When I was a child, I felt generally good about myself. I was reasonably smart, well-spoken, curious, and so on, and I wanted to do something important with my life. Some nagging part of me suspected I was gay from very early on, but I resisted it intensely. I wasn't really afraid of being mistreated, although I probably should have been. People were already calling me names so I wasn't worried about that. More important for me was my sense that being gay meant being marginal.
There hasn't been a gay President, and at least when I was a child there weren't many gay people visible to me at all. The image of gay people presented to me were not powerful, focused on frivolous things, and consumed by attitude and lifestyle. If I wanted to do something important, I couldn't possibly be gay. It just didn't fit.
Knowing that the CEO of not only the most powerful company, but also the most admirable company, is gay would have helped me enormously. I always wanted apple products even before I could afford them, and this would have meant a clearly visible path forward. I can't imagine how happy this must be making some confused young people, given how happy it's making me right now.
I was in a similar boat. My first exposure to the term "lesbian" was a flash cartoon that had a throwaway gag about a butch woman who lived in the sewer and ate children—I remember going home and crying because I strongly suspected that that's what I was, once the other kids explained what the term meant, and I didn't want to end up having to move underground and away from all my friends once I grew up. (This is hilarious in retrospect, but at the time I was really distressed.)
It's really good that young gay people to have so many prominent and positive role models now, and easy access to information on the subject via the internet. Can't imagine my story happening to anyone today.
Agree! Though as an avid sports fan, I'm disappointed in the sports world for not embracing this topic. With so many professional athletes odds are in favour of many a house hold name being gay, yet there are only a small handful of sports people that are openly gay.
It is inspiring that Tim Cook has done this, and I really hope top athletes look to this and follow suit. Tim Cook will positively influence many, but not as many as say, Michael Jordan or Christiano Ronaldo.
I suppose this is yet another example of our industry being thought leaders.
I know what you mean. Lots of childhood things are silly to look back on. But "hilarious" is just not a word I'd use about a child terrified of her future, even if it was exaggerated.
That said, public opinion is changing very rapidly. XKCD 1431 (http://xkcd.com/1431/) offers an interesting visualization and comparison between gay marriage and interracial marriage. According to XKCD's source, interracial marriage didn't reach majority approval until 1995, while gay marriage already reached majority approval in 2011.
Now obviously this rift could be the result of oddly-worded polls, data mis-interpretation or some other factor and it shouldn't be taken as a strict source, but I believe it speaks volumes all the same
I'm Asian and I married a white guy. It's only been seven months. I lost count of the number of people that raised their eyebrows because of my new European last name (less than the people surprised that he also changed his name!) and also lost count of how many people assumed my husband was Asian ~not~ a big white bearded guy. In SF Bay Area of all places. That's like the most common variety of interracial marriages here.
But... the best wrench I threw into the mix? I'm pansexual. If gay marriage has a long way to go still, understanding that I am personally no less attracted to women/others for having married a man is gonna take another 100 years. Even for gay/lesbian folks. It's very weird.
I think the problem is with the concept of names itself, if you're aiming for true etno-neutrality.
Are you sure you thought this through?
(In my native language, Dutch, it's common to refer to people of mixed race as having "mixed blood". I can find similar statements made in English on Google)
I suspect language around race will always be racially charged - even for native speakers - so long as there are racists. It's unfortunate, but I'm not sure there is a good solution.
No 2 males could have a biologically conceived child (i.e. you must have a female carry your baby). I may be waaay behind on current reproductive technologies, so please correct me if I am wrong. Therefore, the 'blood' of the child (aka DNA) will be not be a combination of the parents (i.e. the people raising the child).
(The fact that OP is more concerned about the PC-ness of using "mixed blood" then understanding basic biology is somewhat alarming, but I will let that pass)
The biological correctness of it didn't even cross my mind; blue blood, for example, is the term we use when we talk about royal ancestry. It's not like we think that the blood of the royal family is actually blue, however the term does originate from a time where royals were lighter skinned than the working class of peasants, and thus their veins appeared to be more blue than others.
Just found out that mixed blood means mixed European and Native American ancestry specifically in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-blood).
I don't know if it's racist but it's definitely racial :)
Bloodlines sound more like something from royal families and the aristocracy, of which we still have a select few in NL. Baronesses and whatnot. Kinda posh.
TL;DR marginalized group ideology is strange
So while the rapid change of opinion on gay marriage in the US is great, it is still I think a generational shift to get to the point where gay people won't have a greater than 10% chance that any random person they meet won't be deeply prejudiced against them.
I think one can also see in this graph the effects of the determined efforts by the American right, over the last few decades, to influence the makeup of the judiciary.
While that may not have had a direct impact, most of the arguments against interracial marriage were thus demonstrably false, by looking to other countries, and a substantial proportion of the population of the US had come from countries where interracial marriage was legal and somewhat accepted when they emigrated.
Further, with interracial marriages, the marriages had the support of a far larger amount of churches, and legalisation happened amidst a general major push for equalisation of rights that had rallied a lot of people.
On the other hand, many of the same countries that have been liberal about interracial marriages maintained laws targeting gay people far longer, and both domestically and internationally there was not nearly the same momentum for gay rights.
Again consider the UK, where it took until 1994 for a serious attempt to reduce the age of consent for male gay sex to the same as for straight sex (from 21 to 16; bizarrely the UK did not have an age of consent for sexual acts between females). It took until 2001 for that to become reality:
The first attempt was defeated; a court challenge to the European Court of Human Right forced the UK government to try again; it was defeated twice more, and then the House of Lords dragged its feet long enough that the government was able to use Parliament Act to push it through with only the support of the House of Commons in late 2000.
As late as then, people seriously used as an argument that we needed to "protect the children".
Chances are, of course, that the graph reflects a combination of several factors.
Take pride in the things you do, the things you create. My only reaction to someone who takes pride in his or her race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is quizzical indifference.
1. As a signal that you embrace your own identity, and are not ashamed of what you are, despite societal prejudice.
2. As a signal that you see yourself as superior.
Most of the time when you hear someone say they are proud to be gay, or black, or otherwise proud to be member of some other minority group, it is 1 they mean. Sometimes it is 2, but it is fairly rare.
Most of the time when you hear someone say they are proud to be white, it means they are white supremacists using it in form 2.
While it is certainly possible for members of majority groups to use it in meaning 1, it is incredibly rare, because it makes little sense: The point of using it in that form is to counteract prejudice. Pretty much the only members of majority groups that consider it necessary to counteract prejudice are racists that are paranoid that they are being pushed aside.
Proud to be White is leagues worse than proud to be American or Christian or Irish.
That's hugely different than the white-pride loons.
Why? I think it's down to power and oppression. Black people in US society have been oppressed and marginalized for centuries. Decreasingly so, but it's still a big problem.
For me, black pride and gay pride are pushing for freedom. While the white-pride people are pretty explicitly pushing against freedom.
Own your opinions. Cloaking them in false objectivity makes you look ridiculous and removes the opportunity for discussion. You think it's obvious. I don't. I do think it's obvious that you're playing the game on easy , though, which is why your seems-obvious meter is poorly calibrated.
Here's an idea: I'll use whatever words I want, and so will you, and we won't even ask about each others' race or gender. Because it just shouldn't matter.
