, we should be designing laws the way we design software. Strong separation of concerns should be a design goal when drafting legislation.
You do NOT have the right to judge anyone based on "race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty"
You violated Brendan Eich's human rights, it's that simple. Bigot.
However, "the right to not be judged or criticized by fellow citizens" is not a right that is outlined by the UDHR. Not as I am reading it anyway. Specifically which article and section details the right that you think Eich is being deprived of?
All you have to do is look at all the public figures who express views, and act on them in much more thorough ways, who get a free pass. Look at the all the famous Hollywood types with very sketchy behaviors in their backgrounds. Look at politicians as well, where it's even easier to find skeletons. Eich has been held to a standard that a whole lot of people in public life, CEOs, politicians, movie stars, sports heroes, would not live up to. Do we now move on to all of them?
The biggest problem I have with this situation is not that it happened to Eich, but that the mob has been so selective. There are plenty of people in the public life who have done far more than donate $1000 to a state referendum that, let's not forget, was popular enough to pass in one of the most liberal states in the Union, but haven't been hounded out their jobs for it.
All the folks celebrating that a moral victory has been won with Mozilla ought to consider what happens if this considerable power is put to an evil use, or a use for which they personally find objectionable. Don't think it can't happen. 100 years ago, Fascism was the big thing because it allowed the leaders to Get Things Done, and in fact, many good things were done in that era by dictators with tremendous power to make sweeping changes. But some other stuff happened, too.
Of course, I'm speaking in a political climate where I heard many people state in 2009 that they wished President Obama weren't limited by the Constitution so he could _really_ fix things. I've never heard such a frightening thought from an American in my life, yet I heard it from a number of people back when the President was elected. That isn't a political thing either, because it would scare me equally no matter who the person was talking about. Sure, I don't like President Obama, but I wouldn't want that kind of power in the hands of someone who was the combined reincarnation of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and the Buddha himself either.
If we are living in a country where people are that ignorant of history and of human nature, then this society isn't long for the world anyway.
Maybe the tide is changing and this the start of a new era of populist activism. I guess you have nothing to worry about as long as you hold popular opinions... and, of course, those _never_ change.
Mob rule is a powerful thing and genies never go back in the bottle after they've been let out.
Eich paid good money in an attempt to restrict how people in Mozilla's home state live their lives — some of them even Mozilla employees. He expressed no regret for doing so, then became CEO of Mozilla, a company that virtually defines itself by freedom and inclusion.
There were myriad ways he could've attempted to resolve this, and he did precisely none of them. That he would rather give up the job entirely speaks volumes about what he finds important.
Nor are they isolated from historical context.
Given the content of the OP, this is demonstrably untrue. He attempted to be a CEO and was effectively prevented from doing so.
He will not be barred by the government from doing all of those things. He is not being prevented from exercising his right to be a CEO. He was asked to step down by many people, as is their right, and he did.
Nothing and nobody forced him to resign. He could've weathered the storm and risked Mozilla's most valuable asset, its goodwill, over his beliefs. It would've been a terrible thing to do to the company and made him a terrible CEO, but nothing stood in his way.
Claiming that someone's rights were violated because he voluntarily quit his job is patently absurd.
I understand the demand for equal treatment doesn't change though.
Intolerance toward Prop 8 supporters is appropriate due to the threat to liberty that the restriction of same sex marriage creates.
There is no need to be tolerant of someone who threatens your security and liberty.
This was never about security or liberty (although it's a bit like the Monty Python sketch - "We're being oppressed, we're being oppressed! We really are!".)
I'm not saying there isn't discrimination against homosexuals in other areas, but this wasn't it.
This was basically a semantic debate about marriages versus civil unions.
A majority of Californians (Eich included) took the viewpoint that marriage was a traditional institution, and if people had a new style of relationship, they should have a new term for it, even if it had the same privileges (not rights - government's can't grant rights).
However, another group said no, we want to use the same word for it (I assume for ideological reasons, as opposed to purely utilitarian ones).
So no, please don't hoist the whole "WE'RE BEING OPPRESSED" flag - it doesn't help your case
The point of Prop 8 was to prevent gay marriage, and all the privileges that marriage includes. That is, to strip a civil right from gay people.
That same sex marriage, isn't a new style of relationship, and that civil unions could never provide the same "privileges" is the whole point.
It's not just semantics, it's about real people.
For thousands of years, we've had the concept of "marriage" and "families", and (more or less) monogamous relationships.
Central to this has been the idea of a man and a woman procreating, and raising children.
Now, perhaps we'll evolve away from that - maybe we'll simply clone people.
Or perhaps we'll have special breeder castes, and we'll raise the children away from their (biological) parents in learning centres.
Or perhaps the idea of having children will seem antiquated, and we'll just die away as a species.
But this (large scale homosexual relationships in society) is most definitely a new thing - and procreation, and nuclear families have no place in it.
Hence this whole ideological fight over whether to call it "marriage" (with all the associated ideas of families and raising children) or something else entirely.
Look, for many cultures - marriage aren't about love (or aren't solely about love) - this is very much a Western/modern thing.
For them, marriages are part of society - a married couples has responsibilities to the society.
And the family unit, and raising children are a big part of it.
You need to look outside your own experiences.
That's what I don't get about this whole fracas.
You have all these people on HN screaming and jumping up and down, saying EICHS IS A BIGOT! ONLY MY VIEWPOINT IS CORRECT! IT'S SO OBVIOUS?!!!!
Well, if they were as "big-minded" as they claim, then they'd see that there many people with differing opinions to you. Shock!
I think this poster said it best (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7526663)
Don't support welfare? You're against poor people.
Support welfare? You're against the working man.
You're pro-choice? You're against babies.
You're pro-life? You're against women.
This entire affair is troubling. This individual's livelihood was affected because of his socio-political views and activities. Your 2nd paragraph correctly underlines the more important issue.
Or for a less cut-and-dry example: If he had donated to Pro-Life organizations, would you expect him to be accepted as CEO of Planned Parenthood?
Your socio-political views and activities have consequences. If you believe strongly enough in them, you will weather them. His views and activities certainly had consequences for a lot of California families.
And I'm okay with that.
I very much disagree with the KKK, but I believe in a society where they have the right to think whatever they want about non-white people, without getting harmed.
"Not given death threats" != "Giving a free pass".
If you want to kill people who you disagree with, are you any better than them?
