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I am a strong supporter of gay marriage, but I have to say that I find this very unfortunate and worrying. Apparently many Mozilla supporters seem to think it is okay to bully a qualified person out of his job only for his political views, even if they had absolutely no effect on his qualification or his actions on the job.

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.




I generally agree with you but I think the problem here is that being against gay marriage is more than just a "political view." Being for low taxes is a political view. Being for smaller government is a political view. Believing a certain group of people don't deserve to live their lives like other simply because of who they love is not a political view. It reads as extremely hateful and that makes people uncomfortable. I would be uncomfortable if the head of the company I worked for felt that way.

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I support legalizing gay marriage. But two things, first, supporting prop 8 does not mean you "believe a certain group of people don't deserve to live their lives like others." It means you don't believe that the government should recognize same sex marriages as marriages. There are a large gradient of views here, and on one extreme are the bigots who hate homosexuals and on the other there are people who simply have hangups about the word "marriage" vs "civil unions." As far as I know Brendan has never articulated his opinions on the matter, they have just been extrapolated from a $1,000 donation.

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.

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Putting money behind Prop 8 helped strip a civil right from gay people. It's technically true that proves nothing about Eich's beliefs. Heck, maybe it was Eich's personal Opposite Day. But does it matter? Even the bible says, "You will know them by their fruits," meaning that it's reasonable to judge people by what they do.

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.

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>>> it's reasonable for gay employees and business partners to be concerned.

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.

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It is absolutely reasonable for gay employees to be concerned. As CEO of a company guides company policy about a lot of things that have nothing to do with writing code such as health benefits.

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The link between any particular issue and what Eich's day-to-day responsibility would have been can be made as tenuously as we want. I could argue six-degrees-of-separation-style that every belief he held is relevant to his position. The basic point remains: we shouldn't be punishing people for holding beliefs that we disagree with, or coerce them into renouncing their disagreement in order to remain in our good graces. That's not democracy and it's not how you win a policy argument. No matter how right or wrong the belief in question is, such policing creates a hostile environment where people are afraid to argue, debate, and say what they really think.

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> No matter how right or wrong the belief in question is, such policing creates a hostile environment where people are afraid to argue, debate, and say what they really think.

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?

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Yup, same belief. Because that archaic thinking is going away. I don't care if he donated $1000 to the KKK. If it isn't affecting his role as CEO, then who cares. But I support gay marriage and I still eat at Chic Filet, so what do I know.

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That is the problem with the ad hominem culture in America. Just because a person is racist/whatever doesn't necessarily mean that s/he is a bad person. We should actually be open to people who have these ideas. We don't have to hurt people to change them.

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.

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What if his belief was something that you agreed with, and he got fired for it? Would have you the same opinion then? Would there be any discussion?

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The real question here is whether democracy (i.e. the vote) is taken after influence games have been played out and resolved, or before.

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).

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I'm not sure that punishing is the right word here. people who did what they did, whether it be his board leaving, or people uninstalling firefox,or op-ed letters or forum comments. All that is not punishment, that is nobody was deprived of anything. Negative public sentiment is a tough thing. But I think that it actually represents democracy quite well. Democracy can do the morally wrong thing, it can keep a minority enslaved for example.

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Which specifically policy of Mozilla has any relation to gay marriage in California?

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an obvious policy: since CA doesn't have gay marriage, it's optional to offer partners of gay employees health benefits

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Are you sure it is optional? [1] In any case Mozilla does offer them. So what exactly is the problem? What would change with or without gay marriage recognized by California? If anything, this shows that while Eich may be opposed to gay marriage, he is not at all opposed to equal benefits (unless of course you could point to instance where he tried to remove that policy).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_partnership_in_Califo...

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California does have gay marriage now, Prop 8 was overturned on appeal.

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True, but a) Mozilla had benefits equality all along anyway, and b) California moved to equalize benefits way before prop 8 was overturned, see my link above or look it up - for almost all matters except calling it "marriage", domestic partnerships in California have the same meaning as "marriage" for about a decade now. The whole hoopla seems to be exclusively about calling it "marriage", not about any benefits or any economic or legal matters.

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A two class system leaves room to give one class new and exclusive benefits.

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The only issue I had with domestic partnerships was the lack of federal recognition, and the lack of universal recognition by other states.

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If that were true then would you consider it right to oust Mr Eich because the company in which he only just became CEO abides by the law? Wouldn't it be more mature, and democratic, to request that the company adjusted to allow people equal benefits regardless of their beliefs about sexuality and then take action if they refuse.

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Oh, it would be, only Mozilla already has equal benefits. So they can't adjust something they've been doing all along.

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No, the basis for a reasonable fear is that he helped strip a civil right from gay people.

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.

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> Even the bible says, "You will know them by their fruits," meaning that it's reasonable to judge people by what they do.

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.

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Sure. And I hope people were weighing that. It definitely meant something to me.

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.

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>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.

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.

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He previously worked against gay people's civil rights. When questioned about that, he promised that at work he wouldn't do that. But he has conspicuously avoided any substantive statement about his donation or whether he'd do something similar in the future. So there's no conjecture here, just a rephrasing.

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Even the bible says, "You will know them by their fruits," meaning that it's reasonable to judge people by what they do.

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.

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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.

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.

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I don't agree with his (apparent) personal views. But he has made an expression of sorrow for hurt (it's still an apology, though it might not be as strong as you want), and he has clearly stated that the position of Mozilla won't change. Folks like wpietri ignore these things and keep on stating that one event of six years ago is all we need to know of the man. I think Eich's (apparent) position is wrong, but I also can't condone the strawman that's been built up around him, which is being used as a proxy for a witchhunt.

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.

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> keep on stating that one event of six years ago is all we need to know of the man

- He donated to Prop 8.

- He donated to Pat Buchanan, who has largely made his bones on hating anybody who isn't WASPy[1].

- He donated $750 to Thomas McClintock[2], 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[2], 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.)

[1] - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/02/controvers...

[2] - OpenSecrets donor query - it requires a captcha, though, so I've omitted the link.

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So your opinion is no person who considers homosexuality to be wrong should be allowed employment?

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.

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Being allowed employment and being the leader of a diverse company including people you've helped to discriminate against are two different things.

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.

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So he couldn't support a gun lobby and keep his job; or support abortion and keep his job (assuming there are some people in Mozilla who oppose guns/abortion)?

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>support a gun lobby and keep his job; or support abortion and keep his job

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?

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but...being unable to control your body's reproductive rights does make you unequal. You're being discriminated against by having other beliefs forced upon you and your body, much like gays are discriminated against by having a different sexual orientation. Anti-abortion lobbying strips women of their reproductive rights and promotes inequality.

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ug sorry my reply was poorly worded. the parent post said "or support abortion and keep his job". so yes, you cant compare that as support of abortion is in favor of giving women the right to control our own bodies, unlike prop 8 where it was taking away gays right to marry.