Experience shapes ideas. Ideas are tested through experience. If you refuse to examine the things that shape your experience, some of your ideas will inevitably be poor.
Any racist will, of course, tell me exactly the same thing.
How many racists have told you that you should pay deep attention to your life experience and consider how it differs from that of others? Could you name some of them?
I've read a bunch of pro-slavery literature from the civil war era, and also a bunch of modern white supremacist kook literature. I have to say, empathy and consideration for people from different backgrounds was not the major theme you say it was.
But hey, if I can't trust some anonymous goof, who can I trust? So I'm sure you're right.
If there is a genetic (or at least embryonic) influence behind sexual orientation -- and I believe there is -- then why take "pride" in it?
Now if only we could remind people that there's nothing wrong with having an unpopular opinion.
After all, Brendan Eich has done more for computing than Cook ever will.
Chilling political discourse by threatening the livelihoods of those you disagree with is a threat to democracy itself and should not ever be allowed to happen. Eich's forced resignation was an offense against everything America allegedly stands for.
The good argument on the side of opposing his CEO-ship was the concern that he would use his position to influence company policy and culture in a way that he couldn't do as CTO. Like most people, I don't know Eich nor have I ever worked at Mozilla, so this initially sounded like a very valid concern.
Eventually, though, it became clear that Eich had done a very good job of keeping his opinion out of the workplace. That's a difficult thing to do, and I don't think I and others were necessarily wrong, at first, to expect that he wouldn't be able to do it. But I read everything I could find on the case, and I never saw anyone even accusing him of intolerant behavior toward gay Mozillians, either in person or in policy -- and he was one of the drafters of the company's diversity policy.
Given that, I think it was unfortunate that the Board accepted his resignation. (It's particularly sad considering that they had talked him into taking the position in the first place.)
Had the Board told him "No, you can't quit; we're going to get you through this" I think they should then have tried to explain that his record on diversity was excellent, and that he and they both knew that the eyes of the world would be upon him, and that people should give him a chance.
Let's keep in mind nobody legally kicked him out. He left because he couldn't deal with the consequences of his actions. The law protects your free speech, but does not protect you from the consequences of it. http://xkcd.com/1357/
Also, let's not forget how nasty the whole prop8 campaign was... http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/04/04/brendan_eich_s... ....Eich could have donated to prop- 2,147,483,647, to ban interracial marriage. It would be his right, but I hope society would backlash at him the same way as prop-8 donation caused.
This is incredibly misleading way of putting it. He left because he had no other choice, and an organized personal destruction campaign against him was what did not leave him this choice. Of course, you can claim this campaign was result of his actions, and it is true, that this campaign was triggered by his actions and wouldn't happen if he did not donate to what he donated. However, this campaign was not an inevitable consequence of his actions - it was a voluntary act of his political opponents, in order to send a message to him and his supporters and achieve political goals. It's like if somebody says something you don't like to you and you beat him up, the beating is a consequence of the saying, but it doesn't remove the blame of the beating from you, and you can't just say "he's in hospital because he couldn't deal with consequences of his actions". No, he's in hospital because somebody beat him up. And Eich left because of the campaign against him, despite no proof that his opinions have ever interfered with his professional judgement or that he ever did anything inappropriate. Except for expressing a private opinion.
I just want to be sure I understand your calibration settings. If you think a prop on banning interracial marriage should be just as acceptable as what you seem to be saying for prop8, then I'm done discussing this with you.
In other words, how do you know views you hold today won't be considered the vilest bigotry in 30 years? Is your moral compass so special, that you would have fought for interracial marriage, even if you were born a white in the southern US in the 1800's?
It did among the society composed of Mozilla supporters. This idea that society is not people you interact and work with (and in this case, even direct) but the random populace in your general geographic area was wrong before the Internet, and it's completely wrong today.
If he didn't realize that, I'd say his out of touch with the people he was supposed to work with.
Is your moral compass so special, that you would have fought for interracial marriage, even if you were born a white in the southern US in the 1800's?
What's with this topic and strawmen? Nobody demanded he fought for gay rights. Most people don't fight for gay rights, and you don't see them get criticized (in this community). Just not to invest his time and money to fight against it.
Regardless of either his ousting was justified or not (personally, I'm conflicted), most arguments here are terrible.
People who oppose gay marriage typically believe it would hurt "society" at large -- do you really want to say he should have taken an action (or inaction) he believed would generally hurt everyone in his political jurisdiction (which the vote was in), so that he could help his Mozillian sub-society? (The typical proponent response would be that it doesn't hurt anyone, but that's the crux of where people disagree.) What other areas does this reasoning extend to? Maybe I'm making a straw man here, but how is this sub-society argument different than "The majority of my employees are white people or supporters of white people, so I should vote and campaign to support white people even though I believe it would hurt others"?
For what it's worth, Mozilla reportedly offer healthcare benefits to same-sex couples, and I've read several reports that Brendan personally treated gay employees equitably. I recognize the difficulty of reconciling all this, the near-hypocrisy of campaigning to ban legal unions of people you're cordial with at work, but I can't find a way to support the idea that he should be accountable to them for his legal participation in a process that transcends Mozilla. Or if so, why to them instead of his (potential) gay neighbors, or any Mozillians that supported the same cause? Obviously there's no legal way to enforce that either way, so I guess I'm thinking of the ideal way people would self-police.
> Nobody demanded he fought for gay rights.
I didn't mean to imply that. Make it "Can you be sure you wouldn't have opposed interracial marriage with your time and/or money?", since that's the more apt analogy people are using. I'll grant you it may be an unobjective argument, but the point is to reflect on how the popular morality is a moving target.
> Most people don't fight for gay rights, and you don't see them get criticized
Well, I'm loath to even suggest this level of enforcement, but the cognitive dissonance here bothers me a bit. So Eich could have been aware there was a threat of oppression to his employees etc., to "strip them of their rights" (quasi-quote), and done absolutely nothing to help them, because you know, there's TV to watch and frivolities to buy instead, and that's totally OK? Come on -- it's either such a righteous cause/travesty of justice that even inaction is intolerable; or it's just a societal rift that will take a few decades to achieve consensus on, and shouldn't be punished any more than being discovered to be a card-carrying Republican or Democrat. I don't know, am I crazy here? My cynical feeling is that few would support such an extreme position, because secretly we are all at least silent witnesses, if not enablers, to bits of injustice everywhere. It's just that most of us aren't publicly accountable to internet hordes, and/or people buy excuses like "At least I wasn't actively fighting for <cause they believe is evil>!"
I don't know. All I said was, "society" can't be reduced to people living in a geographical area. The person who made a societal argument wasn't me, it was you.
People who oppose gay marriage typically believe it would hurt "society" at large -- do you really want to say he should have taken an action (or inaction) he believed would generally hurt everyone in his political jurisdiction (which the vote was in), so that he could help his Mozillian sub-society?
I don't know. All I meant was what I said - his vote can't be explained away just by saying "well, it's a product of the society he lived in". Nothing more.
So Eich could have been aware there was a threat of oppression to his employees etc., to "strip them of their rights" (quasi-quote), and done absolutely nothing to help them, because you know, there's TV to watch and frivolities to buy instead, and that's totally OK? Come on -- it's either such a righteous cause/travesty of justice that even inaction is intolerable; or it's just a societal rift that will take a few decades to achieve consensus on, and shouldn't be punished any more than being discovered to be a card-carrying Republican or Democrat.
