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This last week, Brendan Eich, the newly-appointed CEO of Mozilla, famous for developing the Firefox web browser, resigned his shortly-lived position – 10 days – over his position on gay marriage [which he is against and pretty much still against, even though his $1,000 donation to the Prop 8 campaign was 6 years ago]

And while people that are against gay marriage are throwing up the “Free Speech” warning, never at once were Mr. Eich’s free speech rights violated or undermined. He’s always been free to hold whatever beliefs he wants. But once he became the face of a corporation, his beliefs came into question, at least to the corporation he was appointed to helm.

Free Speech

You see, a corporation has to have the best interest in mind for its customers and employees and polices that it supports. If these policies and positions are in direct conflict of a leader and face of the corporation, then they have to make decisions on the future direction. And while Mr. Eich was employed at Mozilla for years, his views were not at the forefront of the corporation. They were not policy changers when he was CTO. So in the 10 days of him being CEO, his views on gay marriage came to the surface and he was scrutinized. OKCupid detected visitors to their site and displayed a message to those using Firefox, bringing to light Mr. Eich’s views and single donation.

Against Others

So back to the anti-backlash for a bit. The cry against his outing from those who are not supporters of marriage equality takes the angle of “why can’t he have his views and be CEO?” Let’s take a trip back in history. What if he didn’t support interracial marriage? What about being against the right for women to vote? How about if he believed that handicapped access at the workplace harmed his company? How many people would still be supporting these positions, given his resignation as CEO?

Evolved Society

All of those above views used to be held by various company CEOs or business owners. Years ago, there were many against interracial marriage. Males in power fought to keep women from voting. Handicapped people were not provided proper access to workplace. And there were a group of people who fought those views and wanted change. They wanted equality and equal treatment of humanity. And in the last 100+ years, there are a growing number of those who push, advocate and fight for equality. Those who hold antiquated views of exclusion are shrinking. And that includes those against gay marriage.

mozilla logo


I personally question a person of intelligence like Brendan Eich when he holds onto beliefs against gay marriage. Here’s a guy who created the Javascript language, obviously using his skills and intellect to expand on options. Be open to new technical possibilities. Using a language to allow all sorts of progress on the web and in billions of devices and platforms to move forward the usage of his creation. Yet when it comes to expanding his view of people in society, there are limitations he wishes for some.

At Odds

And this is where the decision by Mozilla and Mr. Eich to step down as CEO came to be. His personal views became a limitation. This isn’t about free speech or limiting one’s views. It was about a conflict of views that were at odds with the direction of the company he was the short-lived leader of.

Those who refuse to see that are limiting themselves. They hold onto archaic views of exclusion and judge anyone that pushes for fairness and equal treatment under the law. And just like those who believed in treating blacks, women and disabled people as less than equal have shrunk, so will those who undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender (LGBT) today.

History is on the side of equality.


Article: Gay marriage, Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, and the role of a CEO

Blog: Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO