Mozilla steps up damage control as pressure for CEO Eich's ouster mounts

Petition calling for Brendan Eich to renounce past support for same-sex marriage ban nears 70K signatures; online dating service urges members to stop using Firefox

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, went into damage control mode over the weekend in response to criticism that its new CEO had donated to a California anti-gay marriage ballot proposition in 2008.

That criticism has expanded to include an online petition calling for Brendan Eich's resignation or firing if he does not "make an unequivocal statement of support for marriage equality," as well as the online dating service OkCupid.com urging its members not to use Firefox.

On its official blog Saturday, Mozilla clarified its stance on marriage equality, stating, "Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally."

Mozilla issued the statement because critics had blasted its choice of Eich, creator of JavaScript and one of the co-founders of the organization, as its chief executive.

Eich was promoted to CEO on March 24.

"Over the past few days we have been asked a number of questions about Brendan Eich's appointment as CEO," Mozilla explained on March 29. "This post is to clarify Mozilla's official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people."

In 2008, during the run-up to the passage of California's Proposition 8, Eich contributed $1,000 to ProtectMarriage.com, a collection of conservative and religious political activist groups that supported the ballot measure, which altered the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriages. The law was later declared unconstitutional by a federal court.

Although Eich's donation had first come to light in 2012, last week several Mozilla employees took to Twitter calling for his resignation.

Both Eich and Mozilla Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker responded with blogs of their own last week.

"I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion," Eich wrote on March 26.

Eich's comments and Baker's statement of support were obviously not deemed sufficient by Mozilla, which followed them with the Saturday blog explicitly backing marriage equality.

OK Cupid warning
Dating service OkCupid.com interrupts members' access if they're running Firefox, urging them to run a different browser because of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich's past donations to a California state ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage.
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