Mozilla CEO expresses sorrow, vows to improve equality

Mozilla CEO expresses sorrow, vows to improve equality

Summary: In response to growing unease over Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich's 2008 donation to support banning same-sex marriage in California, the new CEO has vowed to make Mozilla an inclusive organisation.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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New Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has expressed his sorrow "at having caused pain" to Firefox users offended by his donation to the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign in California that saw same-sex marriage banned in the state.

The US$1,000 donation to the cause was picked up again this week after Eich's appointment as the new CEO for the company, following nine years as its chief technology officer, despite Proposition 8 ultimately being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Some users had threatened to boycott Mozilla's Firefox web browser as a result of Eich's appointment, while one developer for the platform said he would cease plans to release apps for Firefox.

In reaction to the backlash, Mozilla yesterday issued a response stating the company was committed to diversity in its organisation, but Eich overnight went one step further in a blog post stating he wanted to foster equality and make Mozilla a welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

He said Mozilla would have an active commitment to equality from employment to community-building events. The organisation would work with LGBT organisations, and ensure that health benefits and all other Mozilla policies are anti-discriminatory.

"[It is] my personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult," Eich said.

"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."

He said he was committed to ensuring Mozilla is a place that includes and supports everyone.

"You will see exemplary behaviour from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products. Mozilla's inclusive health benefits policies will not regress in any way. And I will not tolerate behavior among community members that violates our Community Participation Guidelines or (for employees) our inclusive and non-discriminatory employment policies."

To that end, Eich announced the beginning of a new open source hacker course project known as Ascend, headed up by Lukas Blakk, and targeted at the underemployed, LGBT, Latino, and African American populations.

Participants will receive US$50 per day to attend the courses, with laptops, food, transport, and childcare all paid for during the six-week course.

Topic: Open Source

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24 comments
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  • My thoughts exactly

    "those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult"

    Strangely, that's exactly how I'd describe my feelings in response to this -- excluded and marginalized. I guess open source software is a numbers game, so appealing to the pro-LGBT majority is a shrewd tactic, and it's also improbable that, given their financial vulnerability, Mozilla would really be able to contribute anything to the enabler- or hate-groups. Still, I use Firefox, Linux, and other community-focused open source software for the specific purpose of avoiding funding companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple specifically *because* of their social restructuring agendas, and seeing Mozilla attempt the same stunts disappoints me.
    KiteX3
    • It isn't a pro-LGBT majority

      It isn't a pro-LGBT majority, it is a pro-equality majority. I hope you didn't really mean what you said.
      esummers78
    • So...

      ...you use open source, which is based on the ideas of openness, of personal freedom, and meritocracy - judging people only by their contributions - to avoid companies that don't discriminate? I don't think you have the slightest clue what Linux and open source are all about. Open source is about giving people freedom to "do their own thing" with code so long as they don't hurt others (not contribute changes back). It's not about denying the rights of others.
      jgm@...
  • There is no pro-LGBT majority

    There is, however, a very, very vocal minority which pushes the LGBT agenda at every opportunity, with the author of the above article being a member of that group. These people want every company, event, and organization to be a gay rights happening. They simply won't accept that people might have a different point of view. They are political terrorists, wild-eyed devotees of George W. Bush's philosophy that everyone is either with them or against them.

    The best example was the recent ruckus over the St. Patrick's Day parades in NYC and Boston. The organizers were okay with floats that had rainbows on them as long as they were primarily St. Patrick's Day floats. The below copied paragraphs explain that. But that wasn't enough for the PC NYC and Boston mayors and LGBT terrorists because they wanted to hijack the parades for their own purpose.

    * * * * *

    South Boston resident Randy Foster, along with his husband Steve Martin, organized a diversity-themed float that sported rainbow flags but no direct gay rights messages. Foster said the flags represented the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in Irish lore, though he acknowledged the gay-rights movement uses a rainbow flag.

