Mozilla CEO Resigns After OkCupid Gay Rights Protest

Mozilla CEO Resigns After OkCupid Gay Rights Protest

Getty Images

Company says scandal shows why open web is important for “tough conversations”

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned from his post on Thursday following a protest from dating site OkCupid over Eich's past contribution to an anti-gay marriage campaign.

A co-founder of the tech company and former Chief Technology Officer, Eich was only in the position for less than two weeks. His March 24 promotion sparked outrage across the web and led to resignations within his own company, due to objections many had over a $1,000 contribution Eich made in support of the California Proposition 8 campaign that came to light in 2012.

Also read: ABC, CBS Affiliate News Anchor Tells LGBT Community to ‘Go On Gaycation’

Prop 8, which initially passed in 2008 before the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional, banned gay marriage in the state.

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves.”

The company acknowledged that it stayed silent for too long and did not engage with users of its Firefox web browser after OkCupid posted a message on its site Monday in protest of Eich's past contribution to the California Prop 8 campaign, which banned gay marriage in the state.

Also read: Ellen Page Fires Back at Anti-Gay Pastor's Letter Over Twitter

“Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure,” the OkCupid message read.

In its apology, Mozilla said that the company believes in both equality and freedom of speech, and cited the importance of an open web to have “tough conversations.”

“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,” the blog post read.

“While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better. We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web.”

  • bobafett0406

    Not saying that Eich was right or wrong, but what about his freedom of speech? He didn't do anything illegal. If anything this is bullying, and I highly doubt Mozilla cares or they would have done something sooner. They were exposed and didn't want the bad PR. If I were him I'd sue the company (though he probably took a nice settlement to go away quietly). All and all… poorly written article in that it doesn't promote discussion and is clearly one sided. Freedom of speech – without freedom to offend – isn't freedom of speech.

  • Whaaaa?

    Eich was not wrong. He is entitled to his belief and there's nothing wrong with it. This makes me lose respect for Mozilla. So now business decisions affecting the majority are based on marginal half-baked “protests” from marginal websites??? Most people don't give a whit about Eich's position on this and most probably agree w/him but are too afraid to say so. Shame on you, Mozilla.

  • Carlos

    Jesus you idiots are thick. Freedom of speech means he doesn't go to jail for being an idiot. It does NOT guarantee him employment. Go beat your bibles, fools.

    • Whaaaa?

      Screw you, moron. Can you read. Where did I say “free speech.” Congratulations, your uneducated illiterate self read about “free speech” on Wikipedia and you're rabidly copying/pasting the same tired meme while masturbating about how smart you are.

      He is entitled to his beliefs and whatever donations he wishes to make with his own earned money. This episode is making me consider donating to the same group he donated to. Meanwhile, why don't YOU go beat off, “Carlos.”

  • Martin Arrowsmith

    Read the “Comments” section below and see for yourself the type of people who come to the Web to “engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better” (no offense to you, bobafett).