As you would expect, opponents of gay marriage in the United States sympathize with Brendan Eich, and are lashing out at Mozilla after he resigned from his position as chief executive, which he held only for a number of weeks.
One such group is the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which is calling on consumers to uninstall Mozilla's Firefox browser as a protest.
"This is a McCarthyesque witch hunt that makes the term 'thought police' seem modest," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. "We urge all consumers to remove Mozilla's Firefox web browser from their computers as a sign of protest."
The group claims that the resignation of Eich reflects the desire of gay activists to punish anyone in society who fails to support their agenda of "redefining marriage." In the United States, the anti-gay marriage elements focus on an asserted definition of marriage as a union between, "a man and a woman."
You would expect this type of reaction of course, and considering that close to half of all Americans reportedly oppose gay marriage, it is not unlikely that Mozilla may even suffer more as a result of Eich's resignation.
Disapproval among gay marriage supporters
Even among those who support marriage equality, there are questions about whether Brendan Eich's personal beliefs and political positions should have led to demands that he be removed from Mozilla, particularly after having a role in Mozilla for quite a while.
Comedian and satirist Bill Maher, who hosts his own debate show on HBO - Real Time with Bill Maher - is a noted supporter of gay marriage, but is quoted as having compared the backlash against Eich with the way James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano character dealt with his opponents.
"I think there is a gay mafia," Maher is quoted as saying during a panel discussion segment of his show. Of course, Maher is a comedian so his comments can be taken with a pinch of salt, though he has backed people he disagrees with in the past when they have been at the receiving end of public condemnation, such as radio personality Rush Limbaugh.
Maher is no stranger to losing your job due to a public outcry, having made controversial comments after 9/11 that lost him his show at ABC.
Others have also made the observation that around the time Eich made his donation, Barack Obama - arguably Silicon Valley's preferred candidate at the time - was not a supporter of gay marriage either.
Brendan Eich's donation
In March, 2012, a donation made by Eich toward an anti-gay marriage campaign came to light. He had donated $1,000 to the campaign in favour of passing California Proposition 8 - to outlaw gay marriage in the state - while identifying his employer as Mozilla Corporation. The donation was made in 2008.
The revelation came as a surprise to many in the tech sphere, and provoked outrage in the media and on social media. As time went on, the issue died down until Eich was promoted to chief executive at Mozilla.
In response to the re-kindling flames, Mozilla reached out to users in late-March, re-affirming its commitment to marriage equality and LGBT equality.
The opposition only got louder and on Thursday, April 3, Brendan Eich officially stepped down from the role as CEO of Mozilla.
Sources and Recommended Reading:
Mozilla CEO steps down in gay marriage row: www.afterdawn.com
Press Release from the National Organization for Marriage: www.nomblog.com
Bill Maher: 'Gay mafia' will take your career down 'if you cross them': www.washingtontimes.com
Written by: James Delahunty @ 5 Apr 2014 18:48