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Mozilla Businesses Government The Courts

Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law 1116

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-ok-california-laws-aren't-like-real-people-laws dept.
theodp (442580) writes "While the rise and fall of Brendan Eich at Mozilla sparked a debate over how to properly strike a balance between an employee's political free speech and his employer's desire to communicate a particular corporate 'culture,' notes Brian Van Vleck at the California Workforce Resource Blog, the California Labor Code has already resolved this debate. 'Under California law,' Van Vleck explains, 'it is blatantly illegal to fire an employee because he has donated money to a political campaign. This rule is clearly set forth in Labor Code sections 1101-1102.' Section 1102 begins, 'No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.' Corporate Counsel's Marlisse Silver Sweeney adds, 'Mozilla is adamant that the board did not force Eich to resign, and asked him to stay on in another role. It also says that although some employees tweeted for his resignation, support for his leadership was expressed by a larger group of employees. And this is all a good thing for the company from a legal standpoint.' As Eich stepped down, Re/code reported that Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said Eich's ability to lead the company had been badly damaged by the continued scrutiny over the hot-button issue. 'It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,' Baker was quoted as saying. 'I think there has been pressure from all sides, of course, but this is Brendan's decision. Given the circumstances, this is not surprising.' Van Vleck offers these closing words of advice, 'To the extent employers want to follow in Mozilla's footsteps by policing their employees' politics in the interests of 'culture,' 'inclusiveness,' or corporate branding, they should be aware that their efforts will violate California law.'"
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

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  • Re:Poor poor bigot (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:00PM (#46696985)

    how tolerant of you.

    (posting anonymously because of the fear of backlash from others just as tolerant as you)

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:01PM (#46696999) Homepage Journal

    Exactly. And as far as we know, he wasn't forced to resign. He did so so the company could move on as his presence would have been a distraction.

  • by FuegoFuerte (247200) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:01PM (#46697005)

    And Steve Ballmer retired.

  • I May Not Agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:01PM (#46697007)

    I may not agree with Brendan's position, but it is a scary precedent to get rid of people based on their personal beliefs and political activities.

    --MyLongNickName

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:02PM (#46697015)

    that protect ceo's and c-levels. the game is already stacked in their favor from the start. they can get away, almost literally, with murder in the US system. the world's tiniest violin is now playing for the poor little ceo's who didn't get everything they wanted.

    its usually the other way around. you have to tip-toe around the c-levels so you don't offend them, lest you get handed your walking papers. they can hire and fire pretty much without challenge.

    besides all that, though, he was not fired. he was asked to step down from the public and a percentage of the employees. no one in the company forced him to leave. there was no illegal act here.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:05PM (#46697063)

    That is the problem with most labor laws. There are usually tricks to get your way. You don't fire the person you force them to resign. You can perform a witch hunt and wait for any slip up as a reason to fire someone.
    We have fire: Where termination is caused by poor/inappropriate performance.
    We have layoff: Where termination is from the employer to reduce staffing to save money.
    We have "resignations": Where the employer tells the person that they need to resign, otherwise we will make their lives difficult.
    We have resignations: Where the employee decides to leave the job, in a graceful method.
    We have quitting: Where the employee leaves instantly, and not so gracefully.

  • Re:It's simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:10PM (#46697125) Homepage

    And, yet it should be taken as natural that religious people can spout off against either of those groups, and have it be protected speech. But if someone fires back and talks about them, then it's persecution.

    You really can't have it both ways. And the noise I see from Christians saying their free speech is being violated, all the while expecting to be able to do the same thing, tells me that there is no reasoned principle here ... just a sense of self entitlement.

    You are free to believe what you like and to say it. You are not free from repercussions when people decide they don't like your message.

    When someone expects to be able to say hateful things because their religion says, and then gets up in arms when someone calls them on it ... the word you're looking for is hypocrisy.

  • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:10PM (#46697131)

    That's right! Human rights for all, except the humans I don't like!

  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:11PM (#46697135)

    The crux of the issue is that social attitudes are in flux on this matter. If you don't give people leeway to change, they will likely harden their positions.

    And if you give some people leeway to change (eg- Obama, Hilary) and deny leeway to others (Brendan Eich) you are being blatantly partisan and unfair.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:13PM (#46697187)

    Had he donated $1000 to pro-gay organization and was fired - there would be wide action in his support....

    But he donated to the wrong organization so he "resigned" - after external and internal pressure...

    It sickens me... there is no more free speach... and some people clearly can be discriminated because of their political views...