    "If there's a dual message to it, we're OK with it and so are the parade organizers," said Foster, 48. "We made the point of not making it a gay float. If we're going to have a message of inclusion, it shouldn't be for one group."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/17/us-usa-boston-st-patricks-idUSBREA2F0HY20140317
    saucymugwump
    • I wonder how many peoples hair burst into flames...

      ... when they read that they were terrorists that think like George W. Bush?

      I admit I'm not really up to speed with everything going on in the 'LGBT community'. But as far as I can tell, they are just average Americans, working and living day to day like everyone else. They seem to feel the same emotions as the rest of us. They pay taxes. The volunteer for the military. They watch TV and listen to music. All in all, they seem rather normal.

      But they have fewer rights that the rest of us. And if I understand where you're coming from, you'd like to keep it that way.

      Isn't taking rights away from other Americans by definition anti-American, and anti-freedom? But you called THEM terrorists?

      I don't care what the LGBT people, or anyone else, does when they get home. They are Americans, and they pay their way. They contribute to society. They aren't breaking the law, and they don't seem to be hurting anyone. What business is it of mine, or yours, how they live their lives? Who are you to say they should have fewer rights than you do? Who are you to call them terrorists because they write letters to the Times or demonstrate in public? Who are you? I really want to know.

      So you don't approve of the way they live their lives. That's fine, but it's also irrelevant. When you distill it all down, it's none of your damn business. Why don't you worry more about the way you live your life. It seems you judge people a LOT. How about you stop doing that, and strive to be the best person YOU can be. Don't worry so much about how everyone else lives their lives, and work on yourself. That's the ideal. I've found that the people that spend a lot of time telling others how they could be better people are the crappiest people on Earth.

      Like Ricky Santorum. I bet the two of you could be great pals. Until he found out you call yourself 'saucymugwump'. At which point Ricky would want to take rights away from you.

      Because that's what freedom is all about, right? Restricting the freedom of others?

      That's not stupid at all.
      pishaw
      • What rights are they denied.....

        I'm a straight male in CA. What can I do that the gay guy down the street is being deprived of? I'm pretty sure he can marry his boyfriend now. I'm pretty sure he has the same rights as me. This isn't about social equality anymore. It's evolved into "we must now control what people think and force everyone to believe in their minds that homosexuality is perfectly normal and punish those who dared, or who would dare to continue, to feel otherwise". It is exactly social terrorism. LGBT's aren't satisfied with achieving equality through shame, intimidation, and coercion. They are going to force people to oblige them with a smile on their face in Stepford fashion.
        Michael Hunt
        • It's not what rights they are denied...

          It's what rights Prop 8 sought to deny them (and did deny them, for a while).

          You can protest that same sex couples in California have the same rights are you "so what's the big deal." But that's only possible because many people fought tirelessly for equal protection under the law. And in much of America discrimination is still legal and enshrined in state constitutions.
          dsf3g
          • What about other peoples rights?

            What if someone wanted to marry 10 wives or what if a 50 year old male and a 15 year old woman want to marry. If marriage for two men/or two women are fine then this should be perfectly fine as well. Why stop there?

            I mean this could go on forever. What is wrong today, could be right tomorrow.
            Where does it stop?
            Planet KIller
          • Also one last comment

            What about the poor inequality? That seems to be a bigger issue for more people and that is one that I would like to actually see addressed.

            I mean being poor is a bigger deal than being gay, in my opinion. The reason is that being poor is by far a bigger problem and there is a lot of discrimination going on and that is simply not being addressed.

            I mean, many gays have suffered discrimination such as Matthew Shepard, but that is NOTHING compared to the poor around the world. That is a REAL massive problem and it's ignored...
            Planet KIller
          • That's as stupid...

            as saying that if we let black people vote we'll have to let tables and chairs vote. Slippery slope doesn't even begin to cover it.

            >Why stop there?

            Because a 15-year-old is below the age of consent?
            jgm@...
        • What rights are they denied?