He still works for Mozilla (as far as I can tell) and he almost certainly still has a significant say in how it's run through the shares he almost certainly has (I can't find any specifics on it in a cursory search, but it would be astounding if it were not so).
But when he made that donation, he was tying himself to a cause. As an officer of a company he is a face of that company. This is true in all companies and for all causes, and it was his choice to make the donation and the company's choice to appoint him to a position where that donation would reflect poorly on them.
> he almost certainly still has a significant say in how
it's run through the shares he almost certainly has
Shares? We're talking about Mozilla. It belongs 100% to the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
That is a shame if so, as his technical contributions are still clearly valuable.
 https://brendaneich.com/2014/04/the-next-mission/ answers my own question.
Let's go to first principles here. Which, for America at least, come down to equality and liberty. Principles enshrined in the founding documents of this country. Oppressing people because of their sexual orientation is not a neutral proposition in regards to those principles, it is very much an exception to the principles of equality and liberty.
The two scenarios you describe are NOT and have never been symmetrical.
For example, the KKK is horrendously ostracized in this country. And I think that's OK. But while they might be ostracized, KKK members still enjoy their rights, they still have the opportunity for free speech. And I think that's important too. I wouldn't equate the ostracization of open racism with McCarthyism and I don't think most folks would either.
The lesson from the McCarthyism scare isn't that ostracizing people for their beliefs is wrong. That's a valuable, even essential, function of society and an important aspect of free expression. Although we should definitely be careful in its use. The lesson is that hounding people for mostly private activities or activities in their past is wrong, and conducting public witch-hunts using the power of the government where the flimsiest of evidence is allowed to decide someone's fate is also wrong.
This isn't a situation where he's sticking his neck out and weathering flack of negative personal repercussions to achieve a point, at least, not yet. If Brendan wants to use this experience to further voice his support against gay marriage, he can certainly do that.
But thus far, Brendan has gone out of his way to NOT discuss the unpopular opinion he holds -- he hasn't even explained why he feels the way he feels.
It's sort of hard to draw an analogy between someone who stuck their neck out and said "not supporting LGBT rights is wrong and bigoted and I'm going to talk about it, even if it means losing my job. And I'm going to continue talking about it until things change." and someone who says "yes, I have to confirm I gave money to this cause b/c it's public record, but I refuse to explain or defend my position, stop asking me about it, it doesn't matter."
It's not about freedom of speech, but actually holding you accountable for what you say, which is a great thing.
Can you envision any scenario where he would be able to express his views that wouldn't have angered the mob even more, without modifying his views to be those of the mob?
> It's not about freedom of speech, but actually holding you accountable for what you say, which is a great thing.
For this, pg's "What You Can't Say" essay cuts both ways:
"The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true."
And if he had said this in a blog post at any before becoming CEO, he could have skated through this easily.
On the other hand, if he still believes gay people to be inferior and not deserving of full civil rights, then yes, people could have reasonably questioned how he could be the boss of some of them.
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Gay people are inferior and not deserving of full civil rights.
If you really want to attack his ideas, attack their best interpretation, not their worst.
We have no idea what Eich's ideas are, because he has refused to say. But I can and will judge him by his actions. And no, I don't believe that's a straw man. I don't believe it's possible to have a rational and consistent view that includes both the 14th amendment (explicitly naming equality before the law as a civil right) and using the power of the law to keep gay couples from marrying like any other couple.
Back in the day, they weren't allowed to hold unpopular opinions. The history of civil rights is a story of many people going to jail for their beliefs, and then being force-fed when they performed hunger strikes and being lynched by roving mobs. The righteousness of their ideas became apparent because they clung to those beliefs and refused to budge until physical force moved them, and because they never renounced their beliefs despite the torment of their oppressors. To paraphrase Ghandi "You can kill me if you want, and you will have my dead body. But you will not have my obedience."
I'd argue that the stakes are not nearly as high here. We're not talking about sending Brendan Eich to jail. He is free to move about the world and continue making boatloads of cash at whatever firm is willing to hire the foremost JS expert on the planet. We just don't want him running this particular organization.
We cannot compare Eich's position of denying a freedom to some people to those of the people who stood for racial equality and feminism.
"Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Now, whether we should distribute food stamps or whether there should be benefits for married couples is another argument, but merely expressing an opinion on the definition is certainly not the same as denying someone an essential liberty.
The bottom line for me is that America is supposed to be a place of freedom and equality. If we're going to say that a man and woman can get married, then we have to say that two men or two women can also get married (assuming consenting adults, etc.).
Food stamps are different. They're about helping out people who are struggling to survive (at least that's the idea. Don't want to turn this into an argument about food stamps).
I think you missed what I was trying to say, sorry I wasn't more clear.
> The bottom line for me is that America is supposed to be a place of freedom and equality.
Freedom, yes. Equality? That's tougher to quantify. America certainly has a notion of "inalienable rights", but is Marriage one of them? It doesn't seem so, because if you want to "marry" a 5-year-old, we don't call that a marriage. And we don't call polygamous relationships marriages, at least not for state purposes.
I'm claiming that the Prop 8 campaign is not a civil rights issue, because there are no "fundamental rights" being violated. There's nothing in the constitution that guarantees your right to be married.
Furthermore, the only actual harm that you can claim to have been done to you as a result of Prop8 is a denial of certain financial benefits. That's where the food stamp argument comes in. I'm not equivocating the two situations in a moral sense. I'm merely pointing out that we allow discrimination which we've deemed to be morally neutral for the purposes of allowing access to government benefits.
> If we're going to say that a man and woman can get married, then we have to say that two men or two women can also get married
Why do you make that assertion?
But, the thing is, these ideas have trajectories. The idea that slavery is wrong or women should have the right to vote never got less accepted over time.
This cannot be the case, because those ideas have not existed since the beginning of time. They had an origin and therefore an upward trajectory towards their reification in law.
For example: Iran's official policy went from being progressive to oppressive, but it was a result of the Islamists moving into power in the 70s. They didn't just suddenly convince everybody that "hey we should oppress women". All of those people were there, and had been there for a long time. They just weren't in power.
On the other, you have oppressed people who face horrors. Social movements who challenge the powerful. If you're black in the US, you're vulnerable to incarceration in the country which is the world's biggest jailer. If you're a woman, you're a target of violence and subordination. If you're not entirely heterosexual, you get abuse and humiliation heaped on you.