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Considering homosexuality to be wrong is not the problem here. If Eich doesn't like gay sex, or thinks his god would disapprove, then he doesn't have to have gay sex. Problem solved!

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.

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Do you support polyamorous marriage?

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I don't know about him, but I do.

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An expression of sorrow is not in fact an apology. It's just an expression of sorrow. What it certainly isn't is an explanation of his helping to strip gay people of a civil right. It isn't a claim that he has changed his apparent view that gay people are second-class citizens. And isn't a promise that he will no longer work against the civil rights of his employees.

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.

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Eich expressed sorrow for causing pain to his colleagues. But he did not apologize for working to strip gay people of a civil right. He did not say he thought that was wrong. He did promise to be a good boy at work, which is great, but I can understand why some people find that insufficient.

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.

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Oh boy, you brought the Bible into the discussion. Brave.

> 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.

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heh. can't not appreciate the irony of defending public shaming someone because of a hint that he may be anti-gay rights ...with a bible quote.

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Thanks. But it's not a hint. He helped strip gay Californians of a civil right. An action which he has neither repudiated nor apologized for.

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It's interesting that you refer to the Bible "you will know them by their fruits" meaning it is reasonable to judge people by what they do. Isn't that what we do when we oppose queer rights? You think it's OK to punish Eich for what he does. Bottom line is you justify your actions whenever you think you're right on an issue so what makes you think you're above someone who opposes queer rights.

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I guess the same thing that makes me think I'm above people who are opposed to civil rights for black people, or any other group facing groundless prejudice.

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.

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Hey, if we're gonna go quoting that book, I believe there was something about throwing the first stone.

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Oh, that's definitely a good bit. But that was in the context of a court, and a woman accused of adultery (with, of course, the guy not around).

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.

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...at anyone who works on Saturday. (Numbers 15:32-56)

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Perfectly said.

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Support for Prop 8 has a huge age gradient, as does anti-homosexuality in general. Support for Prop 8 falls by about 0.75% per year Ages 18-24 voted overwhelmingly against it. 65+ voted overwhelmingly for it. Old people hate gays. Young people don't.

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.

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The problem is that support for Prop 8 has been misrepresented as "hate" of gays, and that gullible young people have been tricked to support the gay agenda in the first place, and also to believe anyone who disagrees with that agenda is 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.

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> let's confront the haters and explain in a clear, concise manner why their beliefs are invalid.

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.

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You act as if the decisions are uniform. Legislation banning gay marriage has been upheld repeatedly by the courts. Prop 8 itself has had an eventful docket, and was most recently struck by a court (after being upheld), and the Supreme Court refused to decide on the case's claims because the party appealing the decision did not have standing to bring the case. The Supreme Court has made no ruling on Proposition 8.

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.

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Your are absolutely correct, the lower courts have decided one way or another depending on their state's legal tradition, while the Federal Courts must measure against the U.S. Constitution and those courts' decisions have been remarkably uniform, especially in terms of what arguments they'll accept from the two parties.

> 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.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/7176...

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/7176...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/35374462/California-Prop-8-Ruling-...

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.

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And there's always SCOTUSBlog if all else fails. It's where I go for reporting and analysis.

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I've similarly found SCOTUS opinions to be really good, and easy, reads.

Thanks for the links.

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> 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.

This is actually completely backwards. It only became tenable to approach as a legal issue after gay marriage had become culturally acceptable.

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Yeah, courts are subject to popular opinion in a way. I suspect many gay couples wanted to get married, but were denied in lower courts and appeals denied after. It's finally reached the popular critical mass to make it to the Federal level and that's why it's suddenly an issue.

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.

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Trying to strip civil rights from people for no rational reason may, for some individuals, may not be motivated by hate. But if you're on the receiving end of it, I'm not sure it makes much of a difference.

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.

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I think the gay rights activists have to resort to bullying precisely because their case is not supported by rationality. I also do not believe that this is a "civil rights" issue, nor do I believe that same-sex marriages should be legal. In fact, I don't even believe homosexual behavior should be legal.

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I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but I'll bite anyway: What rational reason do you have for desiring the criminalization of any sort of sexual activity between two consenting adults, in the privacy of their own home?

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Prop 8 didn't criminalise any behaviour.

What rational reason do you have for misrepresenting the positions of others, publicly and when Wikipedia is mere clicks away?

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Argh, I was wrong. Thought this was in the context of Prop 8.

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.

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The post he is responding to explicitly says "I don't even believe homosexual behavior should be legal", so he's not misrepresenting anything.

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Doh, you're right. Editing my comment.

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Incest?

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That's a reason to deny people the right to procreate with near family members but that doesn't prevent any sexual actions (because for example abortifacients could be used).

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You should be more direct in your support for incestuous sex and bestiality. Those people are more seriously hurt by bigots since they have a much weaker voice. If you only support popularly-acceptable sexual activity, then you shouldn't misuse the emphasized "any".

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I'm confused, do you think that "consenting adults" refers to animals? What are you trying to tell us about yourself?

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?

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I agree with you. I just think we shouldn't judge people for their sexual activities no matter how perverted they might seem to us. Instead we should consider if they're harmful to others. Insulting people for having sexual activity with animals is the exact same bigotry as insulting people for homosexual activity. By the way sex with close relatives is still illegal in most of the western world. I know it's a wrong law but almost everyone implicitly supports it.

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No, it's not at all the same. Animals cannot consent. Nor can children.

(I think polyamorous relationships should definitely be recognized by the government, though.)

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We can kill, enslave, and psychologically torture them as well as rape them to make them pregnant (farmers and breeders do this routinely) and most people are OK with that. The real reason people don't like the sex part is because it's seen as disgusting, perverted and weird, not because of consent. Very similar to the real reason people don't like gays, not because they aren't good at having babies.

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When people honestly see how animals are treated, they are disgusted as well. Those industries go to great lengths to keep their operations private.

Consent is a real issue, and should be part of the equation. Certainly with Children, but with animals as well.

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Homosexual behavior doesn't only occur in the privacy of a home, and if kept truly private, it'd be impossible to arrest anyone for engaging in the activity. I'm more concerned about public homosexual behavior and the message that tolerance of this behavior broadcasts, which is that a) we no longer understand or value the pre-eminent importance of the male-female sexual partnership, which is the only way children can be conceived and the preferred way for children to be raised, providing in the child's upbringing proper balance of inherent masculine and feminine traits that cannot be sufficiently replicated by same-sex parentage, and b) that we tolerate incursions that threaten the establishment of that sexual partnership as the fundamental unit of social cohesion or that indicate alternative sexual behaviors are acceptable.

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).

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If there is anything this world does not currently have a problem with, it is forgetting how to pop out more babies.

How does permitting people who are homosexual to express their relationship publicly in any way prevent men and women from fucking each other?

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It's not about stopping the instinct to fuck, that obviously is not going to happen. It's about breaking down the structures and the constraints that give order to those instincts, and result in domestic and national peace, stability, and strength. The exact problem is that people see it as you've described and have discarded the importance of the structures that are in place to make civilized life possible.