  • Re:Lol... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:17PM (#46697225)

    There's so much wrong with your post that I think you don't know anything about the case in question OR how reality works. First off, Eich didn't "spout out", he stayed quiet. Prop 8's detractors simply hunted him down on the list of people who donated to Prop 8. Then he stepped down rather then pretending he was suddenly converted to the cause. HUGE difference.

    Secondly, are you REALLY asking people to shut up about their political opinions or suffer penalty? That's like telling gay supporters of a decade or two ago to shut up if they don't want to be persecuted. You're basically trying to have it both ways while hiding behind pretty-sounding words to justify it. Which is disturbing to say the least.

    Finally, yes, actually *firing* a person for making a donation to a cause you don't like is not something you can claim as the moral high ground. It may disgust you and I that Eich supported a cause we don't believe in, but get some damn perspective before you turn into the bigots you despise. Fighting for tolerance on one hand, while finding every excuse to be intolerant to your opponents on the other, is disgusting.

  • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:17PM (#46697227)
    Yeah, terrible headline. It pretty much comes down to 'well, if something similar but completely different in all of its actual details happened then it would likely violate the law!'
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:17PM (#46697233)

    That's right! Human rights for all, except the humans I don't like!

    Are you serious? CEOs are different than regular employees, they are there to represent the owners and are well paid for it. Even in European countries with very strong labour laws are CEOs in practice easily fireable. And as an extension of representing the owners, his views are relevant, especially when he calls some people subhuman.

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:19PM (#46697255)
    I feel that Mr.Eich was compelled to resign not by his employer, but by the GLBT community. They exerted political pressure which would have impacted the Mozilla organization, and Mr. Eich made a personal decision to shield the organization from that political pressure.

    GLBT organizations have a perfect right to express their opinions, and even to use political and economic pressure to achieve their desired ends. The Mozilla foundation acted correctly in not bowing directly to this pressure. Mr. Eich acted both correctly and even (some might say) with noble altruism in resigning.

    Understand the causes of actions - if you insist on placing blame, place it where it belongs. Mr. Eich was forced out by the GLBT community over his support for a bill which directly contradicted their political agenda. Their actions were within what is considered to be acceptable, and resulted in Mr. Eich sustaining a personal loss for his open support of a bill he obviously believes in. I don't think anybody here behaved badly or did anything wrong; but I believe that all involved should now be judged by their actions and their roles in this drama.

  • It sad really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:20PM (#46697271)

    Mozilla lost a great technically minded CEO who could have done some good things for the organization; which IMHO badly needs strong leadship right now.

    Why because a bunch of the rabble could not deal with someone not sharing their opinions. Honestly I don't think anyone supporting same sex marriage supports equality at all. Government should not recognize ANY marriage. If you get married that should be entirely between you, your God(s), who ever else attends where you warship, and that's it.

    It should not be your boss's business, nor the state's nor any courts. Government recognizing marrige does nothing but create a special class of people (married people), and there is no reason they should get the special treatment they do.

    As far as children go, both biological parents should be considered to have parental rights and responsibilities, unless the father isn't known and nobody comes forward for in some reasonable time frame.

    Everyone should be entitled to name someone (anyone) they wish to specify to share anything that exists as a spousal benefit today or those benefits should be withdrawn. I don't think anyone should have to file a tax return, but as long as we have tax returns EVERYONE should have to file individually.

    So will I continue to vote against so called marriage equality; you bet I will because the last thing I want to see is the expansion of what is already a special class which should not exist in secular society.

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:20PM (#46697273)

    1) He resigned, he wasn't fired.
    2) There was pressure to resign, or else be fired, sure, but the fundamental reason is that users were throwing tantrums and threatening a boycott. That seems like a legit reason to fire someone to me.

    No, that's coercion.

    What's been lost in all this is the fact that in 2008, the same year that Brendan Eich made that campaign contribution, Barack Obama went on national television in a debate with John McCain, and said that he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

    Where is the outrage over that? Why is it that Obama was elected president of the United States, twice, and Eich was forced to resign from the company he helped start?

  • Re:Lol... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotDrWho (3543773) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:20PM (#46697275)

    By this line of "reasoning", if your CEO decides to run as mayor or get a new ballot initiative declaring some minority group as 3/5ths of a human or making it illegal for them to serve food due to being dirty (insert minority here)'s, then I guess the companies hands are tied and they can't fire him.

    Yep, just like you also can't fire an employee for voting Democrat or being a pro-gay rights activist in his off-time. It cuts both ways, sparky.

  • Re:Lol... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NotDrWho (3543773) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:22PM (#46697317)

    Yes, I thought it through and it's the only tenable option. That and social pressure. Laws forcing you to retain douchebags like this guy are insane, completely irrational.