You mention history; would you compare Turing's fate to Eich's?
Anyway, nonprofits like Mozilla have serious problems if they're so top-down that your ability to contribute is limited by your distance to the CEO crown.
There is no such thing. I agree with them, and under various moral philosophies I could make convincing arguments that they're right, but you're off the rails.
Or, if you've really found an objective measure of right and wrong that isn't based on a subjective positing of objectivity, you've upended an entire field of study, have a very rewarding future and are totally set for life. You'll just have to forgive us for not waiting with baited breath.
but it's downright _scary_ how people get so _zealous_
once they firmly believe they are "objectively right".
i don't know if i'm happy or sad this tendency has been
adopted by the leftwingers. of course it will help them
to battle the rightwingers (who always felt "righteous"),
and let me be crystal clear i want the rightwing crushed,
but i can't help but think that something has been lost.
i'm unsure you can _beat_ intolerance _with_ intolerance.
p.s. go ahead and downvote this; it will prove my point.
That is, your idea that social consensus determines right and wrong is really dangerous. We have historical examples where it proved to be a terrible guide to morality.
Why don't you let Brendan Eich play the victim and feel sorry for himself, he doesn't need any of your help.
The basic question was: is there a rational basis to deny gay couples the same right straight couples have? One of the offered reasons for preventing gay marriage is that it was worse for children. That being a factual question, social science research was relevant. The short version: the judge, like other judges, found that the evidence offered favored the "gay people are just fine" side of things.
It was once unacceptable to hold the opinion that different races were equal, and more recently it was unacceptable to hold the opinion that different genders were equal.
"Unacceptable"? Really? I don't get this mindset. The core premise of a free and open society is that you can hold any opinion you want, no matter how unpopular or "unacceptable".
Personally, I absolutely value this kind of integrity. An individual should stand firm to their principles and stand by them, regardless of what "society" or "out culture" think.
Of course, there may be consequences (economic, or whatever) as a result of having that opinion, at least if you're vocal about it. But to suggest that one should change one's views to simply fit the majority, is one of the most disturbing things I could imagine.
So I think I agree with you. If he had come out and said he had changed his mind, it would have been a small victory for gay rights at the expense of his own integrity.
That's crazy, man. I can't imagine it would take too much effort to come up with some popular opinions that reasonable people could disagree with.
So it isn't accepted by everyone yet. So why should he or me or you ever change opinion because majority says so?
If majority says so, what's the point of minority opinion? You don't have to agree that gay deserve equality, but once the law is written, you have to accept that the gay is protected under the law.
Until all the states accepts to give marriage equality to all, the expectation of everyone to accept is hard. You don't have to agree with my disagreement in order to accept that we can agree to disagree.
Therein lies the problem. He clearly does not think he is wrong. If he made an apology it would only be for show.
Lying to appease the masses in this scenario would be no different than is he had the inverse opinion (not discriminating against gays and then telling everyone you do).
What if he doesn't feel it was wrong? Furthermore, who the fuck cares what he believes and what he spends his money on in his own PRIVATE time? That's COMPLETELY outside of his job at the Mozilla foundation which he's been working at just fine for 15 fucking years.
Your comment genuinely irritates me.
If there was a fear of discriminatory treatment, we would've heard about it much sooner.
"We haven't detected X, ergo X doesn't exist" is an obviously false notion. It's false even in the same situation, but it's even more obviously wrong in a different one. As CTO, he would have had a hard time making a bigoted technical decision. But as CEO, he's in charge of all sorts of stuff where a subtle bias could be expressed, and there's no longer an executive above him who could hold him accountable.
But contrary to what you're trying to link it to, that does not affect his professional life or the way he managed mozilla up until this point. There's simply no evidence of it. There's no logical fallacy. There's just no evidence that he's done anything discriminatory. No angry anonymous mozilla blog posts about brendan. No company leaks. nothing.
Saying that because he's CEO and in charge and doesn't have someone to hold him accountable so he can do whatever he wants...outlines your ignorance of company structure and...office politics. Sure, a CEO can call the shots, but Brendan had been in charge of many things at Mozilla for a long time and could've realistically gotten rid of people or shuffled them around whenever he wanted to. But he didn't.
Could he have been secretly scheming to get rid of "the company gays" at Mozilla for 15 years and only now finally realized his master plan that he was CEO? I honestly, seriously, doubt it.
The fact that you cannot, and will not separate personal life from business is what truly worries me. Many people are cooperative and productive despite having different beliefs and backgrounds. Sometimes they can offer insight from a different perspective and sometimes they can be a hindrance. This is a core prospect of working with a group of people, and it is a great advantage. Brendan has shown that he wasn't a hindrance the 15 years he was at Mozilla, and he's given back a lot to the open source community.
On an off note, and I am not implying that you are doing this at all, surrounding yourself by a group of people that hold the same mindset is bad. It creates an echo chamber and allows for really terrible ideas to flourish.
I'm not accusing him of secretly scheming. I am saying that helping to strip marriage rights from gay people -- which is indisputably what his donation did -- is reasonable cause for employees and partners to suspect anti-gay animus.
It's up to each individual to judge his actions. If you would like to give him one scorecard titled "at work" and one titled "not at work" and believe them unrelated, great. Then you can make your judgments about working at Mozilla on that basis. But that is a very particular view. You don't get to decide that for everybody. Me, I think that people are unitary individuals, and their beliefs don't change depending on what building they've walked into.
You can only do this successfully if you are prepared to discuss the reasons for your opinions in public. Eich isn't.
If he'd at least come out and said "yes, I oppose gay marriage, but I have no intention of involving that with Mozilla" then I would still not be thrilled but I would respect him more. As it stands, I know he won't talk about what he believes publicly, but he will merrily support it privately.
Anybody with an ounce of integrity couldn't claim with straight face that gay marriage negatively affects their personal or religious beliefs and freedoms.
Not standing up for their beliefs but surreptitiously acting on them anyway is exactly what people like Eich do.
On the other hand, Eich probably didn't make such utilitarian calculation, and followed "do not lie" deontology instead. Pity.
On the other hand, imagine you have two choices. You can either lie, or Google Chrome achieves 90% market share, all of web runs on Pepper, and there is no more open web. (Let's call this world "Google Earth".) Mozilla's mission is to prevent such world, right? Do you seriously think not lying is the right thing to do in this case?
Now imagine you have choices of lying and making Google Earth 10% more likely.
