What happened to freedom of speech?

Mozilla CEO ousted for Prop 8 donation made in 2008

America is continuing to water down its own product by allowing Eich to be attacked by gay marriage advocates

America is continuing to water down its own product by allowing Eich to be attacked by gay marriage advocates

According to the First Amendment, you have the right to free speech. Unfortunately free speech does not equal free consequences

Political correctness so rampant that the CEO of one of the biggest software companies in the world can be forced out of his job for having “incorrect views”.

That’s exactly what happened when former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was forced to resign from his position due to backlash he received for donating $1000 to California’s Proposition 8 back in 2008, only just angering the public six years later when he was promoted to CEO of Mozilla, the company that created the Firefox web browser.

The donation made in 2008 didn’t become public until 2012, and even then nobody really paid much attention to it until he was promoted to CEO, and the news of the donation spread like wildfire.b

Eich was initially promoted to the Mozilla Corporation CEO on March 24th, only to resign on April 3rd, only ten days of holding the job. Ten days filled with furious debate between protestors and Eich’s defenders.

Eich, who also created Javascript, the coding language used to power many different websites and apps, said he resigned because he felt he could no longer be the effective leader Mozilla needed,

“I have decided to resign as CEO effective today, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.”

Mozilla confirmed the change in a blog post,

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” read the post, in part. “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

In part due to internet and social media, news of Eich’s past spread quickly and a sort of “lynch mob” formed from many different people and groups, calling for Eich’s resignation as CEO and boycotting Firefox in protest.

Employees of Mozilla took to twitter to voice their unhappiness with Eich, and personally asked that he step down from his position as CEO.

Not only that, but three of Mozilla’s six board members stepped down from their positions the week Eich was promoted, although it is unclear if Eich’s past was the reason for leaving.

Dating site OKCupid called out Eich for his contribution and asked its users to avoid using Mozilla software to access its website. The following message appeared on the page of its Firefox users:

“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.”

App developer Rarebit announced that they would no longer support the Firefox platform with Eich as CEO,

“As a married gay couple who are co-founders of this venture, we have chosen to boycott all Mozilla projects. We will not develop apps or test styles on Firefox anymore,” Hampton Catlin, CEO of Rarebit and creator of Wikipedia mobile, wrote in a letter to Eich.

“We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla, which we believe is extremely unlikely after all he’s survived and the continued support he has received from Mozilla,” Catlin added.

I’m not saying at all that I support the California Proposition 8, and I’m definitely not anti-gay, but if someone wants to make a contribution to something that he thinks is righteous, then he should be allowed to do so without getting hateful feedback from people with different ideas, much less be forced to resign from his job because of it.

President Obama held the very same views on gay marriage in his 2008 campaign that Eich held. Where are the demands for his resignation for something he said six years ago?

Just because he isn’t “politically correct” in his views doesn’t mean he should have to come under fire for something he did six years ago.

Only when he works hard and gives his time and energy to the company and be promoted to CEO is when the protestors come out and call for his head.

Now I don’t agree with Eich’s descison to support Prop 8, but I applaud him because he stood up for what he thought was right and didn’t care what anyone else thought, and only stepped down because the whole controversy was hurting the very company he co-founded.

In a day in age where we are supposed to be over all of the prejudice against people whom we see as “different”, it is clearly just as rampant than ever when a man is kicked out of his own job simply for his own personal views.

And for the future of Eich, if I were him I would just keep practicing, “Welcome to Chick-fil-A. May I take your order?”