          You can legally be fired for being gay; gay marriage is not open to everyone in every state and if you are married in one state, it most likely is not recognized in another state; you may be turned away from giving blood; child adoption is still a hurdle for many; there are still 'sodomy laws' on the books in many places that still are used as punishment. Then there is the constant barrage of attempts to change the constitution to exclude LGBT individuals; daily there is report of some state/city/representative trying to introduce a bill or law that will punish or exclude LGBT. Theres more...
          mikelaaron
          • Reply to "What rights are they denied?"

            mikelaaron. NONE of the things you list are rights. If they are rights, point to the Constitution and show me where they are. It is not a right to (from your list):
            1. Have a job. (EEOC does not include sexual preference)
            2. Get married.
            3. Give blood. (Many are not able, not just LGBT individuals)
            4. Adopt a child.
            5. Commit sodomy.

            Each one of these is an item YOU listed and none of them are rights. Don't confuse rights with privileges. And imagine if LGBT individuals lived in a Moslem state.... well, they wouldn't live - they would be put to death.

            There is no mention of sexual preference in the Constitution, so I don't understand how you can say that "there is the constant barrage of attempts to change the constitution to exclude LGBT individuals". The change is by LGBT and other such groups to change the Constitution to include the members of their groups.
            benched42
          • Wow....

            ...there's so much muddled non-thinking here I don't know where to begin.

            Regarding 1) One can't live a life without a source of income, hence exactly why the civil rights law seeks to prevent people from being fired for simply being who they are (gender, color, etc.) Unfortunately it doesn't cite sexual orientation; that doesn't mean it's not just as much a right for an LGBT person to hold a job as anyone else. Black people had inalienable human rights too before the Constitution spelled it out specifically.

            2) Laws need to apply to all people equally and as 19 (!) consecutive rulings have concluded, there is no compelling state interest to outlaw same sex marriage. Religious reasons can NOT be the sole basis for law, as Judge Walker stated in his ruling in CA.

            3) Many might not be able, but gay people are not able to for unfair reasons.

            4) You don't even consider having children is a right? Forced sterilization laws of people still running IE6 would be Constitutional in your view?

            5) Sex between consenting adults? Yes, like so many of the things you stated here, the highest court has declared it a basic human need.

            "The Court held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence invalidated similar laws throughout the United States that criminalized sodomy between consenting adults acting in private, whatever the sex of the participants.["

            > Don't confuse rights with privileges.

            Having sex with a consenting adult in the privacy of your own home is privilege you believe can be arbitrarily restricted by the government for discriminatory reasons? How do you even manage to turn on your computer? And does it have David Duke wallpaper?

            >There is no mention of sexual preference in the Constitution, so I don't understand how
            >you can say that "there is the constant barrage of attempts to change the constitution to
            >exclude LGBT individuals".

            Because... um... there are a barrage? There are lots of attempts to amend the constitution to specifically deny gay people their human rights.

            >The change is by LGBT and other such groups to change the Constitution to include the
            >members of their groups.

            Is that how you feel about black people too? Might as well go full-on white hood while you're at it.
            jgm@...
          • Another liberal who wants special rights

            "You can legally be fired for being gay"

            In most states, employees can be fired for all sorts of reasons. Why should being homosexual be an exception?

            "you may be turned away from giving blood"

            There's a very good reason why homosexual men and intravenous drug users are not welcomed at blood banks. Read the below article titled "HIV Infections Rising in Young Gay Men in Urban US":
            http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/24/hiv-infections-rising-in-young-gay-men-in-urban-us/

            "Then there is the constant barrage of attempts to change the constitution to exclude LGBT individuals"

            As benched42 wrote, there is no mention of gender different than one's birth plumbing in the Constitution. Try reading it sometime.
            http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
            saucymugwump
          • Another hater who imagines themselves the victim

            >>"You can legally be fired for being gay"

            >In most states, employees can be fired for all sorts of reasons.

            Yes; they're called "valid ones".

            >Why should being homosexual be an exception?

            Because then how could homosexuals find employment? It's the same reason why the Civil Rights act made discrimination in employment against many classes of people illegal. Do you think people should be able to be fired because they're black or a woman or a Christian or in a wheelchair? What kind of society would that produce, and what would happen to these people? Do you care?