Now imagine you have choices of lying and making Google Earth 1% more likely.
How much Google Earth worth is not lying? Eich probably believed him being CEO is worth some reduction in probability of Google Earth. I would be surprised "not lying" has more utility than such probability reduction. I conclude he didn't decide not to lie because of utilitarian calculation.
It's ironic that bigots of Brendan's ilk strongly believe that it's possible for gays to change their sexual preference, while they continue to cling to what they believe in the face of all the facts that prove them wrong.
The collateral damage of advocating a world with more liars (which is what you are doing) is gigantic, because you are now forcing everybody to waste (more) mental energy on trying to discern truth from lie.
I'm not shocked the he is stepping down, or that others in the organization appear to have applied substantial pressure on him to do so, but it makes me sad. Their statements about supporting freedom of speech are hollow: the community has pressured him to step down because he expressed an opinion not held by the majority.
I guess if they consider any other candidates for CEO from California, they'll have to ask them how they voted.
Either way, I'm confident that the same measure today would have a snowball's chance in hell of passage.
That doesn't mean Romney should have won, though. It's the people who turn out to vote who get to decide. If you don't care enough to vote, tough beans!
> It's the people who turn out to vote who get to decide. If you don't care enough to vote, tough beans!
Democracies with more complete voter participation don't seem generally worse off for it.
Saying that a vote would have gone differently if more people on the losing side voted is obvious. It's also not constructive, except in the context of wishing more people would participate in the political process in the future. Amusingly (or perhaps not), the fervor against Brendan Eich is based in large part around his participation in that process.
I'm all for the option to not vote, but I want it to be a choice. I think the current setup provides the wrong incentives: it encourages politicians to care about how they can rouse up enough to come to the polls or demoralize enough to keep away, in addition to or at the expense of reaching out to all constituents. We can change this either through cultural or legal means, but the legal way is faster and not demonstrably harmful.
Greater participation is far from a panacea, of course. It may even introduce its own particular ills (e.g. takes longer to change the status quo). But I hardly think it would make no difference at all. That's why I pointed to other democracies with better voting records, to show that overall democracy isn't harmed by more voting.
Why do you think human rights should be put up for a vote? Are you against mixed race marriage because it was so unpopular at the time the "activist court" struck it down?
Since we don't live in that ideal world, our only option is to designate some body to decide what are rights and what are not. Whether that body is a king or a judge or a council of judges or a legislative body or the full populace (or some combination of the above) is an important and worthwhile discussion, but in the end we do need to designate some entity to decide what the rights are.
We've added a few hops, and hopefully increased the average intelligence of the people who get to decide on rights, but they still end up there based on the population's vote.
The campaign for gay marriage, branded as marriage equality, actually leaves many people behind.
Brothers can't marry sisters, mothers can't marry sons (nice way to avoid inheritance tax!), men and women can't join in a polygamous marriage even though there is a long history of polygamy in many cultures around the world.
It's quite ironic that the campaign for marriage equality is itself highly discriminatory.
(which I've never understood why it wasn't spelled "beastiality")
I guess the rationale for specifically bestowing marital rights on same-sex (but non-related) spouses is that there's a significant number of them.
Polygamy, too, there might be a lot of that somewhere in the world, possibly Africa, obscure corners of Utah, certainly pre-modern China when it was normal for a wealthy land owner to have several wives, etc. I suspect it won't be long before polygamy is legalized. Maybe a couple of decades at most.
Like a diet that sometimes prevents people from eating what they crave, the system is nothing more than a mechanism of self-control for the majority.
Interesting. The difference between which box you check, and giving money to influence other people to check a certain box. The privacy of the former is a nearly-sacred privilege, while the latter is not allowed to be private. And I do tend to agree with campaign finance disclosure, but the double-standard is interesting. To be consistent, will we have to make all voting records public?
Would there be outrage if there were political questionnaires for employment/promotion like this? If proof of lying was found, would there be more outrage over the lie; or over violating privacy to find out about the lie?
Why should there be social or employment consequences - in my mind this is just as bad as when employers fire employees for being gay.
> Speech is designed to invoke private and social consequences, whether the speech is "venti mocha no whip, please," or "I love you," or "fuck off." The private and social consequences of your speech — whether they come from a barista, or your spouse, or people online, or people at whom you shout on the street — represent the free speech and freedom of association of others.
> Yet people often confuse these categories.
I believe you are making the same confusion between the right of free speech - Eich can support a political position - and the freedom of association so employees of Mozilla and OKCupid need not be associated with a company that has Eich at its head. (In the employees' case, the right to quit.)
There can be and is a tension there. As a country we have said that the right of free association is limited while at work, and that certain factors - race, religion, country of origin, etc. - cannot be used to discriminate between employees. But other factors, like disrupting the office every hour on the hour for a boisterous rendition of the National Anthem, can be grounds for punitive action.
As much as I strongly disagree with the Prop 8 folks, I think resorting to trying them in the court of public opinion is fundamentally wrong.
McCarthyism and the blacklist involved decades of government pressure, including passing various laws against Communists at both state and national levels. The blacklist specifically started after various people were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
That's hardly the same as a few organizations calling for a boycott of Firefox and a few people threatening to quit their jobs at or stop volunteering for Mozilla, is it?
Alternatively, maybe we can decide on a set of American values and we can investigate and blackball people who hold unamerican views.
Additionally, in this specific case it's worth noting that the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary the Mozilla Corporation are largely political organizations and someone who holds such obviously bigoted views is pretty clearly unqualified to lead an organization who's goals are freedom and openness.
I'm pretty sure a much more reasonable interpretation is that ethics are subject to cultural norms, and that we should not decide on one true version of ethics and force that upon everyone.
(this is just a joke)
That's not true. The fact that the majority believe the idea was necessary for the pressure to be applied, but it is not why the pressure was applied. The pressure was applied because his views trample on others' rights, and equal rights is philosophically closely tied with the entire mission of an organization like Mozilla. There are many other things which the majority believe, but which most people would acknowledge an individual's right to disagree with. This issue is different because Eich's personal opinion negatively materially affects another class of people without any justification.
No; I don't agree with Eich's views, but merely having those views does not implicate anyone else's rights in any way at all. Rights are violated by actions, not merely by expressing distasteful opinions.
This is enforcing an ideological litmus test on the industry, policing people's internal beliefs. It is terrifying.
