Talk about being caught in the middle.
Mozilla makes the world’s second-most popular desktop browser, Firefox. Soon, however, that ranking may be in jeopardy.
Last week, a handful of Mozilla’s LGBT employees and supporters (we counted six, no doubt there were more) announced their disappointment with their new CEO, co-founder Brendan Eich. Eich, as the world now knows, donated $1000 to support Prop 8 in 2008.
A small software company, Rarebit, founded by a binational same-sex couple harmed by Prop 8, quietly announced they were boycotting all things Mozilla. That boycott spread via social media, and sites like The New Civil Rights Movement, which was among the first to report on it.
Soon, under mounting pressure and bad press, newly-promoted CEO Brendan Eich announced that Mozilla does not discriminate, and the company defended itself by first pointing to its health insurance benefits for domestic partners, then later by announcing that as an organization, Mozilla supports same-sex marriage. Eich never renounced his opposition to marriage equality — not ever.
But some marriage equality supporters were satisfied, while others were not.
Meanwhile, hidden in Eich’s statement was a tiny, minor apology for the hurt his actions in opposition to marriage equality had caused.
Now, the co-founder of the National Organization For Marriage and one of the most-active anti-gay activists in the world, Robert P. George, has demanded his fellow conservatives boycott Mozilla and Firefox.
“The employees of Mozilla evidently think that people like me, and perhaps you, are not morally fit to be employees of their company,” George wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. Of course, he was referring to an unknown quantity of Mozilla employees, but facts rarely get in Robby George’s way — consider his position on marriage equality, and the fact that he was highly-involved in the Regnerus anti-gay parenting “study.”
“They are attempting to force out their CEO because he made a financial contribution in support of the ballot initiative to uphold marriage in California as the union of husband and wife. The CEO isn’t out yet, but he has already caved to the pressure, apologizing for “causing pain” by supporting marriage. … That won’t be enough. His ‘sin’ is unforgivable under the new morality. He’ll soon be gone.”
“So I have just deleted Mozilla Firefox from my computer,” George says. “If I’m not morally fit to be their employee, I’m not morally fit to use their products. If you are a faithful Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Mormon, Orthodox Jew, Muslim, or member of any other tradition that believes that marriage is fundamentally the institution that unites a man and woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children born of their union, providing those children with the inestimable blessing of being brought up in the committed bond of the man and woman whose union brought them into being, or even if you believe in marriage thus understood quite apart from membership in any community of faith, I would ask you to do the same,” he writes.
Of course, over 55 percent of Americans support marriage equality, and “faithful Catholics” support it at a rate higher than the average American. Not only that, but there are many faiths, including Christian denominations, that not only do not oppose same-sex marriage, but actually marry same-sex couples in their churches.
George’s NOM co-founder, Maggie Gallagher, in a National Review blog post yesterday warned that Brendan Eich “now joins a growing number of people who face threats to their livelihoods unless they support gay marriage.” (She didn’t go quite as far as George in calling for a boycott.)
So, there’s really nothing left to do.
Firefox must immediately be relegated to the small portion of internet citizens who neither support nor oppose marriage, period. In short, if you believe in marriage for different-sex couples or for same-sex couples, you cannot (to use the words of Robby George) “morally” use Firefox.
It’s actually come to this.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘Breathtaking’: Economists Stunned by Job Growth ‘Boom’ as Unemployment Drops to Level Not Seen Since 1969
The year was 1969: Congress certified the results of the election, officially declaring Richard Nixon would be the 37th President of the United States, Joe Namath led the New York Jets to win Super Bowl III, The Beatles released the soundtrack from their hit film “Yellow Submarine,” and unemployment was 3.4%.
It’s been 54 years since unemployment was at 3.4%, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released January’s report Friday morning, stunning economists who expected unemployment to go up, not down.
Economists projected 187,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy in January. Instead, the number came in at 517,000, Forbes reported. Prior months were also adjusted to be better than first reported.
“This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work,” crowed Professor Justin Wolfers, the popular University of Michigan School of Economics professor, a senior fellow at Brookings.
“Average job growth over the past 3 months is a cracking +356k. A boom!” Wolfers cheered.
“We haven’t seen unemployment this low since before Woodstock, baby,” he added. “Groovy.”
Wolfers wasn’t done. He blasted those who continue to talk about recession: “This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high we call it a BOOM.”
For those who just want the bottom line, Wolfers offered this take on the jobs report: “It’s all good news.”
“January marked the 25th straight month of solid job growth,” The Washington Post reports, observing that the “labor market shattered expectations.” The Post adds: “the labor market remains formidable, inflation is beginning to normalize and there are signs that the global economy may be on stronger footing than originally feared.”