    So, in conservative states, it should be perfectly legal to fire gay activists and those who donate to gay rights causes? Hey, social pressure, right?

  • Re:Lol... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:26PM (#46697393)

    It's less about Eich and more about the fundamental rights of association that are being eroded in this country.

    Employment is an association. I don't know how it gets more fundamental a human right than "I don't fucking like you, so I'm not going to give you my money to work for me." But somehow this has changed in America and a "job" is some thing the government controls, and you are just a steward of. Don't like felons? Tough shit - some areas now won't let you ask about it. Don't like gays? Too bad, hire him or else. Racist? Well, sorry - hire that other-race woman or else.

    It's all bullshit, needless bullshit. Eich was a liability to Mozilla, period. It's not fair, he wasn't out proselytizing or burning crosses - sure. But he was a liability and Mozilla did not want to continue to employ him in that role. That should be their choice.

    You can get blacklisted in this country for making a slightly off-color joke, or for "appropriating" a dance from another "culture". And yet we feel we need the government to step in and manage all employment in this country to an increasing degree.

  • by SchroedingersCat (583063) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:27PM (#46697397)
    The chairman of the board went on the record saying "It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting". She basically said that he was not fit for the job because of his political views. That's ought to be enough to support "constructive discharge"
  • by thaylin (555395) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:27PM (#46697401)
    That is not necessarily true, and is just an assumption about a statement taken after the fact, not before hand. There are other possibilities, such as Brendan came to that conclusion himself and voluntarily stepped down, and Baker was just making the statement. There is no evidence that he was forced out by the leadership of the company.
  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:28PM (#46697425)

    Replace "California" with "South Carolina" and "Republican" with "Democrat" in your argument and think hard about what you're really advocating for. Political litmus tests for employment have been a big no-no for a damn good reason. Do you *really* want your employer digging into your political beliefs, with the freedom to shitcan you if he doesn't like them?

  • Re:It's simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:29PM (#46697443) Homepage Journal

    How does forbidding an oxymoron exclude gays from society? I'd say allowing gay marriage is more exclusionary.

  • Streisand effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:33PM (#46697521) Journal

    I wonder how damaged Mozilla is by the Streisand effect for this whole debacle. If nobody publicized Eich's relatively small contribution to a political campaign from six years ago, nobody would know about any of this. I seriously doubt Eich had some kind of master plan for a gay purge at Mozilla. It is possible for one to be opposed to gay marriage without hating gay people, and chances are his political opinion would have no negative impact on Mozilla.

    If nobody had said anything, Mozilla would probably sail along just fine. Instead, a big deal was made, and now you've got pro gay marriage people who were upset that Mozilla would ever employ such a gay-hatin' monster, you've got anti gay marriage people claiming persecution, and then the base of people who think it's much ado about nothing, anyway, because somebody's political opinions shouldn't have anything to do with their job.

    Basically, everybody comes out of this smelling like shit, when if nobody had ever said anything, things probably would have been just fine.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:37PM (#46697579) Homepage Journal

    That doesn't mean what you think it means. Eich resigned from Mozilla. Mozilla could not have fired him or forced him to leave, but there's no reason they couldn't have put him in a role where he didn't lead Mozilla. Mozilla has many, many, jobs. Eich could have been kicked into a sideways or upstairs position without a problem.

    Remember that was the entire point. Yes, I know all the Eich defenders have gone nuts the last few days claiming Eich was "fired" for "his point of view" and have modded down, silenced, and otherwise stuck your fingers in your ears when anyone's raised their hand and said "Uh, actually...", but the situation is this.

    Eich was unsuitable for the role of CEO. This was not because he had stone-age views about "the ghays", but because he had shown serious judgement and respect issues. It merely happened that the thing that revealed these issues was connected to his actions in a political debate.

    Eich donated $1,000 to a hate campaign. It didn't matter who or what it was supporting. In this case it was nominally a pro-Prop 8 campaign, but it was, actually, an anti-gay smear campaign, that used dog whistles and other techniques to try to look respectable. It did things like 30 second ads claiming children would be hurt by rights for gays.

    After it was revealed that this is what Eich did, something that directly affected 5-10% of the Mozilla workforce, Eich's response was (paraphrased) "I'm not a bigot and you're all nasty people who don't deserve an explanation for saying I'm a bigot." At this point, it didn't matter. Eich was claiming to have no problems with gays, but had funded a campaign claiming they're a danger to children. He refused to distance himself from his actions in any way, not even a "Well, I thought it was just an anti-marriage-rights thing, I too was disappointed to see Gays demonized the way they were."