The only way you can say gay marriage violates someone's rights is to say that people have the right to not be offended, or the right to hate people who are different from them. For all the contortions that people will make on this issue, it's fundamentally about fear and hate and nothing more. Abortion is a much more nuanced issue.
If we continue to travel down this path, we'd all have the same opinions, as anyone who dares to hold an different opinion than the majority would be ostracized from the society.
Mozilla is not a governmental body and (so long as it doesn't violate the protected classes as codified by law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class) can hire and fire people to project whatever image they see fit.
If you stubbornly hold on to latter, is it bad to you eventually become ostracized? Should we respect a holocaust denier as a good member of the society? As a CEO? How about someone who doesn't deny it, but thinks it was a right thing to do?
In the same way, I don't care if somebody believes that different races shouldn't intermarry because of dilution of racial purity or that people of the same sex shouldn't marry because of Adam and Steve. I do care if they try to put that into law.
We are not perfect beings; we make mistakes, we believe things that end up being false, and we do things that we (or the rest of society) will regret later. As such, advocating that opinions other than the current prevailing set should be suppressed is a dangerous game to play. I know that like most of the people advocating it are doing so out of a desire to see the world become a better place. But since we've been wrong before about what "a better place" looks like, we should exercise utmost caution in telling others to be silent about their own views.
Clearly, we aren't. Clearly, the people who push the opposing policies are harming society. Just like with evolution, there is no debate among thinking people about this.
Michael Walzer asks "Should we tolerate the intolerant?". He notes that most minority religious groups who are the beneficiaries of tolerance are themselves intolerant, at least in some respects. In a tolerant regime, such people may learn to tolerate, or at least to behave "as if they possessed this virtue". Philosopher Karl Popper asserted, in The Open Society and Its Enemies Vol. 1, that we are warranted in refusing to tolerate intolerance. Philosopher John Rawls concludes in A Theory of Justice that a just society must tolerate the intolerant, for otherwise, the society would then itself be intolerant, and thus unjust. However, Rawls also insists, like Popper, that society has a reasonable right of self-preservation that supersedes the principle of tolerance: "While an intolerant sect does not itself have title to complain of intolerance, its freedom should be restricted only when the tolerant sincerely and with reason believe that their own security and that of the institutions of liberty are in danger."
I may be diametrically opposed to Brendan's views, but he has earned my respect by being honest and sticking to his values.
Preventing gay people from getting married really just seems like spite, like 'I don't like you so you can't have this'. I can't respect someone like that.
He is no longer CEO of Mozilla, a job he quite clearly wanted to do. Sticking to his beliefs _HAS_ cost him.
It's not spite. It's based on his moral framework. 15 years ago I shared that framework, so I understand why he feels that way. He is, in my opinion, wrong, and I hope that he eventually realizes that (like I did).
But he stuck to his beliefs at a time when lesser men would have buckled.
We could do with my people like that in the financial industry..
Just because you were a bigot 15 years ago doesn't mean you should respect bigots who haven't changed their opinions yet. You deserve some respect for changing your views, but Brendan only deserves contempt for failing to do that himself, not respect.
How does one go about changing their views? They just wake up one day they're like "hmmm.. I just don't hate gays anymore"? Most of the reformed racists and other bigots I've heard about have become that way because something happened, maybe a family member came out or a black dude helped them jump start their car or something stupid like that.
Your comments read just like the people that claim homosexuality is a choice and gays should just choose to not be gay.
CEOs with integrity in the face of public persecution are very rare.
The next guy to replace him could be someone that will sink the Mozilla ship.
> Leadership is taking responsibility and owning your actions.
You are implying that it is a fact that his actions are wrong, when it's simply an opinion.
As I understand, this position is a rather unpopular one.
Of course, it all depends what we mean by lie. In my experience this tends to vary from person to person.
Personally, I do tend to lie of omission* much more willingly than not of omission, though I am not really convinced that it is any more moral.
 As an out and proud queer, I'd rather someone be honest than obviously skirt around issues without addressing them. At least then we know were we stand
Are you suggesting this would've been better, in the grand scheme of things?
In a greater societal context, I'm not sure. I think it is naive to say being 100% honest and transparent 100% of the time is always the best solution, as theoretically appealing as that is. I think it depends on whether you personally think the greater good Mozilla could have done with Eich as CEO, if any, outweighs the (positive?) message that we send when we force people with unpopular beliefs out of their positions. I purposefully ignore the actual monetary contribution, since the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 anyway.
Incentives matter, and instances like this simply re-enforce the fact that one must lie about their true opinions otherwise you will be tarred and feathered.
"Hold a view that isn't mainstream"
We're not talking about slightly controversial views, 'colorful' language, or a 'racy' past here, we're talking about out-and-out homophobia, wanting people to be treated as lesser humans simply because of who they love. Please, that is a LONG way from being 'sanitized to the extreme'.
I agree with you, they are two different tunes, but never sung simultaneously in practice.
This was never about "treating people as lesser humans", despite the cawing hyperbole from the pro-homosexual-marriage faction...
This was basically a semantic debate.
Marriage, for most of recorded history, was defined as one thing.
There's a new style of relationship that's arisen in modern times, and that group wants to extend the definition of marriage to cover that as well.
Heck, in many countries, you don't even need a marriage, leg alone a civil union - simply being in a de-facto relationship (i.e. living together) will give you the same privileges (tax, medical etc.)
It was never about privileges (government's can't grant rights), but just about ideologies.
How can you have a rational reason with an irrational premise? If the premise is irrational, so is anything based on it.
So, no, there are zero rational reasons to oppose gay marriage, only irrational, bigoted reasons.
The most damaging thing about homophobic (or other bigoted) views isn't necessarily how the holder of those views acts toward people based on them (in this case it's clear that Eich didn't treat individuals any differently), but how making those views public legitimizes them in other people, giving space for others to act on them directly, and delays full societal acceptance of the marginalized group.
In other words, it's the knowledge that a public figure has those beliefs, not the beliefs themselves. If he just hid them, it would make things better overall.
Although this not exactly written for the audience of CEO's here's one viewpoint on this:
But I blame this entire trial and failure on the Board. It is their responsibility to vet candidates, and their inability see how this could blow up shows a horrible lack of judgment on their part.
This is close enough to what he actually said:
that it's not at all far-fetched to wonder if there's anything he could have said or done that would have been enough.