People here seem to have their mind so formatted in a us-vs-them mentality that they automatically assume everyone who disagrees with a particular argument is a strong supporter of the opposite position. This is not the case.
I never said he should or not be tolerated. I didn't say I agree with what happened.
All I said was that factually, people who are simply inactive on the issue don't get called out, so it's incorrect to assume Eich was being demanded to act in support of gay marriage.
EDIT: Damn my poor English :|
Oops, the comments about inactivity weren't based on any assumptions about your position on whether he "deserved it" or whatever. For lack of a better place, I'll elaborate, but again I'm not talking about you. :) I'm wondering why so many other people can accept neutrality from anyone, when they simultaneously talk about how absolutely evil it was that people were actually stripped of existing rights (since gay marriage was legal in California before Prop 8.) I don't think it's fair to elevate it almost to the degree of re-enslaving Africans or something, and then not hold anyone accountable who did nothing. If it's not so evil that inaction is acceptable, than don't hammer so hard on anyone who took a legal action you didn't like.
I'm not saying he should be constrained; what I'm saying is that he's not "a white in the southern US in the 1800's". He's not a man who hasn't been exposed to different viewpoints or who needs a "special moral compass".
One of the societies he belongs to values and promotes gay marriage rights, so the choice he made was his own, and not a result of being immersed in a myopic society like the "southern US in the 1800's".
Oops, the comments about inactivity weren't based on any assumptions about your position on whether he "deserved it" or whatever. For lack of a better place, I'll elaborate, but again I'm not talking about you.
Fair enough, sorry for that, I was reacting as much to your comment as to the downvotes, which was unfair.
I don't think it's fair to elevate it almost to the degree of re-enslaving Africans or something, and then not hold anyone accountable who did nothing.
Point taken, but let me ask you: there are people being enslaved / trafficked in the world right now. Do you do much about it? I know I don't. Does it make me an hypocrite? Yes, probably. Does it mean I'm wrong to denounce people who actively support human trafficking? I don't think so.
(To everyone) By the way, I'm NOT saying that banning gay marriage is enslaving people! I'm just using the analogy put forth.
If you're a liberal : please explain why Mozillans don't have the right to their own political opinion, right to do whatever they want with their money, ...
If I ever met anyone who expressed this opinion to me, you or anyone else, I'd do the very best I can to remove them from my presence, company, sabotage their career, whatever I can.
And I'll feel as smug about it as you. I'm defending freedom and democracy by doing that.
If you want to make me into the enemy, go ahead, but you're the Quixote here.
But note that Eich supported stripping people of one of their constitutional rights. Prop 8's explicit goal was to remove the right of equal protection before the law.
And further, other people were exercising their political rights: freedom of speech and freedom of association. Having a fancy-pants CEO position is not a legal right. People are free to decide not to work with the guy.
And really, if you're defending using the ballot process to strip people of constitutional protections, I'm not so sure you're truly on the side of freedom and democracy. Prop 8 was mob democracy, a classic example of tyranny of the majority.
Perhaps this takes this whole discussion to another level. Where does humanity's moral compass come from and how do we justify it as something worthy of being followed & upheld?
Ah, the classic argument: if we can't have perfect right now, then we obviously can't work toward the good.
No. No, I do not.
I would strongly oppose such a measure. But I would certainly respect the rights of others to support the opposing side and vote their conscience, and when the vote was over I would not go scouring donation records to figure out whom I should fire or force out of their jobs.
No such right exists in this context. A proposition to ban interracial marriage has nothing to do with people's consciences and everything to do with the letter of the law, where marriage is an established legal construct to which access is guaranteed under the 14th amendment. Voting to have rights stripped from other citizens for arbitrary reasons is not a protected freedom and such a proposition is patently unconstitutional on its face. You don't need to be impartial here.
Sure they do. Free speech applies even if what you defend is illegal or unconstitutional. Brandenburg v. Ohio made it very explicit.
Besides, while it may seem weird to Americans, constitutions do change. Ours is not yet 40 years old, and already we're speaking about changing it.
All countries have some level of acceptable political intimidation; that you think otherwise just means your views are sufficiently mainstream. Try embracing more fringe ideologies in a public way.
I suggest supporting and donating to Wahhabist movements and seeing how it goes for you.
No, he was not. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignat...
Brendan was not fired and was not asked by the Board to resign.
Brendan voluntarily submitted his resignation. The Board acted
in response by inviting him to remain at Mozilla in another
C-level position. Brendan declined that offer. The Board
respects his decision.
Every single day, there is an employee going to work in a hostile environment, shunned by co-workers or left to sit in an empty room with no work to perform. Eventually they'll be forced to resign in order to save their own sanity.
I'm using facts to reach the conclusion that Brendan Eich wasn't forced out of his job. Your argument boils down to "Ahh, come on!".
Guess who wins? (SPOILER ALERT: Not you.)
There is no paradox of tolerance. It is rational to be intolerant of intolerance, in order to preserve a tolerant society. Karl Popper summarizes: "Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them...We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant"
But here's where we differ. I believe in his right to express his opinion without fear of losing his ability to make a living. You, and the rest of the liberal lynch mob that forced him out, are doing nothing more than suppressing his rights. And thus begins the end of democracy.
You cannot divorce the actual issue he is expressing his opinion on from the fact that he is expressing an opinion. The context matters. You can't consider a different particular instance and expect the same conclusion, because the context changes.
Of course you can. In fact this is one of the fundamental tenets of our entire political system. There are no carved out exceptions suspending constitutional protections for really bad opinions. We have a framework through which people with strong conflicting opinions can air them without fear of certain kinds of retaliation. That broke down here, and it's disgusting and scary.
The basic slippery slope you envision is "if we restrict rights, from what principle do we decide where to stop doing that?" The fault in the argument is that it is totally reasonable to not tolerate intolerance, and again, uncritical tolerance is not what we desire here, but rather tolerance of viewpoints which are not intolerant.
No, but there's a reason why those constitutional protections don't apply here, and it's not because the people writing them couldn't imagine this situation.
You have to admit, using your rights to take someone else's rights away.... is a dubious position to hold.
> If conservative politics is directly linked to bigotry I see no reason we should support it. Perhaps the fiscally conservative, small government political groups should work to dissociate their ideas from intolerance.
All this does is create animosity with moderates who do not consider themselves linked to bigotry, and it does not advance your position, except among people who already agree with it.
If you don't want the support of these moderates then that is one thing. But that raises the question of why you would engage them, if not to garner their support.
The trouble with declaring something, as an individual in a HN thread, beyond the bounds of reasonable discussion is that it does not actually make it so - the bounds of reasonable discussion are set by what people in general are prepared to reasonably discuss. The obvious takeaway from the Eich affair - the best corporate diversity record in the world will not stop individuals from holding to the beliefs that they do. They will just hold them more quietly.
Finally - Eich being drilled out of the CEO position is not directly a suppression of his free speech or whatever; he is not being sent to jail for his views. The board of a company has the right to ditch a CEO for being 'embarrassing'. The trouble is that this is not somehow a radical blow for gay rights: indeed, closeted gay people not too long ago would find their positions untenable for exactly the same reason if their sexuality was discovered (it was embarrassing, etc).
