BrendanEich was recently named CEO of Mozilla, best known for their Firefox browser, and with the elevated title has faced elevated scrutiny. It was revealed that Eich donated $1,000 in support of Proposition 8 in California, the (failed) ballot initiative that banned Marriage Equality in the state’s constitution.
It’s become a bit of a surprisingly large mess for Mozilla. The move caused three board members to resign and Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman and Board Chairwoman Mitchell Baker have both blogged on the topic. Today, online dating site OK Cupid has thrown up the following message when users attempt to access the site with Firefox:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:
If I’m being honest, $1,000 is a paltry amount of money in anti-gay politics and I’m only troubled by Eich’s personal political history if Mozilla becomes an anti-gay company or if its resources are used to fuel anti-gay politics. I don’t really see that happening, especially now, but I’m also glad that Eich’s hateful affiliations are going to follow him as a sort of infamous line item on his resume. Eich can certainly say whatever he wants, do whatever he wants, donate to whoever he wants, but the consequences of those associations should be widely available for all to see, especially given the stature and power he wields. That’s called accountability.