Personally, I don't care much about the donation alone. But his handling of it has been terrible. If he had owned his action and apologized, this would have been a small issue. But from both a staff- and media-relations perspective, leaving this an open issue and trying to dodge the meat of it was a mistake. It's that that makes me think he might not have been a good CEO.
I'll grant you a) but with respect to b) there was nothing they could have really done once Eich decided to stand his ground. Who would have thought that Eich felt so strongly on this topic that he was willing to sacrifice his CEO position and possibly his future at Mozilla. He never came close to either apologizing for his actions or publicly supporting gay marriage. He really really is against gay-marriage, that's his thing.
>All he had to do was lie...
Personally, I'd rather he not lie.
This speaks volumes.
From what I can tell, pretty much everyone in this topic thinks that opposing gay marriage is immoral and donating money to Prop 8 is a bad thing. The divide is on whether it is OK to oust someone for their beliefs, given a lot of extenuating circumstances. And on HN, there are a large number of people who think yes, and a large number of people who think no.
You know what bothers me? People who try to shut down debate. Those that think not only is the other side wrong, but it's not even up for discussion. There's another poster decrying the lack of ethics in the tech community, which really is another way of saying "don't even talk about this, my opinion is right/ethical/moral, and yours is wrong/unethical/immoral."
Another way of shutting down debate is by making snarky one-liners. Why actually talk about something when you can assert that you are right, and that HN is stupid (presumably excluding the large number of people who agree with you)? What exactly are you adding to the discussion?
Morality has nothing to do with defining the limitations of artificial mad-made things such as "marriage".
It's like denying the gay community their annual mardi gras because the streets are trashed with broken bottles and nothing really good comes out of it except gay people have a big party. Cancelling the party would surely bring much "gay hatred" accusations. So the party continues, every year. And every year the same thing happens - streets trashed and gay party people pop pills all night long.
Imagine if there was an annual heterosexual party, celebrating heterosexuality? Imagine the outcry and hatred directed at such a thing?
I have nothing against gay people, but personally find the whole gay activist vibe on the marriage issue really pathetic and manipulative. Fair enough fight for equal laws regarding health and so on, but marriage is what it is. You need to respect people who want to keep marriage as something for a man+woman.
If I don't agree with gay marriage, I DO NOT deserve your hatred and ridicule,
I think liberals have a hard time understanding that "bad people" people truly believe the things they say and do. If someone feels that their beliefs are justified they generally don't care if it upsets people. It seems like all you wanted from his guy was an insincere apology...or worse rhetorical nonsensical featuring all the right pleasant-sounding keywords.
Frankly, I prefer it when bigots speak freely and openly-- that way the rest of us can understand what we're up against.
He did say that. https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/inclusiveness-at-mozilla/
Eich gave a relatively small amount of money to a cause that happened to be supported by a majority of voters at the time(disclosure: I am gay, I don't care). For the first ~200 years of America NO ONE supported gay marriage beyond fringe gay groups. 20 years ago a celebrated sitting Democratic president signed DOMA. It was a long time ago and not a lot of money and Eich's (edit: technical)contributions outweigh his political opinions. "Not supporting marriage equality" should not be an "unacceptable" opinion.
Why can't we respect people's opinions? How is this any different from railroading a staunch Catholic or Mormon or Muslim out of an organization(because if you say "god told me to feel this way" it turns into a protected class).
I'd be delighted to work with him, because I don't tend to work with people on software projects with their political views in mind.
It just bums me out when people capitulate to angry mobs, in either direction(just last week an organization capitulated to an anti gay agenda...World Vision, and that made me sad too).
Edit again: Why don't all you folks put your money where your mouth is and refactor all of your JS code to dart or something, just so you don't have to be tainted by evil Eich.
For years, he's been telling me about the "gay liberal agenda", which, to him, was not just about promoting gay rights, but also about silencing any freedom of speech advocating opposing viewpoints. I always pooh-poohed him and gently asserted that he was on the wrong side of history.
Now, I think he's right. That someone can be ousted from their job because of privately held opinions and personal donations is extremely scary to me -- and I'm in favor of gay rights and gay marriage. You can't correct injustice and intolerance with more injustice and intolerance.
He does not have a right to be the public facing chief executive of a private organization. I would see no issue with a pro-gay rights CEO being forced to leave Hobby Lobby or something of that nature. It's not censorship to be unable to represent an organization that is expected to have a certain political/social/cultural alignment.
If Eich were opposed to net neutrality, or against open internet standards, etc, those would be damning beliefs for someone in the Mozilla CEO spot. Gay rights, however, have nothing whatsoever to do with Mozilla. (I agree with you that Hobby Lobby would fire a pro-gay-rights CEO, but we probably shouldn't be taking lessons on reasonable behavior from Hobby Lobby.)
If Mozilla does represent any kind of broad social alignment, I would hope that it would be one in favor of diversity of opinion and free speech.
Which includes the right of others to criticize your speech.
If I get up on a soapbox and preach something you don't agree with, so you get up on a soapbox of your own and preach your disagreement, I am not being persecuted or denied my freedom. Nor am I being persecuted or denied my freedom if your arguments convince a majority of people to disagree with or choose not to associate with me.
This is, ironically, a fundamentally conservative position, that maximizing individual rights to speak up is what produces the best results, by causing the best ideas/most persuasive arguments to prevail.
Isn't it much more a libertarian position? Christopher Hitchens was a vociferous supporter of 1st Amendment rights, but you'd hardly call him a conservative.
It seems that some Mozilla employees and members of the public deluded themselves into thinking Mozilla was some kind of political charity fighting for social causes, rather than being a technology company.
They most certainly are a technology company and everyone knows that, so are the companies behind Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. As far as I know none of the CEO's behind those companies are openly anti-gay marriage.
The public, and the employees of Mozilla have expressed that this is not an appropriate view for the CEO to hold and will move to other offerings if he is left. He used his freedom of speech to speak out with his wallet against gay marriage. Just as the consumers and employees have expressed that they will use the free market to go to competitors if he is not ousted.
More precisely, a few employees. A similar number of employees are clearly on record as saying they don't agree with Brendan's position but don't think it's incompatible with him being CEO. A vastly larger number of employees didn't say anything in public at all, not least because many of them (e.g. all the non-gay ones) could not do so without being accused of supporting the views in question.
