Recently, Mozilla appointed Brenden Eich as its newest CEO and the company is now receiving backlash from its employees and OkCupid. Eich is a supporter Proposition 8 – which aimed to ban gay marriage in California — and he also donated to politicians who backed the proposition.
Many Mozilla employees publicly stated that they didn’t agree with the hiring of the CEO because of his anti-gay marriage views, and said his personal beliefs were in direct contradiction with the company’s values:
To me, @Mozilla is about openness & expression of freedom. I hope to see us have leadership that represents those values in their actions.
— emgollie (@emgollie) March 27, 2014
— Kat Braybrooke (@codekat) March 27, 2014
Eich recently wrote about the LGBT community at Mozilla on his personal blog:
At the same time, I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results … 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.
But one company isn’t taking Eich’s beliefs lightly. Popular dating site, OkCupid, is now urging its users to use a browser other than Mozilla when they visit the site and browse for singles who’ve visited Machu Picchu and have scaled tall mountains.
OkCupid’s reasoning behind encouraging the use of other’s browsers is because if gay marriage was banned, then 8% of relationships formed on OkCupid would be illegal and that the company doesn’t want to contribute to the success of someone who supported Prop 8.
Here’s the full post from OkCupid:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience. Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site. However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
In response to the attention Eich has been receiving, Mark Surman, Mozilla’s executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, issued the following statement:
Our culture of openness extends to letting our staff and community be candid about their views on Mozilla’s direction. We’re proud of that inclusiveness and how it distinguishes Mozilla from most organizations. We expect and encourage Mozillians to speak up when they disagree with management decisions, and carefully weigh all input to ensure our actions are advancing the project’s mission