    At this point, two years ago, any reasonable person would say that Eich (a) was divisive and (b) lacked judgement. And that would normally have been the end of it, because most employers would have not even thought to put him in a position where either of those issues mattered

    But then some idiots at Mozilla decided to make him CEO.

    Now, alternate universe time:

    1. Would Eich have been asked to not be CEO if he said "Well, I feel uncomfortable with gay marriage, though my donation to a hate campaign was obviously misjudged and did not reflect my views on the subject. I have nothing against them myself"?

    No. Probably not. Doubt many of his critics would have been entirely happy, but it would have constituted a recognition of past mistakes.

    2. Would Eich have been asked to not be CEO if he'd made no such donation, or if a pro-Prop 8 campaign had sprung up that didn't smear gays and he'd donated to that, but it had been revealed he'd voted for Prop 8?

    Almost certainly not. This would have been a clear violation of his right to free thought and to not have his views discriminated against.

    3. Would Eich have been asked to not be CEO if Prop 8 were about inter-racial marriage and he'd donated money to the KKK?

    Hell yeah he would!

    4. Would Eich have been asked to not be CEO if Prop 8 were about Christians being banned from public office, and if he'd donated $1,000 to a campaign arguing Christians were idiots and their leaders charlatans? Oh, and Christians were regularly (actually) attacked and discriminated against in California for some reason?

    Well, yes! Yes he would.

    5. Would Eich have been asked to not be CEO if he'd announced he'd changed all his views since 2008 and would not support Prop 8 today?

    No idea. I'm guessing that it would look like opportunism if done today, though if it had been done two years ago, who knows?

    Either way: yes, Mozilla had options. No they didn't have to fire him if he didn't resign. And again, Eich had serious respect and judgement issues that made him unqualified for the j

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:37PM (#46697581) Journal

    Because Obama, wink wink, was really on the gay marriage side and just sayin' that so's not to spook the flyover states.

    Same reasons the left gives him a pass on drone strikes and gitmo.

  • Re:It's simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:41PM (#46697619) Journal

    When someone expects to be able to say hateful things because their religion says, and then gets up in arms when someone calls them on it ... the word you're looking for is hypocrisy.

    How is it hypocrisy? Eich wasn't trying to silence or punish anyone for their political beliefs. Others were trying to silence or punish him for his. I think we should all be allowed to have our own political opinions and give money to causes as we see fit without losing our jobs over it. Apparently, so does the California Labor Code.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:41PM (#46697629) Homepage Journal

    It was all becasue of customer backlash. The customers were leaving, and that's why he resigned.
    If a CEO causes customer to leave, they get let go, regardless of the reason.

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:43PM (#46697647) Homepage Journal

    I highly doubt Obama evolved his actual attitude on gay marriage. As with most things, we'll never know what Obama really thinks about it. What he evolved was, as you said, his position on it after seeing the way the political wind was blowing. Eich was merely more honest and stuck to his guns instead of pretending he now believed the popular thing.

  • by SchroedingersCat (583063) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:44PM (#46697675)
    By this logic, if the company hires black CEO and customer leave because of that, CEO should step down? Is this how it works?
  • by kick6 (1081615) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:45PM (#46697695) Homepage

    Exactly. And as far as we know, he wasn't forced to resign. He did so so the company could move on as his presence would have been a distraction.

    Law is written containing the words "coerce, influence, or attempt to coerce or influence through or by means of threat of discharge." Something tells me that he'd have a good case. You'd have a hard time convincing a jury that there was ZERO pressure to resign. Would he pursue said case? Maybe not. The article is just ironic that in a state full of shitbag liberal lightningrods they've created laws to protect themselves from the fallout from being shitbag liberal lightingrods, and in the end these laws could blow up in their face and protect a shitbag conservative (that liberals turned into a ) lightningrod.

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:51PM (#46697769)

    Many, many resignations are just thinly-disguised firings. That's nothing new. They couldn't fire him over it, but he also knows that he'd burn way too many corporate bridges by fighting it. By resigning, they get to move on from the drama, he gets a chunk or all of whatever golden parachute they work out, and he doesn't get hit with a corporate reputation for dragging companies through the mud; something that's way more harmful to his resume than any political or moral affiliation.

    It's the same thing when some top-level government official resigns. They were basically fired, but everyone understands that it's important to keep the impression that things are running smoothly and everyone is copasetic.

  • by fche (36607) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:52PM (#46697785)

    What customer backlash?
    Who is a Mozilla customer, except perhaps Google?