In order to get to a situation where they could go about their business relatively unmolested, gay people had to fight against, among other things, exactly this sort of kneejerk corporate small-c conservatism. The progress we've made on this issue was not made one non-profit CEO at a time; nor was it through individual gays having great individual 'role models' (sorry Tim), but through prolonged political fights. I have little sympathy for Eich in this matter, but the idea that his being Mozilla CEO was a serious obstacle to gay rights was risible, and remains so.
But the tendency to turn this into a question of political preference, one among a handful of hot-button issues that contemporary Americans can and should have differing views about, is wrong and destructive. This same argument, that a view does not appear preposterous to some part of the public, so it is therefor reasonable, doesn't really hold water. The obvious rejoinder is to look at the past, right? Slavery wasn't preposterous to half of the country, even during the civil war. I'm not saying a ban on gay marriage is anywhere near as awful as slavery, but rather that it's a clear example of something accepted and "debated" at the time, that we now know should never have been debated at all.
I don't care if people believe that somehow he should have stayed as CEO, maybe he should have. But eventually it will be clear that he stood on the wrong side of history, and actively supported a cause that is blatantly wrong.
I guess the thing to realize is that "declaring something within the bounds of reasonable discussion" is already a kind of violence, regardless of the attitudes of the people involved in the discussion. Put another way, I'm trying to say this: your statement, that people in general are prepared to reasonably discuss whether or not I should have basic rights, is a devastating indictment of "people in general."
Don't forget gay sex being illegal in the US up until 2003.
No, it wasn't. Proposition 8 did not ban civil unions; it did not ban any marriage-like accommodation for same-sex couples (that would have been cruel).
But it was always recognized the culprit in this case was the board of directors who put him in this position, only to retract their support later.
Eich is a brilliant technologist, and that should simply have been his role. Becoming the chief brand embassador was never an appropriate choice.
I also don't get how you can equate this with a hypothetical where he is extremely liberal and is being attacked by conservatives. Supporting discriminatory laws is not even on the same plane as being "offensively" open-minded.
That's an obviously unfair polemic. It could be flipped around thusly (and would be just as invalid):
"Seeking to destroy the institution of marriage that has been consistently defined for centuries is not even on the same plane as being 'offensively' traditional."
Also, I understand that you downvoted me above, but going to my other comments in another thread and giving them the same treatment is abusive - especially since I'm a new user. You have single-handedly destroyed my karma balance. So I guess the message is that I'm not welcome here because I support equal rights?
That's a very poor framing of what he did. And you followed it with a lot of unsupported drama.
He didn't just donate to, say, a Republican candidate. He supported a campaign to strip gay people of the right to equal protection before the law. A successful one.
In the US, you can claim that gay people should not be full citizens and have that opinion protected under the first amendment. You can say the same thing about black people too, which is why we let the neo-nazis protest and even give them police protection when they do.
But the legal right to say something is not the right to freedom from social consequence. If he were a white supremacist and wanted to run Mozilla, a company with many non-white employees, would you really be outraged that people would fire him?
I'm hoping not. Free speech is an important right. But other people also get that right, and the right to freedom of association as well. If I were gay, I wouldn't want to work for a guy who believed I wasn't equal before the law. How could I trust him to treat me equally at work? And as a straight person, I wouldn't want to work for somebody like that either, so I'd take my freedom of association and walk right out the door. Why shouldn't Mozilla's board take account of whether or not people want to work for a CEO?
> How could I trust him to treat me equally at work?
You could see what he's done whilst at work. Apparently he helped create and enforce policies that protected minority employees.
The reason I'm uncomfortable with it is what happens if we switch the positions: Joe Bloggs makes a private donation to a bill supporting gay marriage. Years later he is appointed CEO of some org but the customers run a campaign to veto him based on his private political donation.
Isn't this precisely why voting is anonymous? While Eich's views are repugnant he should have been judged on what he did in the workplace.
The other point is that US style political campaigning is clearly fucked.
 of course voting isn't actually anonymous in the UK. Some people still aren't aware of that.
It is the same person. If somebody wears a hooded sheet for evening rallies but a suit in the office, it is not unreasonable for black people to say, "Gosh, maybe I should work elsewhere." White people who are anti-racist might feel similarly. Freedom of association is also a right, and one you seem to be giving less weight. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.
> The reason I'm uncomfortable with it is what happens if we switch the positions: Joe Bloggs makes a private donation to a bill supporting gay marriage.
That is not switching the positions. An equivalent position is, say, supporting a bill to strip Baptists of the right to worship. The sole point of Prop 8 was to remove a constitutionally guaranteed right, equal protection under the law, from gay people. If somebody was trying to strip a civil right from some right-leaning group, I'd say they also should not be running a large company containing those people.
> While Eich's views are repugnant he should have been judged on what he did in the workplace.
That might be another interesting world, but here people are judged on their out-of-work behavior all the time. Especially when that out-of-work behavior indicates something possibly relevant to work performance. Like, e.g., believing that a significant fraction of your employees are literally second-class citizens.
>Eich's forced resignation was an offense against everything America allegedly stands for.
But what if the cause someone donates for, curtails the rights of someone else?
Would you say the same thing if he had donated to a terrorist organisation?
Note that I draw a very strong distinction here between officers and typical employees -- typical employees are not allowed to speak for the company unless specifically authorized, whereas a high-profile officer's public conduct is more inextricably tangled with the company itself. Someone might rightly interpret Eich's donation as an indication that Mozilla would be a less-friendly environment for a gay programmer than another company would, because Eich's opinions and policies are directly able to shape the culture therein.
There's no magic here. There are many ways in which executives are subject to substantially greater scrutiny than ordinary employees. This probably sucks for them, but in today's environment, it's part of the job. Changing that - well, that's a longer discussion.
Except Mozilla didn't make that choice. Eich was not fired or asked to resign. Mozilla made it clear they still wanted him. Eich voluntarily stepped down and excused himself from the community after it had shown its shallow, naive definition of tolerance. I don't blame him for not wanting to work in the industry anymore.
But if you believe that, that's a pretty intolerant view you have there.
The question of tolerance of intolerance isn't perhaps as simple as you make out. It's been well discussed without a clear answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance
Right. It's really quite simple.
All this support of Eich as some kind of a martyr (or a victim of reverse bigotry, in any way comparable to the bigotry Eich promotes through his donations) is grossly misplaced.
Edit: Eich supported Proposition 8 which was _ruled unconstitutional_ for violating the Equal Protection Clause. Yes, his support was non-criminal, but he was fundamentally supporting something wrong, both morally and legally.
And, let us note, it's all speculation on this point as to what or why he did it, because the man himself hasn't said anything on the matter--mostly because of the gay hate brigade rallied against him.
By contrast, Tim Cook continued contracts with Foxconn with the sole goal of minimizing production costs by using underpaid overworked labor--and if you look at Apple close enough, yeah, there's some nastiness there. He's a solid operations guy (clearly!), but has directly supported policies that have harmed both our industry and workers abroad.
I'm likely going to get downvoted into oblivion (again, and in hilarious underscoring of my point).
I'm going to upvote you for this.
Just because Tim Cook is gay doesn't make him Mother Teresa. He seems quite happy in promoting brutal Victorian style work-houses because it's "over there". Out of sight, out of mind. He's quite the hypocrite.