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.

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You're just spewing "fire and brimestone" shit. How exactly is permitting homosexuals to be in relationships with each other damaging in any way your ability to have a heterosexual relationship?

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I never claimed that permitting homosexuals to be in relationships damages my ability to have a heterosexual relationship, so I'm not sure why you're asking me that. It seems that you failed to read or process my posts and have fallen back to a stock pro-gay marriage defense that has no relevance to the comments I left. The existence or legal standing of homosexual relationships does not affect my personal heterosexual relationships. It's about the aggregate effect on the institution of marriage and the structures of society, not about any direct effect on my personal relationship with my wife.

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> I honestly do not believe we will make it more than 1 or 2 more generations without complete social collapse

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.

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many societies are facing this right now, see Russia, Japan, Germany, Italy, places with quickly declining populations. Meanwhile, other countries are rapidly growing. In the world of geopolitics, is having a rapidly declining population and seeing your stake at the table fade away, a good one? The countries popping out the most babies have traditional views regarding the role of marriage in building a society. And no, the 0.0001% of children born from artificial insemination does not nudge the needle enough.

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The countries "popping out the most babies" first and foremost have poverty, lack of education, and high infant mortality in common.

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)

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Tolerance of homosexuality has absolutely fuck-all to do with birthrates in those countries.

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." ?

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Why do I care if my position on marriage promotes or discourages the creation of new humans? I guess you haven't noticed, but we have enough.

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.

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>Why do I care if my position on marriage promotes or discourages the creation of new humans? I guess you haven't noticed, but we have enough.

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.

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> In my mind, things must be severely broken to make this condition possible.

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?

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> The masculinity and femininity contributed by one full-time parent from each sex.

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.

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>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.

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.

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I've got news for you pal: science has made it possible to conceive without a "male-female sexual partnership" for a while now.

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Not really. You still need a male-female sexual partnership. Science just cobbles it together after the fact.

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Be that as it may, homosexual couples are still becoming parents. Who cares (aside from yourself) and how does it matter what process was used for that to occur?

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No-Fault divorce has done more to harm heterosexual marriage than gay marriage ever will.

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World's most articulate caveman

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Well, then, you are a fucking asshole.

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Well, then, you are a fucking asshole.

^^you might want to delete this

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Let them, then. I'm just calling it how I see it. Anyone who says "homosexual acts should be banned" is either trolling or they're a horrifying throwback of a human being. Either way, they're an asshole.

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dang (mod) has stated explicity that this kind of name-calling is zero tolerace.

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ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7525573

ref2:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7525555

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What's ridiculous about it? People who would deny homosexuals the right to marry are reprehensible. It's not too hard to understand.

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See, there's your problem. Labeling people "reprehensible" who don't agree with you about the limitations of what defines "marriage", but who otherwise might completely support the legal rights of same-sex couples in regards to health benefits and so on.

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.

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Your argument is absolutely absurd.

Were black people who fought against separate-but-equal segregation policies "bullies" to you, too?

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Marriage isn't a bus or restaurant. Marriage is something else entirely, it is not needed for survival.

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.

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Marriage has been declared a basic civil right in more than one Supreme Court case, including but not limited to Loving v. Virginia and Turner v. Safley. The first one being about interracial marriage.

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Court rulings from 50 years ago won't help - the context then was race, not sexuality.

This is another example of drawing parallels with obviously blatant racism from well before the 60s and hoping it fits the modern argument.

Further ramblings:

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.

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You need to disconnect the argument from the person making it, they are not one in the same.

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".

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True, those people just need to get over their stupid hangups.

Being actually anti-gay is reprehensible (see the above person who stated that homosexual acts should be illegal).

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>The problem is that support for Prop 8 has been misrepresented as "hate" of gays.

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.

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>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.

See above.

>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.

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>It's actually not perfectly accepted among religious communities.

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.

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People have not been spending their time arguing about the pragmatic negative effects of choosing Eich due to the perception of young people that he is a bigot (regardless of facts.) They have spent their time talking about how terrible Eich actually is, how terrible Mozilla actually is, etc, etc.

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Old people only know gay people as Elton John and Freddie Mercury. Younger people know normal people as gay, so it's no wonder.

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Freddie Mercury was bisexual, at least according to Brian May's account of Mercury having sexual relations with many women. Elton John too was married and in interview said he was bisexual, but yes more recently has stated his behaviour is homosexual.

I wonder why people find it so important to note a person had/have homosexual sex but not mention they had/have heterosexual sex.

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Do young people really believe this?

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Yes. You should have seen my mother when she figured out that Liberace was gay. As if Liberace wasn't the gayest person ever.

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I knew Liberace was gay before I knew what gay was. Just like google could spot cats in videos.

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Liberace appears to have had a homosexual relationship, but he himself denied it. "Gay" to me implies a person who openly embraces a lifestyle including exclusively homosexual sex; under such a definition he was not gay. Indeed he won a libel case against a newspaper and stated he wasn't homosexual and had never taken part in homosexual acts. His supposed live-in lover also failed to show he was homosexual.

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-.

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Well, I do, because I was told by older people and it makes sense. Why?

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Because (in the US at least), gay people started more openly coming out in the 1970s, with large increases in the 80s as well. So that's 30-40 years of gays becoming increasingly open.

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.

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You're assuming the people he briefly led and who worked with Eich for years thought of him this way. I'm hugely anti Prop 8, but "reprehensible bigot" is not a coat of paint I would use on all of its supporters.

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> on one extreme are the bigots who hate homosexuals and on the other there are people who simply have hangups about the word "marriage" vs "civil unions."

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.

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Marriages are just contracts, governments should treat them as such. Having a special case is just stupid.

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>there are people who simply have hangups about the word "marriage" vs "civil unions."

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?

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Please don't paint all Christians with a broad brush. I, for one, support gay marriage, as do many others. Just say'n.

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.

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"Marriage" IS a civil contract. This is the entire point of the institution. And considering the Government is the embodiment of and the centralized authority for our society, it very much should be at the center of marriage.

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.

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You wrote the comment I was about to write, but I would also add: plenty of groups have come up with modifiers or completely new names to describe their marriages as they differ from the civil meaning of "marriage", so I'm not sure what the big deal is about putting the burden on (for example) religions to come up with something other than "marriage" by itself to use if sharing it with lgbt people getting married is just unimaginable for some reason.

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...

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>"Marriage" IS a civil contract. This is the entire point of the institution.

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.

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"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"

Yes, exactly.

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".

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>Please don't paint all Christians with a broad brush.

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.

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In fairness, I did misread what you wrote, just as you've said here, so my apologies.

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And you're pinning this on Christians, which is also idiotic. First, I could introduce you to more than a handful of non-christians that do not support gay marriage. Second, take a look at other countries, specially theocracies, see how they treat gays.

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>And you're pinning this on Christians, which is also idiotic.

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!"