Of course the employees who did speak out in favor of Brendan staying as CEO got death threats for their troubles (see bottom of http://www.twobraids.com/2014/03/the-mozilla-ceo.html for example), because that's apparently how debate goes on the internet nowadays.
When you make political speech it is necessarily public not a privately held opinion. He made a political donation showing that he supported a law that curtailed a group of people's natural Right. That donation was used to try and affect public policy. That is not some theory he holds for himself, that is action that directly affects others.
Just because people hold opinions doesn't mean you have to tolerate them.
My day job is as a scientist. In science, individual researchers put forth many different ideas, some right, some wrong. Over time, we come to a consensus on which ideas are right and wrong, and the right ideas are kept and the wrong ideas are dropped.
However, we don't blackball people who had the wrong ideas: on the contrary, we want to encourage diverse ideas and opinions because it is only through the conflict of these ideas that truth emerges.
I don't want to live in a society where people have to fear for their jobs or a public mob action because they espoused an unpopular opinion. I disagree with Eich's opinion today, but tomorrow I could be in the minority. Yes, the wrong ideas can be harmful, but in my opinion if we have an open marketplace of ideas, rather than the "chilling effects" of political correctness (or religion, or any other force that says that there are unspeakable ideas), the truth will eventually out.
Case in point: gay marriage itself. A few years ago it was a radical idea, now it's just a matter of time before it becomes legal nationwide in the US. Ironically, the only reason there was enough political force to oust Eich is because his viewpoints are now in the minority.
And I don't want to live in a society where we tacitly accept discrimination because it is labeled as political opinion.
There is a huge difference between politics and science. It is a terrible analogy. Scientific hypothesis, by definition, can be tested. If someone is wrong, that can be proven. Even if an entire body of work has been built on a wrong hypothesis, that work can be tossed out or modified in the face of new evidence. It can be painful, sure, but there is a mechanism in place for just such an occurrence.
Law and policy are made of pure, sloppy human thought-stuff. Some things might be testable but, in general, that is not the rule. If we allow a body of work to develop under bad ideas they take on a life, an inertia, of their own. We do not have any generally agreed upon or foolproof mechanisms to dismantle such an edifice. In fact, most of the mechanisms are designed to make them as permanent as possible -- to bolster the image of institution and consistency. We do not have the luxury of suspending our judgement in the political realm.
Would anyone seriously argue that our political system, despite all its flaws, is not better now than when we had slavery, only white male landowners voting, regularly massacred Native Americans and invaded neighbors, and had no union rights or worker protection laws? Would any nitpicker say that because we cannot precisely quantify the degree of betterness that it isn't better?
Every one of those progressive ideas started out as a niche, minority opinion, and many of them were repressed, not by the government, but by social mores. Liberals who seek to repress the opinions of social conservatives -- who, by the way, have lost the war, long-term -- are being profoundly shortsighted, not to say hypocritical.
Finally, I'm not saying that individuals should suspend their judgement. You should feel absolutely safe to speak publicly in favor of gay rights, and, say, donate $1000 to your favorite gay rights organization without the fear of losing your job. But you cross a line when you seek to repress other viewpoints.
All of these things, to you and me, seem obviously like backward movement in terms of general well-being.
We don't hear about these extreme views because they are abhorrent to most people and the people that hold them get ridiculed. Can you not see someone losing their job is they publicly support a return to slavery? Would that be repression of that idea?
I would argue, no, its not. The discourse has reached a societal consensus that slavery is bad. Why? Because it violates some very fundamental rights of human beings. I think we have reached that threshold with the rights of people with various modes of sexual choice.
The trouble with using "societal consensus" to determine which views should be repressed is that sometimes the consensus is wrong. We cannot know a priori whether the majority or minority is right, so we need to protect all viewpoints, even if it means some wrong ones will persist a little longer. It's ok; eventually they will die off -- two generations from now, a anti-gay-marriage person will be almost as rare as a slavery advocate is today.
We absolutely do not have to protect all viewpoints. We need to allow people to have them and their freedom to express them but, in the same motion, we must protect others freedom to express disgust.
We cannot allow the behemoth of government acting as referee and thus control the conversation. But the conversation must be allowed to take its natural course.
1. An idea is self-evidently wrong to the vast majority of educated people; e.g., the earth is flat, slavery is good. In this case, the idea can be safely ignored because it has no political power.
2. A bad idea (from our perspective) has the support of a decent-sized group; e.g., opposing gay marriage. In this case, the idea should be vehemently opposed by reasoned argument and political protest, but I think for the reasons given above that it is unethical and unwise to persecute the advocates of the idea themselves. It's perfectly okay to be disgusted with the idea of suppressing rights for a group of citizens, and to express that disgust.
If a big group believes something differently from me, there must be a reason why. In the case of the majority of Californians who voted in favor of Prop 8, they didn't do so because they are fundamentally evil bigots. They did it (in the most common case) because they have been raised to believe a relatively literal interpretation of the Bible, which if read straightforwardly, condemns homosexuality and sees it as a harbinger of a corrupt society.
Aggressively coming out and calling them bigots and publicly ousting people supporting their viewpoint is not persuasive; given their worldview, it will only strengthen their conviction that society around them is corrupt and harden their resolve. If, on the other hand, we make a reasoned and compassionate case that gay rights are a good idea on libertarian grounds and as a way of maximizing the well-being of our fellow citizens, people will, and have, come around.
So, in short, personal attacks like what happened to Eich are neither ethical nor effective as a persuasive tactic.
If you're the CEO of a company and you are a known bigot, you are a a ticking HR timebomb. Eich can find plenty of jobs in the industry, but he isn't fit to lead as CEO given his prejudices and his unwillingness to admit his mistakes
But there's no difference between the two. Society has come to a consensus: Gay Marriage is okay. It isn't gonna end anybody's world.
If you're still arguing the other way- especially to a group who have held this consensus longer than most- of course you probably shouldn't be at the head of the organization. That'd be like denying climate change while being the head of an environmentalist organization that had been started in the 50s.
To the extent it was primarily Mozilla employees, I don't think there's a problem. If they feel they can't work for this man, for any reason, they have the right to say so. If the Board finds that enough employees object to him, they can and should find someone else.
If it was primarily public opinion, I agree that that's unfortunate. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that public opinion, loud as it has been, played only a supporting role. If the employees collectively supported Eich, they could have said so, and I think criticism by the general public would have died down sooner or later.