He's also no better or worse then the operations guy at Dell, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. who are all churning out products from the same manufacturers and assembly lines in China and South-East Asia. I don't know why people keep promoting the myth that he is some amazing operations guy when everything is outsourced anyway, and recent products have suffered from manufacturing delays and raw material supply issues.
Yes, yes, and yes.
Many of my more naive, young gay friends and acquaintances actually DO seem to think that 'being a powerful gay person', onto itself, makes him worthy of worship.
> He's quite the hypocrite.
Did he actually say that its wrong to promote brutal Victorian style work-houses?
It's depressing to see this myth perpetuated that Mother Teresa was a good person.
She was a horrible human being who denied poor and sick people the help and medicated relief they needed just because of her religious beliefs. Of course, she also denied abortion, contraception and all other kinds of medical help that were not in line with her religious beliefs.
She was convinced that suffering brings you closer to god, so she made sure everyone under her care suffered as much as possible.
She was a sick and twisted person and the faster she gets forgotten, the better.
If you have ever seen a leper in India and their condition, you would not have called her sick and twisted.
Mother Theresa believed that suffering brings you closer to god. Sure, she were courageous and tried their best to help people, but that was probably more inspired by actively seeking suffering (and helping other people suffer) than altruism.
But it's absolutely on par for Catholicism (or guilt-based Christianity in general). Declaring her a saint was perfectly reasonable.
It's also completely irrelevant to the subject of Brendan Eich's support of bigoted TV ads. Which is why I found the arguments made by the poster above you to be not really interesting, or worth responding to.
Underpaid in what way? Are there many other jobs those people could be doing which pay them better? They're not paid much by US standards but the alternative is subsistence level farming. Is anyone who puts their production into China (and let's remember that's basically everyone in hardware before we single out Apple) being nasty by offering people a better income than they can get anywhere else?
It's the market rate, something incidentally most people in tech in the West are pretty happy about when it's driving massively above average salaries for programmers and the like.
In terms of overworked - Foxcon workers recently went on strike because the amount of overtime they were being offered had been reduced. If they're overworked it would be very odd behaviour to strike to demand more.
Essentially Foxcon workers get to choose between two things - a shitty life working at Foxcon and a really shitty life not working there. That's unfortunate, but it's not Tim Cook's fault, it's in part the fault of the Chinese government, in part the result of them having been dealt a shitty hand and a consequence of global capitalism which most of us are in some way complicit in.
To place this at the door of Cook is pretty naive.
Whether or not those choices are moral is certainly up for debate. Whether or not Time Cook was largely responsible for them is not.
And as for the "market rate" you are talking about a country that does not allow it's currency to float on the exchanges, heavy subsidizes or outright controls much of the industry and denies workers access to information online about working conditions and pay. Playing into a regime that intentionally abuses workers to ramp up their industrial output wouldn't be something I would be particularly proud of and most definitely would not be something I would consider controlled by market forces.
Cook is clearly a prime decision maker in where Apple operate but the poor situation for Chinese workers can't reasonably be laid at his door.
The wages are controlled by market forces, even if the market is being manipulated by the Chinese government.
But Cook isn't responsible for Chinese economic or fiscal policy and pulling Apple out if China would hurt the workers who may have shitty jobs but at least have jobs.
As it is Apple face higher scrutiny than most of their competitor in the same situation and as a result actually behave marginally better when it comes to worker treatment.
It's not something to be particularly proud of but the overall plight of Chinese workers, even those at Foxcon, is not a situation for which Cook can realistically be held significantly responsible or categorised as nasty (nasty being the original characterisation I was refuting).
It's the consequence of a capitalist economy which Cook may be a small part of but is neither the creator nor the controller.
Strom Thurmond filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes. After that he continued to serve in the US Senate until 2003.
Yes, his actions were a lawful expression of his power. But I think there is something deeply wrong with using your power, even lawfully, to deny the rights of people who are less powerful than you. Even if you are nice to those same people in personal interactions.
As does Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, and more
When the controversy broke he was literally asked what his views on SSM were, and he didn't give an answer. That strongly implies he doesn't think SSM should be legal.
Do you have any proof of this or citations on it? Everything I've seen about Apple regarding its supply chain is that it goes above and beyond the minimum needed to be in compliance, and they seem to genuinely care about the well being of their employees in China.
Awesome. I need that line added to my CV. Something like: "Conscientious worker, who often goes above and beyond the minimum needed to be in compliance."
It's perfectly legal and acceptable to not use someone's product if you don't agree with their politics. That person does not suffer any loss of rights.
Here's what often gets missed in this debate: Eich's handling of the outrage, demonstrated incompetence at his job. An exec is a leadership position by definition - the entire Mozilla thing showed us that Eich is not fit to lead.
What does this have to do with anything? Lots of people supported things that later get ruled unconstitutional.
Using "constitutional" as a synonym for "good" is a bad idea.
You know, I'm sick and tired of this lie. A homosexual has exactly the same right to marriage as a heterosexual: a gay man is exactly as free to marry any unmarried consenting woman as a normal man and a lesbian is exactly free to marry any unmarried consenting man as a normal woman.
The essential confusion regards the nature of marriage. It's not about a couple (or group) and their feelings towards one another; it's about the formation of a family and the production of a new generation.
I bet you're hard at work trying to deny infertile couples the ability to marry.
Even if you were right, which you aren't, tradition is not a compelling argument. We've done away with a lot of stupid traditions, like slavery and dowry.
Even if you were right, which you aren't, gay couples can adopt.
I could go on, but why? Your arguments are tired and baseless.
That procreation argument is silly. Human beings order themselves into societies, and not as some sort of procreation machine. But instead to encourage kindness, cooperation, happiness. We have laws to keep from harming one another, and roofs over our heads to keep us warmer and dryer than we 'naturally' would have been. This is what it means to be human, too.
Oh I get it - argue whatever it takes to make male-female marriage sacred and anything else wrong. Ok. I see.
I would say that marriage and sex get their value and purpose from God. That he created man and woman to come together in marriage and have sex. That he made sex pleasurable, and good, and that one of the benefits of sex is often that children are produced.
I think we must either get our understanding of sex and marriage from a source outside ourselves (the transcendent God) or we just make things up to suit our individual drives - and the second option opens us up as individuals, and as a society, to a lot of harm.
I understand this is not a popular viewpoint, especially on HN, but I think it's valuable to offer some pushback in a civil way every now and then.
This preposterous argument about 'its about producing a new generation' is sophomoric and lazy. It doesn't stand up to a few seconds of reflection. Yet I hear it again and again - its even part of the Mormon official line.
If you look at the actual legal structure of marriage outside of who is permitted into it, that's very obviously not the case for the civil institution of marriage -- virtually all of the legal effects are directed toward the creation of a legal relationship of mutual support between the partners. Even the pieces that relate to children (e.g., the presumption of paternity) directly serve the purpose of reinforcing the mutual support relationship between the partners.
One could argue that one of the (many) social functions served by this mutual support arrangements which justifies having a prepackaged, publicy-recognized set of obligations, permissions, and legal privileges for mutual support is the creation of a superior environment within which to raise children, but there are other public functions served, and n any case an environment for raising children doesn't require that children be produced by the people raising them.
Here was his statement about inclusiveness after his donation became an issue https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/inclusiveness-at-mozilla/ To me it looks like he was committed to keeping Mozilla inclusive and would have been a great CEO.