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I agree that it's idiotic. But if someone feels this way, they are just an idiot (in that respect.) Most people are idiots in one way or another. But that doesn't mean they are necessarily a bigot or think gay people are subhuman, as has been accused of Eich. And we all know that having stupid, idiotic opinions never prevented anyone from being a CEO.

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Yep. Some people might consider the design of Javascript to be idiotic, but nobody was calling for him to resign over that.

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He had the opportunity to clarify which of these views he held. He chose to step down and leave us to speculate instead.

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That's a fair point. But to play devil's advocate, I can empathize with someone just wanting to get out of the spotlight when they are in the middle of a worldwide mob accusing them of being a bigot. In all likelihood, at that point, anything you say will just be manipulated to re-enforce the view that you are an intolerant, evil person.

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Well, actually, he comes across as the bigger person.

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.

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He didn't say that at all. He said:

"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.

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How is that not the right thing to do?

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.

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Who said it was the wrong thing to do? You wrote:

"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.

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Hmm, wait, so you're saying that somebody doesn't have good-faith assumptions, and they want to have a reasonable adult conversation with him?

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?

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That actually sounds like the most reasonable thing I've heard out of this entire fiasco.

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Sorry, you're just wrong. There is no language in prop 8 that has to do with the concept of civil unions. All it DID do was define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

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.

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If you are someone who believes gay people should be allowed to form civil unions, but are offended by the idea that those unions be called marriages, supporting prop 8 is consistent with those views even though it doesn't mention civil unions.

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.

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> If you are someone who believes gay people should be allowed to form civil unions, but are offended [emphasis added] by the idea that those unions be called marriages

... 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.

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> There's no way out of this.

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.

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Well, in that case: marriage is absolutely a polygamous institution; if a virgin is raped she must marry her rapist; a husband owns his wife's property; a wife may not assume any sort of authority over her husband, etc.

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No no, it's the words of god that we choose to accept.

That's why the rules can change whenever the church feels like it.

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If you ask one of these people you're talking about how they would feel if their daughter or son turned out to be gay, how many of them do you think would say, "I would love them just as much, but I don't think they should be allowed to get married"? I think a much more likely response is denial of the very possibility, combined with anger that you would suggest it. Doesn't that seem a more likely response to you? And what do you think that denial and anger would be rooted in? Does it really make sense that it's just about the definition of "marriage"?

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" :-)

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>... then you still see gay people as fundamentally different from and less than straight people.

/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.

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Societies can not have rights, as society is nothing but many people. People have rights, but I don't see how many people can have the right to regulate somebody's private behavior. Where would such right come from? 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? 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?

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>Societies can not have rights, as society is nothing but many people

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.

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I'm not sure why I'm replying to this, but to point out some very basic things:

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.

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Societies have a right to regulate the private behaviors of their citizens

Societies are not set in stone.

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You're still stretching the point.

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.

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I, personally, have an issue with witch hunts, with McCarthyism, with bigotry.

Eich's persecution for his beliefs was bigotry.

Everyone complicit in it is a bigot.

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One man can't be CEO because other people complained on the Internet. A great many people temporarily couldn't get married because that one man paid good money to make it so.

And your sympathies lie with the poor persecuted CEO. Won't someone think of the rich white guy for once?

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> One man can't be CEO because other people complained on the Internet.

Just as importantly--if not more so: board members and employees in the organization were complaining.

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So why did they appoint him in the first place?

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That's a pretty good question, and (as noted elsewhere) it's amazing that nobody saw this coming. It took them a while to settle on him, too.

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> A great many people temporarily couldn't get married because that one man paid good money to make it so.

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.

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Okay, that's fair, I'm clearly exaggerating.

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.

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I'd say Eich's deposition affects a lot of people ... the users of all Mozilla software. We've discarded the technical brilliance and direction of this man because a few noisy people disagreed with his political beliefs, which he expressed politely and quietly, never intentionally inflaming anyone. He was "exposed" by witch hunters for supporting a very mainstream and normal political position. If we're going to throw away the technical expertise of anyone who disagrees with us, we're going to have a bad time.

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I have strong emotional investment in Mozilla, because they fight to do the right thing, not just do whatever's mainstream and normal. Prop 8 was emphatically not the right thing. Eich has fought some of the battles I sympathize with, and I certainly hope he keeps doing that, but I'm not comfortable seeing him as head of the company.

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No, Eich's $1000 didn't singlehandedly determine a law. It's peanuts. It's nothing. On the other hand, this witch hunt did singlehandedly disenfranchise him of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of employment.

There is no comparison.

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The pro-prop-8 side spent $39M. The passage of the amendment caused the state to stop recognizing 18,000 previously-legitimate marriages. So if you count only immediate effects, his $1000 contribution works out to 0.46 marriages, or destroying the marriage of about one person. Is the emotional harm done to that person worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It's at least comparable.

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

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What's the sound of one person getting married?

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Do you believe that you're making a good-faith attempt to understand how prop 8 caused actual harm to people, and how Eich bears some responsibility for that harm?

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.

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"I do"?

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The inventor of JavaScript will have to find something else to do. Woe unto him.

It's not a witch hunt if we really did catch him red-handed using his magical powers for evil.

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It is a witch hunt. He didn't do anything illegal.

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.

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I didn't do anything illegal, either. Yet you seem to have some unspoken set of rules beyond mere law that govern what is acceptable behavior. I've got some of those, too.

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.

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Anecdotally, I've only heard a lot of people complain. Comparing this to a witch hunt appears pretty absurd. Nobody is physically attacking him for what he believes.

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.

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You disenfranchised him of employment, which has very physical repercussions.

Yes, you very much physically attacked this man.

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Well, you're just wrong, simple as that. If you can't see the difference, I suggest you try educating yourself.

I'm not going to waste my time with your factually incorrect pedantry.

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>Sorry, you're just wrong. There is no language in prop 8 that has to do with the concept of civil unions.

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.

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But we can look to states like Washington - where there were 2 votes - 3 years apart on gay unions. One established domestic partnerships with all the state-granted rights and responsibilities of marriage. The other legalized same sex marriage.

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.

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While everything you wrote is basically true, there's perhaps another detail of Washington and Oregon politics to consider - the west and east are completely divided politically in both states. For example, if you were to look at another divisive issue like the legalization of marijuana, you'd probably find that exactly the same counties in Washington voted against it as that voted against same-sex marriage. Eastern Washington and eastern Oregon are rural, agrarian, religious, and significantly Republican compared to urban, wealthy, etc Portland and Seattle. So, when you look at issues like this is isn't just "a pretty large percentage of the electorate" but rather a geopolitical divide that runs straight down the Cascades.

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> 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.

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?

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>why does marriage have to be between a man and a women?

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.

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I am not saying I agree with this, but allowing gay people to be married gives them rights to adopt children. If you believe that the foundation of society is traditional family and that children should be raised, when possible, in a traditional family, you could see why someone would appose gay marriage.

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> * It means you don't believe that the government should recognize same sex marriages as marriages.*

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.