  • I'd argue that it was more about the straight allies of the LGBT community than the LGBT community themselves. OKCupid is run by straight dudes, and they're not a front for any LGBT organisation that I know of.

    This was a delightfully broad-based protest, not stemming from any group in particular.

    It is, in fact, why I find it so absolutely irritating that bloggers keep going on about how 'damaging' this is to 'free speech'. This was free speech WORKING. This was a whole bunch of people speaking out and saying that it's no more acceptable for CEOs to hold this kind of opinion on equal marriage as it would be for them to hold a similar opinion on interracial marriage.

  • Re:....indeed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Straif (172656) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:54PM (#46697819) Homepage

    From all accounts he both continued and even extended LGBT friendly practices at Mozilla.

    The ONLY thing ever said about him was he donated to Prop 8 and because of that it was assumed (I would guess rightfully so) that he believed the legal definition of marriage should remain 1 man 1 woman (as did the majority of Californians at the time). No one has ever come forward, to my knowledge, to say he ever put forward any proposals to limit same sex benefits at any place he ever had any control over.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:54PM (#46697821)

    Why is it OK to have a hate campaign against Eich and what he believed in?

    Either you are against hate campaigns and truly believe in difference of opinion, or you start a hate campaign yourself and hypocritically drum someone out of work through the very kind of hatred you claim to deplore.

    It really is that simple. One bigot left Mozilla - but EVERYONE remaining who did not quit in disgust is a bigot also. Were I am employee of Mozilla I would have resigned alongside him, even though I am on the opposite side of the prop 8 debate. I find it sad that no-one there seems to have any strength of character.

  • by Sarius64 (880298) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:55PM (#46697857)
    Because your political speech is obviously more important than his political speech. Pretty sad when a large portion of the gay journalist community calls you full of shit, mate. Maybe if you have Obama say it people will believe it for you.
  • by Lazere (2809091) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:59PM (#46697909)
    It would be hard to argue that Mozilla created hostile working conditions. You could say they "knowingly permitted" those conditions, but since it was the public that created those conditions, it would be a hard sell in court.
  • by Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:01PM (#46697955)

    The first part is that there are basically two groups of people: those that feel they should be able to do whatever makes them happy as long as what they're doing doesn't adversely affect others, and those who feel they have the right to tell others what they can and can't do regardless of impact on themselves.

    Make whatever convoluted case or slippery slope argument you want, Adam and Steve getting married has zero actual effect on anyone else. So what you have is a CEO basically giving his social opinion that he feels something is wrong that people who work for him feel is okay. My last company allowed employees to wear shorts to work because it was 120 out in the summer. One day someone brought that up in a room with a vice president in it and his comment was "Yeah, you're allowed to do it...but I think its damned unprofessional". Half the people in the room were wearing shorts. Word got around and nobody wore them anymore. So what a senior manager says has a significant effect on workers, right or wrong, rules/laws or not.

    Second part is that roughly half the people/customers/programmers/business owners/executives believe one way on this and the other half believe the opposite. You're therefore alienating half the people that work for the company and half the people it works with. Not a good idea from any perspective. Sure, the ones that feel like you do will rally behind you while the other half walk away. Probably okay if you're making chicken sandwiches. Not okay when you're trying to manage a major software company.

    Bottom line: keep your social opinions to a personal level and keep them out of a professional environment. You can make all the legal arguments you want. The VP still thinks shorts are unprofessional and chances are if you wear them, you're going to be getting the crap jobs if he notices.

  • Re:I May Not Agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kick6 (1081615) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:07PM (#46698033) Homepage

    I hate this strawman, and it's coming up time and time again.

    This isn't a "personal belief" or "opinion." This isn't someone who like brunettes over blondes. This isn't someone who doesn't like chocolate or who even doesn't like smokers. This is the belief that a group of people should be second class to another group of people.

    If someone stands up and says "I don't like gays" it is one thing. When someone stands up and says "we should take rights away because I don't like these people" it's quite another thing. I am pissed off about the latter. It's the difference between thinking the person is a jerk and thinking the person is detrimental.

    Marriage is not a right, even for straight people. So it's YOU creating a strawman. I understand that marriage-as-a-right is how the social justice campaign has been waged for several generations, and you know even have fairly high ranking judges agreeing, but there is no historical precedence, and certainly nothing in the letter or intent of the constitution that makes marriage a right. Marriage is a privelege granted to theoretically-productive couples (in the sense of procreation) to encourage said activity.