Furthermore, the exact amount of money that he donated is fairly irrelevant anyway. The donation, no matter it's magnitude, serves to illustrate what he believes. If I made a $1 donation to the local KKK group, would you make excuses for me because $1 is a trivial amount of money? Of course you would not.
In six years time Brendan could have gone through a lot of experiences that changed his opinion on marriage and based on his statement I would have given him the benefit of the doubt.
If Brendan had publicly released a sincere apology I would consider forgiving him. All he did was issue a bunch of "It doesn't matter, you guys are wrong for caring" statements.
In the face of that, his repeated assertions that he can somehow keep his personal and professional lives separate (yeah, the human mind does not work that way) ring very hollow, at best.
Here is a person, incredibly talented, well paid for his work, that decides his personal beef with LGBTs takes precedence over his professional life and everyone else at Mozilla.
That, right there, shows a tremendous lack of decision making and prioritization skills. Kiss of death for a C-level position.
I think that if he hadn't resigned, he'd have eventually been asked to leave anyways. You do not, as a company, go out of your way to promote an image of inclusiveness and togetherness, and then hire an unrepentant bigot for a high level position. Mozilla would have lost huge amounts of credibility.
The commercials sponsored by this group are freely available on YouTube. I suggest you go watch them, and then re-evaluate whether you feel the campaign doesn't qualify as a hate group. Violence is not the only or most important qualification in defining what a "hate group" actually is.
And the one with the mother is especially insane. Wouldn't want your kids to be taught facts that are uncomfortable to you, eh? What do you know, if your kids knew homosexuality was a thing they might like it and fall from grace.
It does if that campaign ran hate ads on your local TV station. If you think that the issue around Eich is only about his support for a certain ballot issue (by itself), then perhaps you should look a bit more into bigger story behind it -- and what got people so angry.
Why you can't be the same?
Calling something "Ideology" is not a "get out of criticism free" card. You are free to have whatever political beliefs you desire, but we are all free to criticism you for your political beliefs. Our criticism of political beliefs is just as political as the beliefs that we are criticizing; it is fundamentally illogical to put political beliefs above reproach.
Of course. It is after all entirely different than:
Calling someone "Gay" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.
Calling someone "Jew" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.
Calling something "Black" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.
Calling someone "woman" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.
Calling someone "Muslim" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.
Obviously our public sphere is full of criticism of Islam (a.k.a. islamophobia), Black people (a.k.a. racism), women (a.k.a sexism), Jews (a.k.a. antisemitism), Gays (a.k.a. homophobia).
And YES I would take a racist for CEO - if he is more qualified than others - each and every time. Because I truly believe in a society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter.
See, this is a paradox. You can't have that, and you just admitted it. Cultural Marxism is full of paradoxes like that. It's impossible to truly have society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter. Thank you very much for providing evidence that you see a paradox there as well.
"Ideology" is too broad of a term the way you are using it: after all, believing that COBOL the ultimate programming language for all use cases could also be labeled an "ideology", one that would make somebody a poor CTO.
Similarly, beliefs that certain groups of people, based on unrelated criterion like gender identity, are inherently inferior to others or deserve lesser treatment, do materially impact the workplace.
Unlike the previous two examples, somebody's personal beliefs about things like religion or their cultural background have nothing to do with job performance.
Islamophobia, racism, etc., are not criticisms. Criticism is the application of reason and intelligence for the purpose of analysis and improvment. Bigotry is the assumption that "others" are worse simply by their being "other". Nothing you listed is criticism, it is various forms of bigotry. In bigotry there is no desire for dialogue, simply judgement and superiority.
> And YES I would take a racist for CEO - if he is more qualified than others - each and every time. Because I truly believe in a society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter.
Those two sentences are incongruent. You cannot claim to champion a society where gender, race, etc., do not matter, and then turn around and state your acceptance of a racist CEO.
Gay parents would likely be fine with their children being heterosexual.
Please post another story about the Eich issue and upvote it, and comment there. Bringing up his donation and the fallout here is just being deliberately provocative and borderline disrespectful. Please don't.
With recent big increases in support for
legalization of same-sex marriage, the
California public is now 61% in favor,
31% opposed according to a February 2013
Since we're quoting statistics, here are some from the CDC.
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population...
In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men.
In 2012, there were almost 9,000 cases of syphilis, and 84 percent of them were among gay and bisexual men
My friends (who are gay) tell me there is a growing complacency amongst their younger gay friends, that HIV is seen as a long-term chronic condition rather than a killer disease. The results can be seen above.
Why does the issue of marriage dominate media headlines but not a peep about health? How much funding has gone into the campaign to legalise gay marriage versus educating people on safer sex?
The maximum sampling error estimates for results
based on the overall sample of 834 registered
voters have a sampling error of +/- 3.5
percentage points, while findings from the
random subsample of 415 voters have a sampling
error of +/- 5.0 percentage points at the 95%
FiveThirtyEight rates Field Poll (at least for political races) as being "A+": http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/pollster-ratings/
Your references to incidence of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men are something of a non sequitur, and—I think—underscore the value of extending the institution of marriage given that one might reasonably expect that enabling an at-risk population to engage in a social institution commonly associated with monogamy should only serve to decrease rates of transmission.
My friends (who are gay)
Also, why would you want your friends to be deprived of a right you enjoy?
I regularly see billboards in my neighborhood targeting young gay men to be tested for HIV. I bet that risk of transmission would be further lowered if the stigma associated with being gay was further reduced or entirely eliminated.
Btw, if the campaign for "marriage equality" were truly about equality, it would also include polygamous heterosexual families in Utah looking for recognition in law, as well as religions where marriage partners can be under 18. Thus the campaign for "marriage equality" has a narrow definition of equality and should be renamed the campaign for "same-sex marriage".
Also, all 50 states allow minors to wed with parental consent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_marriage_in_United_State...
Thus the campaign for "marriage equality" has
a narrow definition of equality and should be
renamed the campaign for "same-sex marriage".
Yet individuals who are 16 or 17 years old, need parental consent, before getting married.
How is this "equal"?
No, they didn't. 52% of those who voted on Prop 8 (about 79% of the ~17M eligible and registered to vote, which were themselves only about 45% of Californians) voted for Prop 8 -- so about 19% of Californians voted for it.
> so you could argue Brendan Eich holds a rather popular opinion.
Well, no, you couldn't make a good argument that he holds a rather popular opinion based on the results of an election 6 years ago. You could perhaps argue that he holds a view that was popular at the time of the election based on those results. After all, opinions change. 
 see, e.g., http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_show.asp?i=1012
At what point did Mozilla's mission for a free and open internet turn into one about social justice and identity politics?
It's wrong regardless of when it occurred.
> At what point did Mozilla's mission for a free and open internet turn into one about social justice and identity politics?
This lame attempt to dismiss equality won't fly.
The world is a big place with different cultures and different opinions.
You are making a giant assumption that your world-view is the correct one.
OTOH, if you condemn people for judging Eich, you are -- by so doing -- committing the same offense.
But it can be more or less wrong in specific circumstances.
You seem pretty sure that your opinions and actions will stand the test of time, just like countless people were in the past. So sure that now we are right, and amazed how they could be so wrong.