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Yeah, and here's a third thing: Prop 8 support is mainstream TODAY! Sure, maybe it's extremely unpopular among the hackernews crowd (including myself) but let's not forget that Prop 8 support is hardly fringe. Prop 8 actually passed! In California!

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It passed with 52% 6 years ago with an allegedly confusing ballot paper. You can't extrapolate from that to what might happen if you repeated the vote today.

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I'm not saying it would easily pass again if a vote were held today. All I'm saying this establishes is that opposition to gay marriage is not, in the community at large, a fringe view.

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...in 2008 according to a possibly confusing ballot paper.

You cannot in any way extrapolate from that vote 6 years ago to how things might be now. No sir, you cannot.

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Then I suggest you go read some opinion polls. Here's a relatively recent one: http://www.gallup.com/poll/163730/back-law-legalize-gay-marr...

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.

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> people who simply have hangups about the word "marriage" vs "civil unions."

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).

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So Barack Obama, the President of the US, was against gay marriage in 2008; I'm confused as to why he gets a pass here, but the head of Mozilla doesn't?

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I can understand why he gets a pass: He probably was only publicly against it in 2008 in order to win an election, and when it was politically convenient he had a "change of heart" and has repented.

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.

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Opposing something right because it's politically convenient isn't any more ethically defensible than opposing something you truly disagree with. You, as liberals tend to do, are giving Obama a pass -- he can't not do the right thing, by your logic.

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?

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Politicians say one thing while believing something else all the time. It's almost a qualification for the job.

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.

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I think it's clear that the comment you're replying to does give them a pass since he says he votes GOP.

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So, being against gay marriage is so despicable that you can't even use software that is associated with organization that is run by such a vile man. But if this vile act is performed in service of being elected president of the USA, that's completely OK. Not sure I get how that works out. To me it sounds like "Did you murder this guy? - Surely, yes. - You're going to jail! - But I'm a politician, I did it to get elected! - Oh! Why didn't you tell it from the start! It's completely different then, you're free to go."

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Or maybe he didn't support gay marriage then and doesn't support it now, but is scared of a ravenously malicious committee of self-appointed witch hunters who are out to destroy anyone who dares to disagree with them on their pet cause. Or maybe he just did it because certain organizations or people would give him more money for his presidential library, and he still privately disagrees with it.

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.

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Left-leaning folks are going to be gun-shy about third parties for a while. The memories of 2000 with Gore/Nader in Florida aren't fading all that fast.

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So there's no view a Democrat could express that wouldn't disqualify him in left-leaning folks' minds? That would be depressing. Winning isn't everything.

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That depends entirely on the expressed views of the person they're running against. I accept anyone I vote for is going to do things I don't like. Maybe most things. Avoiding the vote because there's no candidate that's "perfect" leads to people getting in that will do EVEN MORE things I don't like, so while winning isn't everything, it's a lot.

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Winning isn't everything, no. A "loyal opposition" is an important thing - I'd love to see Eisenhower/Goldwater Republicans balancing out the Democrats.

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.

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A related point, though, is that the opposition is almost always characterized as "crazy" at the time.

Goldwater was portrayed as a dangerous right-winger when he was around. The famous "daisy" campaign ad [1] 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.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDTBnsqxZ3k

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So were a majority of voters in California in 2008. I think anyone hiring in California would be an ~evil homophobe~ if they didn't screen their applicants on their prop 8 vote these days.

But really I have no idea why Obama(or javascript) gets a pass. The thing that is so frustrating to me as someone who lives in a liberal hivemindy area(DC) and works in a hivemindy field(tech) is that "opposing marriage equality"(which is super biased phrasing) is NOT a fringe or rare opinion in a vast majority of the country.

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.

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> So Barack Obama, the President of the US, was against gay marriage in 2008; I'm confused as to why he gets a pass here

(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." [1] (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.

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2008/11/obama-on-mtv-i/

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Barack Obama was appointed the President of the United States, which is a bit higher position that CEO of Mozilla, with all due respect to Firefox and all. Still nobody of the people who waged war on Eich did not say anything remotely like that about Obama the whole time while he was publicly opposing it. And if you think that President's position is worth less than $1000 in cash, you don't really understand what President in the US means. The whole point is that Obama was "our guy" and Eich was not. That's why Obama got the pass and was patiently allowed to "evolve", but Eich got the "enemy of the nation" treatment.

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He didn't get a pass. A lot of people made a huge issue out of it from the day he announced to the day he changed his views. He also didn't stand in the way of the advancing equality movement while he mulled it over. Brendan Eich did, to the tune of $1000.

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Actually, with respect to civil rights, acts of omission matter >= acts of commission.

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.

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Furthermore, this man supported a controversial cause to the tune of peanuts worth of money, and his job is to run a tech non-profit.

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.

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> Actually, with respect to civil rights, acts of omission matter >= acts of commission.

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.

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Well I believe it was just under 2 years ago, May 2012, that Obama first said that he personally approved of it -- but still thought it should be left up to the states. Text and video: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/dissecting-president-oba...

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.)

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Anyone with half a brain knew that Obama did not really oppose gay marriage. When he switched views no one was really surprised... At least of those with half a brain.

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If that's true, isn't it terribly disturbing they were not concerned he was lying.

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They made such a huge issue out of it they elected him president.

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Obviously he's still president. So, yeah.

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Who said he gets a free pass?

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.

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This is the fallacy that maintains the system you complain about. Voting for a 3rd party supports that party and gains them publicity. Just because they don't win (this time) doesn't mean it's wasted. By your reasoning, any vote for a losing party is wasted, so you should only vote according to the latest poll figures. However all options are guaranteed to produce many of the results you want. The greater of two evils still outlaws murder and theft and still enforces contracts, and all sorts of useful laws, just like the lesser of two evils does.

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How well did third parties do after Nader in 2000, or Perot in the 90's? This seems like a glaring counter-example to your argument, don't you think?

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Nader did well following Perot. Eventually one of these might make it and if they also act to weaken the two-party system, the floodgates could open like they have in other countries. But none of that can happen if people who don't like the two-party system keep voting for it anyway just because of petty bipartisan tribalism.

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No. Perot did around 15% in his first run (with 10s of millions of his own money), followed up by 5%. Nader did in the low single digits. There is no momentum to be had. They do exactly as well as their money will allow. Third party candidates have no shot.

Look up first-past-the-post voting. It is impossible for a viable third party to do well in such a voting system.

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Context partly. Think about it: Mozilla vs Population of the US, certainly there are massive differences of opinion between these groups. Mozilla is clearly a group that holds the rights of LGBT people in high regard. The population of the US as a whole -- less so.

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.

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Because he's recanted, and is too powerful to assail anyway. 'Who, Whom?'

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Because he changed his stance. Brendan refuses to do so, he's defending his bigotry and standing by it.

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He evolved. Brendan did not.

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I think it's easy to also say he lied. Probably before, and his support of gay marriage is his true heart... which is nice, so he's got that going for him. But, he probably lied.