The public info I see has several employees not supporting Brendan as CEO, a few more not supporting the bad PR having Brendan as CEO will produce, and some more supporting him being CEO, with the vast majority of employees keeping quiet. Not least because for those of them who are not gay they have no sane way of expressing support without being accused of just agreeing with Brendan's views.
What really happened here was a combination of public opinion and the press picking up things and running with them (including the false reports about the reasons for board member resignations), which further fanned public opinion, which further fanned press about the issue. No one was much listening to what employees had to say except as it suited their preconceived stories; note that the mainstream press did not report on the employees who came out publicly in support of Brendan staying as CEO.
In the end, as far as I can tell, it wasn't the board asking Brendan to resign; it was him deciding to resign because he felt that the way the press was presenting the story (falsehoods and all) was too damaging to Mozilla as an organization.
But I certainly don't think employment should be conditional on having the right set of beliefs. That way lies madness -- it's the very reason we forbid employment discrimination based on religion, for example. How can you possibly determine which privately-held beliefs are "too bad" for you to deserve being employed.
Also, Mozilla's mission has absolutely nothing to do with gay rights. Arguments based on "freedom" and "openness" are so highly metaphorical as to be meaningless, as those words mean different things to different people.
As another example, I think the conservative approach to economics is disastrous and would be ruinous if adopted. But do I therefore think that conservatives shouldn't be hired in jobs totally unrelated to economic policy? Of course not.
First, it wasn't his beliefs that lost him his employment — it was his actions.
Second, while it's not always as clear, donating money to oppress a group in 2008 is an objectively abhorrent act. You know it when you see it.
> With your line of reasoning it would be right to fire a majority of California.
Firing someone for political activities is currently illegal in California, if I am reading the law correctly. Though I don't imagine half of Californians would be out a job tomorrow even if they weren't protected by law.
Secondly, is marriage really a civil right? If you say yes, explain why campaigners aren't fighting to allow brother to marry sister, mother to marry son, or polygamous marriages which have a long history in many cultures?
I think there are many people who would agree that Eich should not have been forced out for his views and donation, and those who pushed the issue are just as intolerant and bigoted as they claim Eich to be. Tolerance works both ways.
>If you say yes, explain why campaigners aren't fighting to allow brother to marry sister, mother to marry son, or polygamous marriages which have a long history in many cultures?
I think those rights should exist and I'd be shocked if there aren't organizations fighting for the legalization of polygamy. The incestuous marriages you mentioned are probably not represented because those practices are on the one hand, taboo, and on the other hand, practiced by such a small minority that they're unable to materialize a voice.
Surely the whole point about fighting for civil rights is to help all minorities, not just those who are able to muster a voice...
Anyway, I think it would have been more accurate for the gay marriage campaign to not brand themselves as a fight for marriage equality since it clearly excludes certain factions. Small point but I think the details matter.
On the one hand, Brendan Eich had some beliefs that were against Mozilla's core values, but on the other hand we just showed that when a mob on the Internet wants something - they get it. It's scary because this mob has global reach, unlimited power, but isn't always right.
Care to elaborate this? Last time I read, the Mozilla Manifeto says nothing about marriage rights or anything marginally related.
Edit: we're not going to have this debate for every minority group. This equal rights thing is happening, whether you like it or not.
That's the deal. They all think differently on subjects unrelated to the Manifesto. True, there may be cases where the ratio is 99% against 1%. But it's still there.
Once diversity meant surrounding oneself with people different from you and learning to deal with them. Now some people understand diversity as surrounding oneself with people looking superficially different but thinking virtually the same, within very near bounds. This is just sad and wrong.
Yes, government-sponsored birth control is a hot issue and many CEOs are having a hard time reconciling it. And, yes some people have quit over it. So, yes, it's similar.
Being pro-diversity does not mean being morally obligated to accept racism or hate-induced views. That's pretzel logic.
>>> Being pro-diversity does not mean being morally obligated to accept racism or hate-induced views
It does not mean that, of course. But it also does not mean you should try to ruin the life of everybody who disagrees with you.
The bare minimum compliance with current law is no way run a company. Great companies do more for their employees than the law requires.
I don't see anyone (other than idiot internet trolls) wanting his life ruined. All I see are some pretty compelling arguments for some difficulties he will face as a CEO and a lot of anguish that this had to happen at all.
If he'd just shown some empathy in that CNet interview, I wonder if things would have gone differently? It read like an engineer's response, not like a CEO. Alas.
>>> If he'd just shown some empathy in that CNet interview, I wonder if things would have gone differently?
I think this is disingenuous. The campaign people were absolutely out for him for donating to prop 8 and won't be satisfied unless he's gone from CEO position. Saying it like "oh, if only he'd say this and that then it all be fine" doesn't make any sense - it wouldn't be fine for people who called to boycott Mozilla over it until he'd be gone. Now he's gone, and probably own't be able to serve in high position in any large company, because if he were, the same people would immediately use it to get more air time attacking him. Does it ruin his life? I don't know, depends on the point of view. But definitely it will have a lasting impact.
He could have let the campaign bluster. A good CEO will piss a few people off anyway. It's inevitable. Eich could have let a few developers quit, but shown everyone else (especially the board!) why he's the right person for the job.
Unfortunately, his recent bumbling turned a medium PR mess into a major one, and demonstrated that he might not be CEO material after all. That's my take anyway -- I don't believe the original donation was the cause of his resignation, just the trigger.
There are a number of Silicon Valley companies that would hire him to a high position today. Probably not to CEO or HR of course. Or PR. But remember how many influential friends he has -- they won't be swayed by this mess. In a few months, when all this has blown over, I expect most companies will be happy to forget this ever happend.
His life is far from ruined.
I don't think that this follows. In this particular case, someone was promoted to a role which many felt was incompatible with his personal views; they made that known, and the person in question stepped down. That's kind of how things should work in a community enterprise.
That said, I understand he's received wildly disproportionate abuse, like death threats. That's totally unacceptable, and frankly I'm surprised that anybody feels that strongly about the issue.
Is it a detailed email summarized as "I know where you live, you better watch your step, because I'm going to kill you"?
Or a tweet of "Fuck off and die"
Indeed, I've gotten quite a few death threats myself over the years for my radical cause of trying to improve the quality of video game emulators.
The problem with the internet is that you can't really judge a person's mental state from a text post. Quite often the person on the other end making the threats is literally mentally ill.
I love your work by the way.
God's work. Thank you for this.