  • by flitty (981864) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:15PM (#46698151)
    Sorry, False equivalency alert going off here. Donating to a single campaign for a single purpose (Prop 8) is different than donating to a politician. If you want to buy support of a politician on a single issue, it doesn't mean you endorse every single thing they've ever said or done.
  • by hondo77 (324058) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:16PM (#46698169) Homepage

    At this point, two years ago, any reasonable person would say that Eich (a) was divisive and (b) lacked judgement.

    A reasonable person could also say that Eich had a different opinion than you. THAT is what you don't get. To you, there is only black and white. Lest you forget, Prop 8 passed. It wouldn't pass today because, since then, some people have changed their minds. That's not good enough for you, though. For you, once a Prop 8 supporter, always a dirtbag. Have fun digging into the past of your friends because I guarantee you that you're going to find something distasteful (to you) in almost every one of them. Getting rid of all those dirtbags should be a very cathartic experience. Then, enjoy your new, solitary life.

  • by AvitarX (172628) <me@brandyHORSEwi ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:20PM (#46698205) Journal

    The issue isn't his beliefs, it's his active attempt to limit the rights of others for no reason except for either religion or he thinks it's icky (I haven't heard any other excuses from anybody, but perhaps he has a different reason).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:30PM (#46698367)

    it was maggot backlash.

    Yes, I use maggot as a derisive term, it stands for people who are offended by those that do not agree with them. Maggots are prejudiced against those who do not agree with them. Maggots then act out in negative ways trying to force others to bend their opinions to match their own.

    In this case, it was certain members of the gay and lesbian communities and some of those that support said community.

    People have a right to their own opinions. People have a right to practice their religion and vote their consciences.

    That is why I consider these people maggots. They believe that because they take offense at what someone else believes that they have the right to take away the rights and freedoms of the person who *offended* them by disagreeing with them.

    These maggots are bigots, spewing vitriol and hatred. These maggots are the problem with today's society. These maggots are doing their damnedest to strip away constitutional rights in favor of some false assumption that nobody can say or do anything that is offensive to them.

    Idiot maggots.

  • Re:I May Not Agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:32PM (#46698381)

    It is not gay marriage that bothers me but the false logic and dishonest tactics being used to promote it.

    There are no rights being denied to gay people that are also not being denied to people who want group marriage, incestual marriage, or marriage for convenience (green card for example) etc.

    If you want to propose to extend the definition of marriage (traditionally one man, one woman) to cover one man - one man, and one woman - one woman, fine, put it to a vote. I will vote for it. But don't talk about rights being denied and don't try to destroy everybody who disagrees with your proposal by personal attacks and accusations. Even liberals at this point (Bill Maher for example) are disgusted by the tactics of the gay lobby.

  • by PRMan (959735) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:32PM (#46698383)

    There's no hate campaign against Eich.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Did you miss the internet that day?

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:46PM (#46698541) Homepage Journal

    Why is it OK to have a hate campaign against Eich and what he believed in?

    I guess because free speech is a two-way street - You have a right to speak your mind, and everyone else has an equal right to adjust their relationship with you accordingly, and yes, speak their own minds in opposition.

    The real question is, why and when is it OK to have a double-standard when it comes to voicing opinion?

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:49PM (#46698571)
    How did he attempt to limit the rights of others? Oh, right - by exercising his rights.

    "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll die defending your right to say it."

  • Re:Poor poor bigot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @04:54PM (#46698623) Journal
    For millennia, people have been pair bonding and have called it "marriage". Before the Europeans crossed the Atlantic, the Native Americans had the two-spirit people who lived as the opposite gender, including getting married. You seem to forget that christianity and the rest of the abrahamaic religions are fairly new super-cults. Marriage existed for a long time outside of Europe, in other cultures, and in other religions.

    as the church that stated that people are free to marry whomever they chose, with certain restrictions (ie couldn't be previously married, free consent, etc.).

    Don't be foolish. Polygamy was banned fairly recently, consent wasn't actually required of the woman who was considered chattel, and even age restrictions are civil not religious. There is nothing in the bible about how old a person, especially a woman, must be to wed.

    Why is it illegal? Because the church forbade it

    Why did the church forbid it? Because earlier religions forbade it. Why did they forbid it? Because inbreeding resulted in deformed offspring and being ignorant as they were, they attributed it as punishment from the god(s) du jour.

  • by Zalbik (308903) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:04PM (#46698765)

    Why is it OK to have a hate campaign against Eich and what he believed in?

    For the same reason it is OK for Eich to speak about what he believes in.

    As much as the interwebs are desperately trying to make someone the villain here, I don't have a problem with either side.