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Obama presides over a nation who are basically split on the issue. Eich was the CEO of an organization, members of which are overwhelmingly in favor.

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I keep hearing people saying that gay marriage is more than just a political view, but so is every other political view.

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.

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Well put. The problem is that on almost every issue, people think their own personal view is "above" the issue somehow (see dopamean's comment at the top of this page for an example). Atheists claim they shouldn't even have to debate religious people because it's so "obvious". Pro-choice people claim they shouldn't even have to debate pro-life people because women's rights are "so obvious". Same thing with gay marriage.

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.

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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

your black or white stance is a logical fallacy.

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That's precisely the point - people are portraying Eich as being against gays because he doesn't support gay marriage, which is a logical fallacy.

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I have heard people mention this distinction before, but it seems a bit arbitrary to me.

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.

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> 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.

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The difference for me is that we all have to work to live. Racists, sexists, and homophobes running workplaces have a direct effect on the standard of living and the effort it takes to preserve it for groups of people who are already besieged and disadvantaged.

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.

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There is absolutely nothing in Eich's record which would indicate what you're saying is true. If he had actually had a "direct effect on the standard of living" of any employee, that should have been resolved through an internal review process of his actual behavior, not a public lynching of a man based on a political issue (that was, let's not forget, endorsed by a majority of California voters).

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If you think it's "not up for discussion," I think there is a serious problem with your view. And yes, I think my previous sentence is up for discussion.

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The problem is that the state has granted privileges to married people.

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.

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I am against gay marriage and in favor of polygyny. I do not believe that we should get the state out of marriage. Marriage is nothing without effective legal protections and backing. Your position is the literal fulfillment of all those people who said that gay marriage would destroy real marriage. That is precisely what you are claiming should happen -- marriage should stop being a real thing, and if you feel like saying you're married, then go ahead and do it. I just wanted to point this out since many people say it's ridiculous that gay marriage would destroy straight marriage. You are explicitly endorsing said destruction.

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The notion that the state should lord over the private consenting adults is bizarre and unsettling.

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.

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Ah, the rub is that some people don't believe it maximizes happiness or freedom to legalize any kind of sexual activity as long as a vague notion of consent is present. Consent isn't the only thing that matters in law.

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.

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Is this not a meaningful dialogue? I'm afraid the answer is "No." What can be gained by engaging in conversation a person who believes that I am, at my very core, evil and destructive?

But by all means, lecture me on "shame, humiliation, demagoguery, and persecution" that you have endured!

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I don't believe either gay rights supporters or persons who identify as gay are "evil and destructive" at their very cores. I think they are misguided and confused. I think they can still provide useful contributions despite their confusion on these central issues (which doesn't necessarily mean that their destructive behaviors should go unpunished), and I think that their destructive behaviors could be corrected if the right circumstances were effected.

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.

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So you respect my freedom of speech but believe that my "destructive" nature is worthy of punishment? Gee thanks, I guess. As long as your yakking it up over the 1st amendment, why not add "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" to the list of things you respect?

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It's not about freedom of speech. I didn't say anything about your nature. I believe homosexual behaviors are worthy of punishment because they pose a threat to the successful existence of society; they impede the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" of society as a whole, and I oppose these behaviors precisely because I respect the preservation of those principles. Behaviors that produce that impediment are known as "crimes".

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.

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I find your ideas worrisome indeed. To call homosexuals a threat to society has no merit- not an iota! It's both unfounded and callous to compare it to criminality.

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.

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I think there is a great deal of merit in the claim that practicing homosexuals threaten society. I have explained my reasoning elsewhere. You may disagree with me, but you cannot say that I have an unreasoned or stupid opinion. It should also be noted that until very recently, the criminality of homosexuality was obvious and every jurisdiction punished it as sodomy. Perhaps everyone that ever lived prior to 1970 was hateful and stupid, but I don't think that's exceptionally likely. My opinion is simply that they were more in touch with reality and didn't have the insane invincibility complex that we have now.

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.

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"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"

There are people in any camp that say deplorable things. Generalizing this way, and patting yourself on the back, isn't terribly useful.

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Shared health benefits? Child custody rights? etc...

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It's also a religious view for many. For someone who belongs to a religious community, publicly renouncing canon has serious impacts on you and your family's social standing. Many people are able to balance their personal beliefs against their professional obligations. Is a defense attorney who defends a rapist at trial assumed to not be capable of working with women?

People should be judged by actions, not thought. If he was mistreating gay employees, that's a totally different matter.

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But he is being judged by his actions, because his actions suck. His actions like donating a grand to these jerks, like donating money to other jerks like Pat "our promiscuous homosexuals appear literally Hell-bent on Satanism and suicide" Buchanan. He has a history of badness and it's catching up to him. Though, honestly, the Pat Buchanan donation bothers me even more than the Prop 8 one; donating money to Pat Buchanan should not only be reason to not represent Mozilla but possibly be thrown off of planet Earth entirely.

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.

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Says you.

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.

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I don't think anybody's contesting Eich's right to not get gay-married. And likewise, nobody's contesting his legal right to try to strip a civil right from gay people through California ballot propositions.

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.

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The normative nature that you touch on is particularly bizarre. All too often, "live and let live" is only something that must be respected when it's straight white men doing the living. (I'm a straight white male, and that bugs me.)

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The "civil right" phrase is a red herring. You can define any arbitrary item as a civil right - let's say unborn children deserve not to be killed, and thus we should ban all abortion. Then we can talk about any CEO who's donated to Planned Parenthood as stripping civil rights from fetuses and should be unfit for CEO-ship. Gay marriage is at a similar level of contention. Many believe it to not be a a civil right at all until very recently, nor is it accepted by many cultures. Or some accept civil unions but not semantically marriage. If you think you're always going to be right, there will be a definition of "civil right" or just plain "correct" that is diametrically opposed to you.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7526663

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The civil right violated is equality before the law, a right explicitly documented in the 14th amendment.

Which you would know if you had read the decision overturning Prop 8.

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> Part of democracy and free society is that we need to get past those differences.

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.)

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> I generally agree with you but I think the problem here is that being against gay marriage is more than just a "political view."

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.

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You'll forgive me if I find expanding the definition of "marriage" in state and federal law to be a more reasonable approach than having to fight separate battles for each of the 1000+ legal rights and obligations which currently accrue to married couples.

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Do you really think that's what this is about?

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.

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The idea that homosexual relationships "have nothing to do with families" is simply laughable.

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And why is it laughable?

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 =).

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For starters: * Members of a couple (same-sex or opposite sex) have family obligations to their partner's extended family. * A surprising number of same-sex couples have biological children from earlier relationships. * The "traditional nuclear family unit" is not that old a tradition - prior to large-scale industrialization and easy migration, extended families were the rule. It's just one kind of family. Others exist.

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No forgiveness necessary. I think that's a valid strategy.

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Right. How many people would be in here saying this is a free-speech issue if he had donated money to support a law against marriages between people of different races? It is absolutely about human rights, and I applaud the community for drawing a red line on this.