Well, I don't know the future, but see you in 30 years. Let's see what moral fashion will rule those times. Be prepared to be judged.
I know my use of technology built in unethical conditions will be judged poorly, so I get the most out of tech and try to be pick the best companies to buy from when replacing it.
I know my difficulty moving past the gender binary will be judged poorly, so I learn about non-binary genders and people who exist outside gender entirely.
I know my past homophobia--even the internalized variety--will be judged poorly.
The list could go on for a long time, but the important thing is that I see where I fail and try to fix it. Supporters of discrimination are just as capable as I am of seeing past their failings. They choose not to.
Eich had his chance. He declined and ran away instead.
So the rest were either not competent to voice their opinion (below voting age), did not have sufficient stake for their opinion to matter or have proved their opinion doesn't count (residents who did not meet local requirements for franchisement or whose franchisement has been revoked, e.g., convicted felons), or simply didn't care enough to go make their opinion heard. I'd say 52% is still a fair number to quote, even if it may not be literally true if you're counting babies and other persons who are legally ineligible from having an opinion.
>After all, opinions change.
Sure, but not all that much that quickly. The latest polls show 45% of the American population still opposes same-sex marriage. While the opinion has shifted from majority to minority after relentless media campaigning, much like that in the article, there are still a very large number of people that hold it; it's still a "popular opinion".
Do you hear that sound? That's the point whooshing majestically over your head.
Nonsense; he did not take any action to remove any of their civil rights. One doesn't have a right to say '2 + 2 = 3' and have the state pretend that it's true.
The reality is that the gay rights movement did not have the unprecedented swiftness it did by alienating those who feel differently about homosexuality. It traditionally has been a movement predicated on the idea that people who didn't support gay rights could be converted if they could only be reached in the proper context. The effectiveness of this approach speaks for itself.
It's a shame and an embarrassment that people think it's appropriate or rational behavior to do what was done to Eich. If that type of behavior was the common reaction to someone who, privately I might add, had opinions counter to the movement then we would have been set back decades.
(1) The fact that Prop 8 won in the polls is irrelevant to the question of whether it was hurtful or not. To say (in effect; not quoting you directly) that "if a ballot measure passes, it must be harmless" is kind of like saying that there's nothing wrong with supporting, say, a racist demagog because after all, their rallies were always attended by thronging, jubilant crowds.
(2) What got Eich fired (or pushed into resigning, whatever) was not so much that he donated to a group supporting Prop 8 (by itself), but rather the bigoted TV ads ran by that group (which Eich apparently never distanced himself from). That was really the "clincher" that rallied people against him.
I never said that what people did to Eich is right, I currently don't have an opinion on that because I doesn't know enough.
We are all equals, we should have equals rights. Having equals right doesn't hurt anyone but having different rights does.
He cast a dollar vote in support of a proposition, same way any of us could give campaign donations to a candidate we liked. He participated in the political framework in a widely-accepted way, and the system failed to effect the outcome he seems to have voted for: democracy prevailed, the system worked, nobody was harmed.
You might as well round up every Republican who voted against Obama or Democrat who voted against Bush because they're clearly enemies of liberty. Be careful what you wish for.
The issue I have with the whole Brendan Eich situation was he was professing thru his right to free speech a profoundly held religious belief, I disagree with his interpretation of scripture, and conceptually that scripture should determine who can get married - but as gay male (who came out at 15, in 1998) I'd fight to the death for his rights to speak his mind.
I have an extreme distaste of Social Justice Warriors - there are people whom I firmly believe would never stand up to try to stop a gay bashing, but are more than content to stir up a huge ruckus online. Brendan Eich did the internet community a great service in his time - he didnt deserve to be drummed out for his beliefs, a thoughtcrime is not yet a crime, and I'd rather see him judged for his actions in his management roles not for just what he thinks.
That's not true. For several years, people in California were denied marriage rights because of Prop 8. It was judicially overturned, not democratically so.
He actually did limit their rights.
No, they weren't denied their marriage rights: under Prop 8, any unmarried lesbian was free to marry any consenting unmarried man, and any unmarried homosexual was free to marry any consenting unmarried woman.
The state did not recognise 'marriages' between men or women, but that's not denying anyone's rights, nor is it harming anyone. Pope Francis is not harmed if the State of California doesn't recognise him as the Vicar of Christ.
>That's not true.
that's not true. It is exactly the difference between democracy and ochlocracy - both are the rule by majority - that in democracy some minority rights are protected from even the majority rule, and such a judicial overturn is exactly a part of the democracy that ochlocracy lacks.
Thankfully we have constitutions and a judiciary that define and enforce these protections.
That being said—even if I'm wrong on this point—it's the third clause that I took exception with, that "nobody was harmed."
EDIT: I think maybe I'm being pedantic here. While a democracy doesn't automatically include these protections, you're certainly right that ochlocracy excludes them.
Even if the majority of people decide that jews need to be killed, I will still believe it's wrong.
Okay, so has anyone heard of gamergste?
If any of he women developers quit due to all of the harassment online, should we conclude that "the community has spoken"?
the only reason you have this opinion is because you disagree with his politics. You don't agree with the freedom for all, only the freedom for people with your opinions, which is not freedom at all.
you all should be ashamed of yourselfs for harassing this guy online and forcing him to quit, but I can imagine I will get down voted and I will see a bunch of people justifying this vile and evil behavior.
The hypocrisy is why I can't take this community seriously. It's just entertsinment
After I came out, one of the best things was getting an email from an 18-year-old guy who had read my blog saying that he'd never spoken to or read anything from a gay person in technology and it was cool to read something from someone who as a programmer and geek came from the same perspective as him. He then said he'd gotten the courage to tell his parents from that.
Which left me feeling amazing for about a week.
Tim Cook's article will do the same for young gay techies but on a much grander scale. :)
I never understood this. You're gay, so what? What is this thing with some people feeling like they just have to tell others about their personal sexual orientation; especially in the context of business article. This has nothing to do with Apple.
If they wanted to report on Apple's equality they could have left things with the two sentences:
"The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California."
and be done with it.
"The lies and bigotry aimed at gay people thrived for so long precisely because nobody knew any gay people. That's exactly why coming out was (and still is) necessary. One of the reasons the gay rights movement has been so spectacularly successful over the last 40+ years is because the lives of actual gay people is a living testament to the falseness of the vicious stereotypes spread by homophobic pricks."
because it's assumed that you're straight unless told otherwise.
In many ways it seemed to have very high hurdles. Homosexuality and queerness elicits an unexplainably intense anger in some people. It is potently threatening. On the other hand, overcoming homophobia had a relatively small hurdle to get over because there was no intergenerational complexity like racism and xenophobia or deeply rooted structural institutions like sexism. Homosexuals were already everywhere in secret. A homosexual didn't need to overcome to become CEO, he was already a CEO. He just needed to come out.
A part of the precess that I think is happening now nearer the cutting edge is post revolutionary normalization. After the gay parades and overt homosexuality that forced the issue into centre stage what is needed is a homosexuality that can be worn lightly outside of the spheres were it is naturally central (like romantic relationships).
Tim Cook is gay, but he's mostly the CEO of Apple. His gayness is not the central part of his public identity and not being public about it up till now is not being closeted.
It's really a great thing that happened, and is happening. I'm glad to be part of the generation that made it happened, a gift to those who will come after, to those who will not have to suffer.