    1) Eich contributed to a political cause he believed in - fine
    2) A segment of the public was in opposition to his cause, and spoke out opposing his viewpoint - fine
    3) A website stopped allowing Mozilla on their site due to being in opposition of his viewpoint - fine
    4) Mozillia & Eich realized that the situation was fubar, and Eich decided to resign - fine

    A few commentators have had serious issues with (3), claiming that this could lead to any corporation with enough cash forcing certain opinions out of favor. To this I answer:

    a) This already happens
    b) This can typically only happen when there is significant public support for a particular position.

    Sure, it's not ideal for corporate entities to be the "stick" via which social change can come about, but given that the opponents to certain changes tend to be very wealthy and powerful individuals, some sort of stick is often needed.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:05PM (#46698781) Homepage Journal

    How did he attempt to limit the rights of others? Oh, right - by exercising his rights.

    You can say that giving money to an organization which seeks to limit the rights of others isn't attempting to limit the rights of others, but you're talking shit.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:08PM (#46698801) Homepage Journal

    In other words: leftists believe themselves to always have the moral high ground becuase there is no more superior moral than equality, and everyone else is just subhuman shit that needs to change their views, and until they do they deserve no quarter. Understood.

    It took you this long to understand that when you try to treat people differently because you don't like the way they act even though it's not affecting you, it makes you a shitheel? Because that's what we're actually talking about here, if we stay on topic. Eich gave money to an organization which spends that money trying to prevent some people from living like other people even though it really doesn't affect them in any way. If he doesn't want a reputation as a would-be oppressor, then he has the option to not fund oppression.

  • Re:Poor poor bigot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:13PM (#46698853)

    It's not a black and white issue, it is complicated. "Marriage" as a civil institution is what's messed up. Civil unions are the civil institution, whereas marriage is a social institution (with various ethnic, religious and other traditions involved). The equality that people want in marriage is in regards to civil equality for the most part. Ie, issues in regards to adoptions, death benefits, hospital visitations, joint property ownership, tax benefits (or penalties), and so forth. It really was confusing about what the difference in California law was between civil unions and marriage, other than the words.

    I think the institution should be split up. You get both a civil union in order to get the legal benefits, and also get a religious or other ceremony for the social benefits. And couples are allowed to get both, just one, or neither.

    What's worrisome to me is that this has a big chance of backfiring. Sure, in San Francisco and Hollywood it is easy to come to the impression that gay rights is now mainstream. But the reality is that the majority of US residents are still somewhat negative about gay marriage. It is great that gay rights are advancing, but it is also very easy for them to be rolled back. Right now there is a lot of anger out there about judicial activism in this regard, as all the states that allow gay marriage have done so because of court rulings rather than the ballot box or large movement of public opinion.

    In California prop 8 was overturned basically due to a loophole; the governor's refused to defend the law in court. Yes that sounds good on the surface but has a lot of nasty consequences. First, other states have been drafting laws against gay marriage intended precisely to avoid similar legal problems. Second, it opens wide the doors for governor's you don't agree with to use the same lack-of-enforcement as a de-facto veto of a proposition. We're not always going to have a liberal governor in California.

  • by malkavian (9512) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:28PM (#46699043) Homepage

    You know, it's practically impossible to do anything these days without supporting someone, or something that'll supress the rights of others..
    Ever bought anything made in China? If you have, congratulations. You've funded the suppression of rights on a massive scale.

  • Andrew Sullivan — a prominent Illiberal — has drawn some fire upon himself by claiming [andrewsullivan.com], "we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."

    While Andrew's employment remains secure, I take an exception with this statement. Though there surely were (and remain) anti-gay bullies, I can not find a single case of a CEO being fired (or forced to resign) simply for being either a homosexual himself, or for supporting a homosexual cause. The only thing, that comes close is the US military — but even they stopped doing it over 20 years ago, when "don't ask don't tell was implemented".

    This makes today's Illiberals not "no better", but worse than the "bullies of the past". Much worse...

  • Nobody is taking away his right to say anything. He made the contribution out of his personal funds, he can do so again. There are lots of organizations which would be happy to have him on board. Hell, he didn't even lose his previous C-level position at Mozilla out of it.

    Your right to say something does not take away my right to give you the finger for saying so, or even to refuse to use your company's products because of it. Freedom of speech isn't freedom from the consequences of speech. You have the right to attempt to attempt to enforce bigotry at the government level; I have the right to object to giving you additional resources with which to do so. I can't actually directly take those resources from you, of course, but I can object.

    Nobody is saying he didn't have a right to say what he did or even to donate money. We don't have to financially support the organization that pays him, though!