Image: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia. Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr
GOP’s New ‘Bizarre Obsession’ Shows It Has ‘Gone Crazy’: Morning Joe
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped the Republican Party for focusing on a “bizarre obsession” to stoke a culture war that targets vulnerable teenagers.
A proposed draft of a Florida physical education form would require all high school athletes to provide information on their menstrual cycle to state athletic officials, which the “Morning Joe” host bashed as an unnecessary and cruel attack on a minuscule number of transgender teens who play sports.
“The percentage is so small that they’re doing this to every girl in Florida schools?” Scarborough said. “Talk about overkill. Just stop already.”
“I mean, let’s talk about that Florida law,” Scarborough continued. “Can you imagine doing that as a young girl when you were, like, in high school, middle school? Come on, talk about, again, the obsession over 0.003 percent of the population, and then the unbelievably small number of transgender students who are playing sports. The Florida Republican Party has gone crazy. They sent out tons of mailers on this, the obsession, and now they’re making young girls self-report on menstrual cycles because of this bizarre obsession?”
“This is stupid,” he added. “This is another stupid extension of a culture war where he’s trying to create a culture war around something where there is not a war.”
‘When Was Your Most Recent Period?’: Student Athletes in Florida May Be Required to Share Menstrual History
For the past two decades teenaged women participating in Florida high school athletics have been asked to submit their menstrual history, including the date of their first period, the date of their last period, and how many periods they have had in the last 12 months. The board of directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the organization in charge of coordinating high school athletics in the Sunshine State, will debate later this month if they will make divulging that information mandatory for participating in sports. According to the FHSAA website that board is comprised of 14 men and two women. Not one is a physician or medical professional.
Critics are voicing concerns over a variety of issues, including the right to privacy, the need for the highly personal medical information, who has access to it, how it is stored, and how it could be used against the students, including to determine possible pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or if the athlete is transgender.
“Many parents and doctors are worried that schools will use the menstrual data to monitor students for late or missed periods, a possible sign of pregnancy, or to out transgender students by watching for girls who don’t get periods or boys who do,” The New Republic reports, calling it “a terrifying glimpse of our dystopian post-Roe world.”
The three-page form, called the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation, asks:
“When was your first menstrual period?” “When was your most recent menstrual period? “How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to the start of another?” “How many periods have you had in the last year? and “What was the longest time between periods in the last year?”
A draft form slightly alters the questions, asking instead, “Have you had a menstrual period?” and “How old were you when you had your first menstrual period?” in addition to the other three questions.
While it currently states answering is optional, at the end of this month those questions could become mandatory, although the reason for the possible change has not been disclosed.
Because the information is not being given by the athletes to a physician or other medical professional or organization, the information is not subject to HIPAA regulations. And in some school districts the inform action is stored on a third-party platform, possibly exposing it to other entities.
“This is clearly an effort to further stigmatize and demonize transgender people in sports [and] meant to further exclude people who aren’t assigned female at birth in girls sports,” the president of PRISM, a South Florida nonprofit organization that provides sexual health information to LGBTQ+ youth, Maxx Fenning, told The Tampa Bay Times. “Beyond that, I think there’s concern among LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ [students] alike. This is an extremely invasive mode of gleaning into someone’s reproductive history, which is especially dangerous in this post-Roe world we live in.”
TIME adds that critics “have noted that this policy would be a major challenge for transgender athletes who may have to out themselves with their responses to the questions. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved a bill last year—which is currently under legal fire—that bans transgender female students from playing on women and girls’ sports teams.”
According to the fan-checking site Snopes, “these written forms with students’ medical information are submitted to school officials, contrary to a number of other states where only a doctor’s signature is required to clear an athlete for play.”
Snopes adds that “concerns grew as many states worked to criminalize abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and transgender athletes faced scrutiny. In Florida, abortions are banned after 15 weeks, with only a few exceptions.”
“Any forms (physical or digital) could be subpoenaed. Meanwhile, in Palm Beach County, nearly all athlete-registration forms moved online, which meant reproductive data for athletes was being stored by a third-party software company called Aktivate. Other counties were also planning to digitize their forms.”
Last October NBC News reported that an Aktivate spokesperson said a student’s information could be removed but only with parental and school district consent.
Image via Shutterstock
- COMMENTARY3 days ago
Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court
- COMMENTARY2 days ago
Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM24 hours ago
‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin
- News1 day ago
Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him
- News3 days ago
Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away
- News3 days ago
Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT
- News2 days ago
Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog
- News2 days ago
Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back