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People keep bringing up interracial marriage, but really it's a red herring. Interracial marriage does not involve a fundamental change to the way marriage works. Furthermore, in practice it is not enforceable, since you would have to know someone's entire ancestry to know whether they were eligible to marry another person.

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.

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"Furthermore, in practice it is not enforceable, since you would have to know someone's entire ancestry to know whether they were eligible to marry another person."

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.

Edit:

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.

Edit again:

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.

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Except if who they love is a child, or a relative, or an animal, or not their spouse, or a member of another race, or an abused wife, or ... I'm 90% agreeing with you, but most people who claim to agree with you are actually only including a very narrow set of people and still want to treat other groups worse just because of who they love. It should really be based on whether they do harm to others or not. Anything else is simply prejudice.

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Low taxes?! You want to cut funding for the social programs that are the only thing giving LGBT folks a shot at surviving in this oppressive, heteronormative world?!?

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.

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If you like to extrapolate...

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.

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Being for low taxes is a political view. Being for smaller government is a political view.

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[1] 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.

(Wikipedia [2])

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[3] 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.

________________________________

Notes:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

3. http://redd.it/21pc8c https://archive.org/details/scm-33066-michaelhuesemanntechno... http://newtechnologyandsociety.org/

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Very thoughtful post, and I wish it weren't buried so deeply. I agree with you, and that's what makes me feel so uncomfortable with this past week's events, as much as I disagree with Prop 8 on both moral and political grounds.

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Depending on your point of view, legal abortion is either part of a fundamental right for a woman to control her own body or an unprecedented holocaust. Should you have to pick the "right" choice in order to be employed in the tech industry?

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Eventually, you will, it seems.

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Look at it this way. If at the time of the invasion of Iraq, people suddenly noticed Eich had donated to an anti-war cause, or maybe mentioned in private that he thought 9/11 was a consequence of US foreign policy, how many red-blooded, freedom-fries eating Americans would have asked for his head because he held an unpopular opinion?

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You seem to intend this as a rhetorical question, but I think it's an excellent literal question. Did this happen? Perhaps you will cite some cases.

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I'm not aware of any case, but it's possible. You may have examples during the Vietnam war or the Red Scare. The basic issue is the same, though: is it OK to let the Vox Populi evict a CEO for holding currently unpopular views?

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One person losing his job, compared to millions of people not being able to marry the person they love? Even if you figure that $1000 as a fraction of the money raised by the campaign, you're still talking about significant emotional harm to hundreds or thousands of people directly affected within CA.

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.]

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> 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.

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.

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As the most populous state, with a reputation for being fairly liberal (but of course that's only the coastal areas), and one of the earlier states to try to address the issue through a referendum, CA was definitely looked to as a bellweather on the issue by the rest of the US.

Of course, the relationship between the US and the rest of the world is totally different.

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So...

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

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Yep! Paying to help keep family members apart and put children at risk is a reasonable political action, one everybody should be a-ok with.

Saying that you don't like that? Shocking oppression of an innocent man.

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Apparently many Mozilla supporters seem to think it is okay to bully a qualified person out of his job only for his political views

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.

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> political views

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.

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I don't agree that he was bullied out of his position. He held a belief that wasn't in line with what the Mozilla organization believes is in their best interests. The most logical thing would be for him to not represent the company as the CEO anymore. It's no different than if he believed Firefox should be a closed source shrink-wrapped product or other view that is contrary to Mozilla's mission.

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.

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"He held a belief that wasn't in line with what the Mozilla organization believes is in their best interests."

The problem now will be what is starting to happen on certain social media sites[1] 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.

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What if he was once donating to an anti-gun campaign and the NRA advocating its members to replace Firefox as browsers (or vice versa)? This is a witch hunt.

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Again, views of an individual don't necessarily have to match the view of an organization. That's why they have a separate mission statement for an organization. Otherwise you'd just pick up the mission of any one of the employees. This is ridiculous to force him to step down by causing public humiliation.

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On top of it, the resignation shines a bad light on gay-marriage activism, nobody likes a bully.

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So registering an opinion about the actions of a public figure is bullying, but making a monetary donation to restrict the rights of a minority is not?

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I can't believe i have to say it, but donating to a cause, no matter how misguided, is meant to effect the public opinion in a certain way through certain channels. Asking for his job, his head or his property because of his opinions is bullying [mob rule is a better term], not civil discourse!

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Proposition 8 was not a campaign to change the political views of people. It had but one purpose, and that purpose was to declare a subset of the population legally unequal to everyone else.

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Everything is political, unless you presume that laws come from nature or from god. If we 're all defacto equal vs marriage, then i could marry my 6-year old cousin.

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If we 're all defacto equal vs marriage, then i could marry my 6-year old cousin.

Just so you know, the official slippery-slope argument is "I could marry my horse".

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i was referring to the appeal to nature rather than to a slippery slope

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Is your 6-year old cousin a consenting adult?

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Why should the majority opinion get to say who's an adult and who's not? Aren't we taking away the rights of minors to marry by claiming that they're relationship would somehow be different to a traditional one?

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.)

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C'mon now, illustrations of a slippery slope oughtn't start so far down the hill.

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.

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The second half of your statement does not follow in any way, shape, or form. Both actions are essentially bullying, and the problem is that it's not truth or justice that has won today, but simply the currently-stronger bully.

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Mozilla is perhaps a special case. In other organizations, I might understand that argument. To me, it feels like a case of cognitive dissonance when the organization promotes free speech, free expression, etc., while its CEO donates to organizations which restrict it.

(Whether or not one agrees with that is besides the point. Mozilla's board does, which is what matters with this decision.)

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>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.

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Mozilla's board is, in fact, not omniscient and may not have foreseen this controversy.

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That's neither here nor there. I was responding to a comment which claimed that the CEO's views were not in line with the board's, you know, the board that made him CEO, and implied that it had something to do with the CEO stepping down. As you say, I'm sure they didn't see an uproar this large coming, but that has nothing to do with my comment.

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Can we say he was empowered by Mozilla's culture to pursue his political view with a passion same as LGBTQ employees of Mozilla would? When did being homophobic become the wrong view to have?

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What if he had supported legislation to ban marriage between people of different races? Would you say that that has absolutely no effect on his qualification or his actions on the job?

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As CEO, part of his responsibilities include the overall corporate culture. You don't see why people might be concerned that someone who put money forward to support a measure with the goal of actively discriminating a group of people might not be qualified to ensure an inclusive, non-discriminatory corporate culture?

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I agree with what you said. I hate it when "Free Speech" is viewed as a one way street. For example:

> 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.

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I have to disagree. Let aside if it is right or wrong to support homophobic groups. Essence is that many people would hate him for what he did - and I think that it is bad to have CEO who is hated for his personal opinions.

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.

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Thanks for saying this.

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.

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I have a hard time when segregation gets labeled as a "political view".

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.

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>even if they had absolutely no effect on his qualification or his actions on the job.