  • by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:52PM (#46699253)

    Yes.

    Sort of like if I donate $1000 to save the pandas its ok but if I donate $1000 to shoot pandas, people get bent out of shape.

    Or contributing $1000 to get more minorities to vote as opposed to $1000 to prevent minorities from voting.

    Or contributing $1000 to clean up a local park vs $1000 to dump more trash in a local park.

    Or $1000 to fix potholes vs $1000 to create more potholes.

    Should I go on?

    Yes, there are certain things you could contribute money to that will be OK when contributing to the other side is not OK.

  • Re:Poor poor bigot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MadMartigan2001 (766552) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:04PM (#46699353)
    If Eich said "Same sex marriage is not for me" that's one thing. But he said "I want to pass a law that denies gay people the right to marriage". That, dear sir, is bigotry. Being against bigotry is not intolerant, it is required behavior of any moral person.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:29PM (#46699553)

    The issue isn't his beliefs, it's his active attempt to limit the rights of others for no reason except for either religion or he thinks it's icky (I haven't heard any other excuses from anybody, but perhaps he has a different reason).

    Any time you advocate the passage of a law, you're trying to force your will on others.

    Your problem appears to be that you disapprove of his religion, and want him silenced. You, sir, are a bigot and a hypocrit.

  • Re:I May Not Agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lothsahn (221388) <Lothsahn@@@SPAM_ ... u_bastardsyahocm> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:53PM (#46699771)
    Cmon Grateful... Under what basis do you qualify Eich as a bigot?

    Bigoted:
    "having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one's own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others."

    Eich's statement shows ultimate tolerance of the opinions of others. He promises to treat others as equal, continue to work with the LGBT community, continue the non-discrimination policy, equal health benefits, etc, etc. His tolerance is shown clearly: he doesn't agree with gay marriage, but commits to treating all of his employees as human beings. Others at Mozilla that worked with him were shocked to find out he contributed to Prop 8, because they had never seen him treat anyone with inequality. All of the facts, both from himself and others, have shown a full commitment to treat others with respect.

    Eich's statement:
    I ask for your ongoing help to make Mozilla a place of equality and welcome for all. Here are my commitments, and here’s what you can expect:

    Active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building.
    Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
    My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.

    My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult. More on this last item below.

    I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.[1]


    “That was shocking to me, because I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” (Mitchell Baker-Chairperson of Mozilla) [2]

    This is not the statement of a bigot. Silencing, attacking, and treating his political views as invalid is bigoted.

    Without a difference of opinion, you cannot have tolerance. A monoculture has no room for tolerance. Why the heck is disagreement these days automatically "bigotry" and why do people see love as "accepting all opinions that another holds"? Why would it be "shocking" that someone could treat others with respect, but disagree on a political issue?

    [1] https://brendaneich.com/2014/0... [brendaneich.com]
    [2] https://blog.lizardwrangler.co... [lizardwrangler.com] (note: this post appears to have been taken down on her blog, or archived, but it's still widely quoted on the internet)
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:01PM (#46699873) Homepage

    Saying you don't like same-sex marriage is fine. Trying to pass a law that prevents other people from marrying the person they want to marry isn't. One is free speech, the other is a direct attack on other people, an attempt to limit their freedom and rights when they have done no actual harm to you.

  • Re:I May Not Agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roca (43122) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:20PM (#46700049) Homepage

    You should know very well that more justifications have been proposed than "it's gross". You may have good arguments against those justifications but what you have presented here is a pretty pathetic straw-man.

  • by donscarletti (569232) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:29PM (#46700907)

    I don't care if he was supporting a bill to impose shariah on California, or give tax breaks to encourage polygamous marriage, or circumcise all males that enter the state. I don't have to agree with him, I can campaign against him, but it is still his right to think that.

    The right to free political involvement is where all other rights come from. Once you permit someone to be harassed for their political beliefs, no-matter how abhorrent they are to you, then whatever your rights are will soon become subject to the whims of those who have the most power to harass their opponents.

    Being against anything to the extent that it overrides your civility is the basic core of intolerance. History has been full of groups who have seen their cause as being more important than basic civility such as KKK, Taliban, Supreme Harmony Society, Hutu militia, Red Guards, some US Civil War era democrat politicians, and the result has always been roughly the same. To my knowledge Eich was not practicing uncivil behavior towards gays by discriminating against them or using slurs against them, he just supported a bill. This bill, you might believe is discriminatory in nature, but that decision in a democracy is up to the people and their representatives, and at the very least we all have the right to put forward any question for the people to decide on.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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