Mozilla mutiny over new CEO's opposition to gay marriage

Turmoil at Mozilla as staff call for Brendan Eich to step down for his opposition to gay marriage

Barry Collins
28 Mar 2014

Mozilla employees are calling for the organisation's new CEO to stand down just days after he got the job, because of his past opposition to gay marriage.

Brendan Eich, who was only unveiled as Mozilla's new CEO on Monday, made personal donations to a campaign and US politicians who opposed gay marriage.

Eich supported the controversial Proposition 8, which stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California", but it was ruled unconstitutional in June last year.

Several senior Mozilla staff have taken to their Twitter accounts to call for Eich to resign, including the Mozilla Foundation's Chris McAvoy, who tweeted: "I'm an employee of @mozilla and I'm asking @brendaneich to step down as CEO".

ArsTechnica has collated tweets from several other Mozilla staff, all calling for Eich to resign.

Eich and Mozilla attempted to head off the furore earlier this week, when it was first revealed that he had supported Proposition 8. Eich wrote on his personal blog that he wanted to allay concerns over "my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla", without explicitly retracting his opposition to gay marriage.

"I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything," Eich added. "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."

Mozilla released a separate statement reaffirming its commitment to equality in the workplace, while Mitchell Baker, the chair of the Mozilla Foundation - the non-profit organisation that supports Mozilla - stated her own support for gay marriage, before expressing surprise at Eich's backing of Proposition 8.

"I was surprised in 2012, when his donation in support of Proposition 8 came to light, to learn that Brendan and I aren’t in close alignment here, since I’ve never seen any indication of anything other than inclusiveness in our work together," she wrote on her blog.

Eich hasn't responded to any of the tweets calling for his resignation.

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