Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich quits: But now the backlash begins...

fake WBC signs

But WWWBCD? [Updated with more commentary]

Brendan Eich, beleaguered Firefox luminary, has stepped down from his position as CEO of Mozilla. The heat over his 2008 contribution to an anti-gay-marriage fund got too much (or so it seems).

But now, some gay-marriage supporters are coming out of the woodwork to decry the 'hounding' and 'firing' of the poor innocent chap for claiming his 'free-speech rights.' (Wow, not everyone holds the same opinion -- who knew?)

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are careful what they wish for.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 

Our good friend Gregg Keizer is fair and balanced:

"Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO," wrote Mozilla Foundation chairwoman Mitchell Baker. ... "He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community."

Last week, Mozilla employees used Twitter to register their vote of no confidence in Eich as CEO. ... The pressure mounted as the news went mainstream, and an online petition...accumulated more than 70,000 signatures.

...

Mozilla went into damage control mode. ... The result: Eich's resignation.  MORE

 

And Neil McAllister also tries hard:

Eich's appointment as Mozilla's chief exec spurred outrage among gay rights supporters after public records revealed that he contributed $1,000...in support of Proposition 8, [which] enshrined "one man, one woman" as the standard for marriage.

...

Eich's support for it was seen as antithetical to Mozilla's progressive public ethos. [But he] said his political beliefs were "personal" and that he had "kept them out of Mozilla."

Eich's future at Mozilla Corporation is not clear.  MORE

 

But Sam Biddle? Not so much:

That was relatively quick! After lots of angst and arguing...the anti-gay CEO of the Mozilla Foundation just stepped down.

Good for everyone, really. Now let's do racism next!  MORE

 

As for Andrew Sullivan, well, umm...

The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights...has just been scalped by some gay activists.

Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me. ... If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, this pseudonymous commentator's position isn't at all ambiguous:

I'm a big supporter of gay marriage...but this seems somewhat wrong to me. I don't think people should be fired for their personal beliefs.

...

I know this won't be a popular opinion around here [but] two wrongs don't make a right.

I understand why [Mozilla] would do it. The real wrong IMO is people thinking that they shouldn't use a browser if someone...leading it holds different opinions than they do. [Firefox is] is much bigger than any single participant.  MORE

 

Update: Debra J. Saunders brandishes her "token conservative" shoulder-mounted chip:

[It was an] ugly move to push Mozilla’s new CEO Brendan Eich to resign. ... This is a sad day for free speech.

True tolerance entails gritting your teeth and letting others say or do things with which you disagree because you respect their right to do so.

...

The other issue here is the selectivity. Activists go after one person...because they know that going after everyone’s job would be too risky. ... But if you really believe that anyone who gave any amount of money to support Prop. 8 should be a target and be pressured into losing his or her job, say so.  MORE

 

But Will Oremus disagrees:

Some will say we’ve come too far, too fast—that it’s unfair to pillory someone for a political view that was held by the majority of Californians just six years ago. They’re wrong.

Eich, the inventor of the Javascript programming language, was technically well-qualified. ... But his personal views made him untenable as Mozilla’s leader.

...

The notion that your political views shouldn’t affect your employment is a persuasive one. ... But this is different. Opposing gay marriage in America today is not akin to opposing tax hikes or even the war in Afghanistan. It’s more akin to opposing interracial marriage.

Think for a second: If you knew your boss rated you undeserving of the same rights as everyone else...would you feel good about going to work for him every day?  MORE

Computerworld Blogs Newsletter

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.  

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.