            >There's a very good reason why homosexual men and intravenous drug users are not
            >welcomed at blood banks.

            Yes... discrimination. The policy precludes anyone who's had homosexual sex even once since the 1970's (!) from giving blood. That's asinine. If we're going to do that, let's ban Republican politicians who obsess over homosexuality too since so many of them turn out to be both gay and engaging in risky sexual behavior.
            jgm@...
      • thoughts

        "But they have fewer rights that the rest of us."

        I'll echo pishaw - what rights are they being denied? They can vote, they can work, they can do practically everything.

        "So you don't approve of the way they live their lives."

        So? Why should people be hated merely because they disagree with a lifestyle?

        "That's fine, but it's also irrelevant."

        Apparently it's very relevant to the LGBT community. I don't think the nation is prepared for a level-headed conversation about it, because those who take the LGBT side simply slap the "hate" and "fear" labels on every disagreement that happens to pop up. Apparently, anybody who disagrees with the LGBT community automatically hates or fears them. There is no real room for conversation there.

        And of course, the fact that there *are* people who hate them don't help either, because they just fuel the fire for the LGBT community.

        So we're basically in a situation where I don't think it's possible to have a level headed conversation about the issue yet. I hope that will change in my lifetime.

        "Don't worry so much about how everyone else lives their lives, and work on yourself. That's the ideal."

        That's not really possible. We live in a world with exploding connectedness with other people. How somebody lives their life does affect other people. It's becoming practically unavoidable.

        Even when what somebody does "doesn't affect other people," it can certainly be morally reprehensible, such as . . . well, cross-species. How about my dog? Why not?

        Not considered to be something moral yet, but if you take it to its logical conclusion, that's the end game for this line of thinking.

        "Because that's what freedom is all about, right? Restricting the freedom of others?"

        Even with freedom, though, there are limits. There are things that are morally reprehensible. If I were to walk into a public area with no clothes on, an officer would be well within his or her rights to arrest me, and a judge would well within his or her rights to jail me for a length of time. Freedom has limits, even in the freest of societies.
        CobraA1
        • Not much thought

          >I'll echo pishaw - what rights are they being denied? They can vote, they can work, they can do
          >practically everything.

          Gee, in my lifetime same sex marriage was illegal everywhere, people could be (and still can be) fired for being gay, gay people couldn't serve openly in the military and there were witch hunts to find them and throw them out, they couldn't (and in many places still can't) visit loved ones in the ICU because they're "not family", they were denied security clearances, death benefits, housing discrimination, tax benefits... the list goes on and on. That's in addition to being targeted for hate crimes and often having the police look the other way if they were reported. In fact, if we go just a little bit earlier than my time police routinely raided and attacked gay bars and gay people and beat and arrested them for no reason. Ever hear of the Stonewall Riots that kicked off the gay rights movement? On set of patrons on one night of yet another raid had enough and began fighting back against the police (and the drag queens kicked their asses out).

          >So? Why should people be hated merely because they disagree with a lifestyle?

          There is no "lifestyle". Retiring to Boca Raton is a "lifestyle". Being gay is an intrinsic part of a human being, just as being male or female or black or white or deaf. There's nothing to "agree" or "disagree" with. I can't disagree with someone being black or a woman. I can be a bigot, however.

          You really need to ask why *you* should be hated for hating a minority for no (rational) reason? If you've got to ask, well, that's reason number one right there.

          >Apparently, anybody who disagrees with the LGBT community automatically hates or fears them.

          Again, when you explain how you can "disagree" with being a woman or Jewish, your statement will make sense. Until then, it's some sort of semantic fantasy you've constructed to try to lessen your guilt over being a Klansman minus the hood.


          >There is no real room for conversation there.

          There sure as heck is not. People's human rights aren't up for discussion or vote, sorry.

          >So we're basically in a situation where I don't think it's possible to have a level headed
          >conversation about the issue yet. I hope that will change in my lifetime.