There's no evidence of this either way, and the qualifications for being a CEO are nearly orthogonal to the qualifications for being a developer. He's clearly an outstanding developer; though javascript seems the product of a damaged mind, it's the water we all swim in. As a CEO, he chooses the direction of the company and manages its employees. Being a homophobe could directly apply to some decisions that he would be tasked with making (although he promised it wouldn't and I believed him), but also speaks to his softer (non-code) decision-making skills.

>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.

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What evidence is there that he's a "homophobe"?

7 million other Californians also voted for Prop 8. Does that make them all homophobes?

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Either homophobes, or very misguided. All the evidence points towards Eich falling in the former camp, unfortunately. To recap:

"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.

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The problem with the word "homophobia" is that it tells us almost nothing about a person. Not only does it include people who have negative attitudes toward the people, it also includes people who have a negative attitude towards homosexuality. There is a major difference here: a person and lifestyle are NOT the same thing.

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.

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By "negative attitude towards homosexuality" are you talking specifically about the sexual act? Because, if so, I don't see anyone arguing that heterosexual couples who engage in anal sex should not be allowed to marry.

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This is a red herring for I was not talking specifically. My main point was "a person and lifestyle are NOT the same thing" regarding the negative attitudes in the wikipedia definition of "homophobia".

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Tens of millions of Americans supported anti-miscegination laws. It certainly made them racists.

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yes, actually. not all homophobes are virulent, frothing-at-the-mouth gay bashers who use the word "faggot" a lot.

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.

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It's the socially respectable homophobes in the suits and ties that politicians and people in power listen to, not the thugs shouting "cocksucker!" at people coming out of bars.

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Yes, it does. Many millions of Americans supported slavery/Jim Crow as well.

People were voting against the rights of gays even though the right for same-sex couples to marry had no effect on them personally.

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    > Does that make them all homophobes?
What's your alternative explanation?

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My explanation? That they were in favor of what the Proposition actually was, i.e. insertion of the following language into the state constitution:

"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.

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Out of interest, had the language been "only marriage between a man and a woman of the same color is valid or recognized in California", would you have said supporters of it were racists?

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This analogy is broken. There is nothing of substance that distinguishes people of different races that could rationally preclude them from getting married. There is a substantive difference between the sexes that could rationally limit what combination should be allowed to get married. The former opinion can only be caused by racism. The latter could have a few different sources besides "homophobia".

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    > There is a substantive difference between the sexes
    > that could rationally limit what combination should
    > be allowed to get married
Interesting. Could you expand on what those differences are, that might yield rational reasons?

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.

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Lets clarify some terms: by marriage I mean the institution recognized by government. Of course, anyone can get "married" to anything they want--it just wont be recognized by government.

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.

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The notion that gay people are lesser and should only get the rights of the majority if allowed by their straight betters sounds like homophobia to me. If we look at equivalent historical limitations on interracial marriage (or earlier, black marriage), you'd have a hard time convincing me they weren't racist.

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.

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@peteretep >>>Out of interest, had the language been "only marriage between a man and a woman of the same color is valid or recognized in California", would you have said supporters of it were racists<<<

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.

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By today's hyperexagerrated language, yes.

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>Does that make them all homophobes?

It does.

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It does indeed.

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Yes. Yes, it does.

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I can't help but wish that the gay community would focus its attention on asshats like "Supervisor" Eugene Delgaudio, instead of Brendan Eich. Delgaudio is an elected official with a virulent anti-gay rhetoric (in addition to being ethically challenged, and having avoided criminal prosecution by the narrowest of loopholes in Virginia law).

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> even if they had absolutely no effect on his qualification or his actions on the job.

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.

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What does this even mean? I have no clue who any of the past CEOs of Mozilla were, or that Mozilla was without a CEO for a period of time until Brenden Eich, somebody I've known about for years as a person in the Mozilla Organization, became the CEO.

You want the face of Mozilla? Look at http://planet.mozilla.org/, not the CEO.

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Political views are about allocating scarce resources when confronted with unlimited wants and needs. The act of paying to deny a group of people basic rights that all other groups enjoy is an act of discrimination. Now, a company is a corporate entity that has a brand identity, which it continuously communicates to its audience and the message that Mozilla's sends out is in total contradiction to Brendan Eich's actions.

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.

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> I am a strong supporter of gay marriage

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.

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Apparently many Mozilla supporters... bully

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".

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I would wager that plenty of those opposing Eich don't actually use Mozilla products.

but their relatives might use Firefox, and these relatives might listen those who oppose Eich because they are family...that's called social effect.

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I would guess the proportion of non-tech family that equate firefox/'The Internet' with this set of circumstances approaches zero.

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Apparently many Mozilla supporters seem to think it is okay to bully a qualified person out of his job only for his political views, even if they had absolutely no effect on his qualification

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?

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I'm leery of politically-correct thinking, as well, but I feel Eich had to go, and he made the right decision.

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.

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You can't really compare large scale oppression to individual inconvenience. Besides, being denied equal rights and being denied the opportunity to be CEO of Mozilla are obviously not even remotely comparable.

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Vicious bigotry is not "a political view".

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".

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Well, this is exactly what people wanted after the learnt about this stance and his reactions. I don't understand why you find this worrying. It's mob justice but justice nevertheless. As a CEO, he simply has to accept and support popular opinion and views. That's how people in top management survive.

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Just because it's still up for debate in some of the more unenlightened parts of the world doesn't mean it's a reasonable position to support.

So, many things can be argued to be a "political view" somewhere.

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He should have just said that he's a devout christian or muslim, and therefore does not condone gay marriage. It would suddenly become adorable in the name of tolerance and diversity.

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It can be fairly reliably assumed at this point that someone opposing gay marriage is a devout something-or-other.

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Agreed. And this way we are surely not helping him change his views. Or be more inclusive.

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Is his political views are contrary to some of the organization's core values (such as diversity and inclusiveness), then he should have refused the job. To be fair, I don't think anyone saw this as an issue at that point. Everyone has blind spots.

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"for his political views"

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.

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  "And it really does not take a genius, or an orator, to see which side is the oppressing one."
I only see one side that pushed someone out of a job here.

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I only see one being denied a civil right...?

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On a scale of 1 to 5, how strong of an argument do you believe you're making right here? That an individual assuming a position of high leadership being pressured to leave that leadership position, is equivalent enough to people withholding civil rights from a minority group, to use the word "oppress" to refer to both, to make a rhetorical point? Do you feel like you're really nailing the issue here?

Also, now I have to take back that line anyway. Maybe it does take the ability to categorize well.

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The tech community needs to rewatch "The Lives of Others". Making ideological purity a precondition to employment is fucking terrifying. I'm terrified.

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Jesus, no-one is arguing for that. Do you really think that 'being homophobic' and being 'ideologically pure' are right next to each other on some bizarre morality scale? They are MILES apart.

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Right, and the fact that no CEO could safely utter racist sentiments is another sign of how we're living this Orwellian nightmare.

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