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Firefox, The Anti-Gay Browser?

by David Badash on March 25, 2014

in Marriage,News

Post image for Firefox, The Anti-Gay Browser?

As The New Civil Rights Movement reported this morning, the newly promoted CEO of Mozilla, the parent company that makes the popular Firefox internet browser, donated $1000 in 2008 to support Prop 8 and ban same-sex marriage in California.

The donation itself wasn’t news, but the elevation of Brendan Eich (image) — a co-founder of Mozilla — to CEO certainly is forcing some to question their choice of browser.

87 percent of Americans now use the internet, and Firefox is the number two desktop browser, according to the Wall Street Journal.

One software startup, founded by a same-sex couple who were personally harmed by the passage of Prop 8, is now boycotting all things Mozilla and Firefox. Today, Hampton and Michael Catlin are married and run Rarebit, the maker of Dictionary!, a popular iPhone and Android app. But when Prop 8 passed, Michael, a British citizen, couldn’t marry Hampton and the couple had to put their dream of starting their company on hold.


Ironically, perhaps, Mozilla’s homepage today says, “We are mozilla. Doing good is part if our code.”

If “doing good” is part of Mozilla’s code, then Mozilla’s CEO should denounce his support of Prop 8 and apologize for funding anti-gay discrimination.

If not, how can an organization that claims that “doing good” is central to its DNA, so to speak, rightly profess that claim?

In 2012, when the news that Brendan Eich had contributed to Prop 8 came out, he wrote a post on his blog that neither explained nor apologized for his decision to support anti-gay hate. In fact, he wrote that his “donation does not in itself constitute evidence of animosity. Those asserting this are not providing a reasoned argument, rather they are labeling dissenters to cast them out of polite society. To such assertions, I can only respond: ‘no’.”

That was the essence of his post. His announcement of his promotion yesterday, again on his personal blog, doesn’t mention the Prop 8 donation. Surely he realized it would come up?

Is a browser anti-gay? Of course not. But when the CEO of a company that is marketing itself as “doing good” being part of its code, well, some folks may be wondering why.

Tell Mozilla that Brendan Eich’s support of Prop 8 troubles you, and you believe its users deserve an apology — or a different browser.

Mozilla is on Facebook, Twitter, and Firefox — which has a larger following than its parent — is on Facebook and Twitter also.


Image: Brendan Eich by Darcy Padilla via Wikipedia


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Derek Williams March 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

While I agree this should be debated, and I deplore Eich's decision to fund Prop 8,I think it's a bit of a stretch to say someone who wants to distinguish at law between same sex and opposite sex unions "hates gays". People who hate LGBT minorities engage in nasty acts of discrimination and violence and I very much doubt whether the new Mozilla CEO does any such thing. Let's keep the language moderated to the facts.

noblockheads March 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Preventing gays and lesbians from marriage is discrimination. Donating money to any such cause is support of that discrimination.

shle896 March 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm

All that aside, Google Chrome is a much better browser anyway. Firefox is so 2005.

SomeCans March 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Let me understand this. An organization has a history of providing full benefits for same-sex couples, including recognizing domestic partnerships, and you are worried about the organization being anti-gay?

The home page does say Mozilla is about going good. It is talking about the goals of the organization, not the personal lives of any employees.

Yes, Brendan Eich made a donation to a terrible, discriminatory cause, but he wasn't hired to make social decisions, and if he were to try to change the Mozilla policy on treating GLBT employees he would be tossed out.

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