          There's no conversation to be had. LGBT went to the gas chambers with the Jews (that's where the pink triangle symbol comes from). We settled that conversation with a bullet to Hitler's brain and dropping Fat Man and Little Boy. Conversation over. Nothing left to talk about.

          >That's not really possible. We live in a world with exploding connectedness with other people.
          >How somebody lives their life does affect other people. It's becoming practically unavoidable.

          Who somebody else marries or screws doesn't affect me or you.

          >Even when what somebody does "doesn't affect other people," it can certainly be morally
          >reprehensible, such as . . . well, cross-species. How about my dog? Why not?

          And just like your pal Santorum you're equating homosexuality with bestiality, and then you'll honestly ask why you should be hated for your views. The level of obliviousness is truly startling.

          >Not considered to be something moral yet, but if you take it to its logical conclusion, that's the end
          >game for this line of thinking.

          Yes, the "end game" for giving consenting adults their equal rights is sex with (non-consenting) animals. You've figured it all out.

          >Even with freedom, though, there are limits. There are things that are morally reprehensible.

          Something that doesn't AFFECT YOU can't be "morally reprehensible". Loving marriage between consenting adults isn't "morally reprehensible". These are arbitrary religious rules you're talking about, not objective morality. Eating bacon or praying to Mecca isn't morally reprehensible.

          >Freedom has limits, even in the freest of societies.

          What sophistry. How does this relate to denying others their rights? Yes, freedom ends when it begins to usurp the rights of others, but that has NO RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to what we're talking about. This was one giant non sequitur.
          jgm@...
      • Perhaps you could try reading my post without blinders

        They are terrorists because they won't settle for less than *their* opinion of how things should be. And you have fallen for their scheme.

        "But they have fewer rights that the rest of us"

        Name one, other than marriage in some states. I happen to believe that civil union is the best solution, but you and the LGBT crowd deem that to be homophobic.

        Also, transgenders demand to use the wrong lavatory, bathroom, and locker room. That's not a right denied; it's an invasion of privacy for everyone else. Why do the rights of the few (transgenders) trump the rights of the many (heterosexuals)? Using the staff lavatory in schools would appear to solve the problem perfectly, but LGBTs want everyone to be forced to accept their views.
        http://abcnews.go.com/US/ore-high-school-opens-unisex-bathrooms-accommodate-transgender/story?id=18808547
        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-law-lets-transgender-students-choose-restrooms-sports-teams/
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/24/us-usa-education-transgender-idUSBRE95N04Y20130624
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/13/us-usa-transgender-idaho-idUSBRE93C01U20130413

        "I don't care what the LGBT people, or anyone else, does when they get home"

        Neither do I and I did not write a thing regarding that. You are projecting your views onto me and your idiotic comment regarding "Ricky Santorum" proved it. Thanks for proving my point about you and the LGBT crowd embracing George W. Bush's philosophy of "You're either with us, or against us."

        P.S. "The Saucy Mugwump" is the name of my blog, with "saucymugwump" being a nom de guerre, not that you'd ever read my blog.
        saucymugwump
    • It's not about viewpoints

      >They simply won't accept that people might have a different point of view.

      1. You don't get to have a "different point of view" on other people's human rights, sorry. Being rights, they're inalienable and thus not up for debate.
      2. It's not about holding points of view - it's about Eich taking *action* to deny others their equal rights. That's the exact opposite of what open source is about - personal freedom - and why he's a bad choice for CEO.
      jgm@...
  • Equality is a strange subject...

    Since the very beginnings of our nation equality has been an issue. The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    At different times our nation has given more or less equality to different people for different reasons, maybe it's just time to accept the fact that we are all equally different and that is what makes the United States of America such a great place to live. Our nation grants us many rights that no other nation on Earth has, maybe we should start to respect, honor, and defend those rights for ourselves, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens.

    We have the freedom to choose what path we want to take in life, sure not everybody will agree with us; but if everybody did the exact same thing this would be an awfully boring place to live. Go forth, be yourself, find happiness for yourself, and smile at your neighbors. They just might surprise you and smile back or invite to a game or bbq.

    God bless America.
    l_creech