"Despite such evidence, one reason why Americans find it hard to believe Buchanan
could have been gay is that we have a touching belief in progress. Our high
school history textbooks’ overall story line is, “We started out great and have
been getting better ever since,” more or less automatically. Thus we must be
more tolerant now than we were way back in the middle of the 19th century!
Buchanan could not have been gay then, else we would not seem more tolerant now."
 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7862804.stm
As I am sure a lot of you know, the reality show Survivor features a male homosexual couple this year. Bravo! We watch the show with our kids every week. Yes, they ask questions. The little ones cover their eyes when anybody kisses on TV anyway. Seeing two men kiss on the lips and show affection is, well, weird to them. You just don't see that on mainstream TV these days. We simply tell them that what they are seeing is perfectly normal and that these are two people who love each other just as much as mom and dad do. They say "ok" and still go "ewwwww!" When anyone kisses on the show.
The part of Tim Cook's statement that is disappointing to me is where he says "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.". Of course, as an atheist I tend to be particularly sensitive to such statements. If we leave that aside, it is simply a fact that god and religion --world wide-- have been brutal to the gay community. Historically this has ranged from denouncement all the way up to torture and murder. And that stands on it's own, it's a historical fact that has nothing whatsoever to do with the messenger being an atheist.
Anyhow, I am glad he decided to come out as the role model he surely is. Society has far to go. This helps. Every little step helps.
I think it is savvy of him to meet it head-on, to prod people to maybe reconsider their reflexive religious beliefs.
I mean, its great that he chooses and advocates the view that homosexuality can be a 'gift'. That it can be a positive thing! Props for that!
But the phrasing...does he really believe that the imaginary being he worships chose for him to be gay? Like the creator of the universe is really sitting there saying "oh, I'll make this one straight! and this one bi! and this one gay!"
No, not at all. This is only one very narrow view of how a deity may function, or the kind of relationship a diety may have with the universe, or the humans within it.
If God didn't make him gay, who did? (from a believer's POV)
Well, what makes a deity a deity? Surely 'creating the universe' is sufficient to qualify. Why assume that a creator has any interest in the universe? Every day I create a new configuration of a complex, thriving ecosystem in my bowels. I don't give a crap about all those little bacteria living their little bacteria lives. Last week I saw someone drop paint on the floor, and it splattered in a beautiful pattern. They didn't even notice the beauty they had created.
If God was truly powerful and awesome, why stop at one universe? Why assume that the creation of the universe was even worthy of their notice?
Most of the 'founding fathers' of the US were Deists. They believed in a God who created a universe, wound it up, and let it go on its own. For many reasons (including the supposed existence of free will), many people who believe this also believe that God had no idea how the universe would evolve over time. Some believe the opposite.
All of the scientists I've known, who also believe in God, also believe that God plays ZERO active role in anything that is happening in the universe. For some, God is the fully incomprehensible outside of all time and space. For others, God simply manages the afterlife, and leaves the universe to its own machinery.
There are so many views on God, and God's role. The important thing is to ask: Why do people assume that if God has quality X, then God must also have quality Y? Does it actually follow, or is it just an unjustified belief that it must be so?
I have trouble believing that someone smart enough to run the worlds richest company would think that his God intentionally, specifically, knowingly chooses individuals' sexual orientations - especially given what I believe he must know about the science behind orientation-related proclivities.
I could be wrong. Maybe Cook is brilliant at business and ignorant of science.
I just suspect that he was intentionally, perhaps a little dishonestly, saying that bit about God for some well considered reason related to the fact that fundamentalist christians in the US are the main source of homophobia in this country.
TL;DR - See "Deism", for example.
Also, even in Theism you can have a pretty hands-off god. In modern Catholicism, evolution probably made him gay, but god created evolution. Pope John Paul II wrote an encyclical accepting evolution ages ago, so Catholicism doesn't require god to be involved with every single detail of creation.
In both cases, the matter is then left to personal and/or environmental factors.
Are you saying that if someone wants to "know god", they are likely to conclude that god does, indeed, sit around saying "This one is gonna be gay! and this one will be straight!"?
The experience that you call "you" is the result of a direct, unbroken chain of physical chemical interactions all the way back to the beginning of time.
Religious people who think of the nature of things and remain religious call this complex interaction of the physical processes, this fundamental fabric of reality, "God"
If Mr. Cook gives the name "God" to this amazingly complex interaction of physical things that results in conscious experience, then it is rational for him to conclude that this process resulted in him being gay.
There is no big sky entity that points at a person and says "gay" or "straight", but there is a series of implications chained all the way from the beginning of things that directly results his homosexuality. And if you call that "beginning of things" God, then you get the conclusion he vocalizes, but with quite rational thoughts behind it: "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
This stuff gets very vague or very abstract quickly. In general it's probably a good idea to assume that people's beliefs come from reasoned thought, though some probably start from axioms we might find irrational.
>> Religious people who think of the nature of things and remain religious
It sounds to me like you are trying to say that this is true for all people in that group, and I don't believe this is true. This is one method of rationalizing a belief in God, but not the only.
>> call this complex interaction of the physical processes, this fundamental fabric of reality, "God"
Some non-religious 'believers' may do this, but most 'religious' people do not. Essentially no Christian, Jewish, or Islamic fundamentalists thinks this way.
Obviously many new agers think this way, and there are some offshoots of the main religious who do, but on the whole its a rare viewpoint.
While some religious people believe that God continuously provides the means whereby the universe continues to act, most hold that the universe and God are separate. Its actually sacrilege to some to suggest that God is the processes of the universe.
Check out 'pantheism' on wikipedia, and contrast this with 'theism'.
>> If Mr. Cook gives the name "God"
Well does he?? Since Cook is an educated white male gay business leader in san francisco in 2014, I thought he was not religious. It turns out I was wrong.
Is Cook pantheist? I seriously don't think so. But then, I was completely wrong about him religious just a few hours ago.
>> with quite rational thoughts behind it: "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
I'm not sure that would be both honest and rational, as the speaker should know that the Christian community will misunderstand their unqualified pantheist use of 'God' as a theist use of 'God'.
>> a good idea to assume that people's beliefs come from reasoned thought, though some probably start from axioms we might find irrational.
I tend to assume that everyone's beliefs are informed by both rational and irrational thought processes. Did say something to imply otherwise? Or did I miss your point?
In case it weren't clear, I don't believe in any of that.
Really ? Did you have to say that to make your point ? What's so admirable about Apple ? Jobs has been lying constantly about competition, lied about being the first innovators in so many of their products, has pressured other companies to prevent poaching Apple employees to keep salaries as low as he could, and the list does not end there.
Fine, you can love Apple as much as you want, but calling it the "most admirable company" out there is rubber-breaking stretch.
Admirable is a moral judgment.
Admired means that "the others" have drank the kool-aid. (Sheeple, etc. etc.)
If yes, well... okay then. I don't understand you, and I'll stop here.
If no, then maybe you can see how maybe you've not fairly contextualized the conversation? This list of 'admired' companies does, indeed, completely miss the original posters point.
After that, some happier stories started to appear. Eric Allman and Marshall McKusick dropped by the university queer room incognito. There were some movies, Beautiful Thing and Get Real, where people were gay and nothing much happened. That was a big deal then, but I assumed it would all sound corny 20 years later.