There’s a new political blacklist

Same-sex marriage supporters have gone too far with criticisms of resigned Mozilla CEO.

by Derek Olson

Same-sex marriage has become one of our generation’s defining issues. While public opinion on the issue has changed quickly in recent history, some supporters have taken advocacy to another level: effectively silencing opposing voices.

Just two weeks after taking a the position as CEO of Mozilla Corp., Brendan Eich left his new job solely due to backlash from his own opinion on same-sex marriage. Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times published a complete list of the donors to Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage.

When Eich’s name showed up on the list with a $1,000 contribution, controversy brewed at the Silicon Valley company. It was only after taking a position as CEO that the internal controversy resurfaced and an outside boycott sprouted.

Eich, a man who has personally emphasized the importance of inclusivity, respect and tolerance in the organization, had no record of discrimination. Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of the company, said, “… I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness.”

Far from pushing his views on others, Eich refused to discuss them, desirous of keeping his personal opinions private. Despite all this, the mob hunted him down and bullied him out of the company that he co-founded. An unblemished track record of respect was not enough for Eich. He was guilty of merely holding a belief — a pure Orwellian thoughtcrime.

Baker released a statement Thursday that amounts to an astonishingly ambiguous appeal to corporate political correctness. It’s not quite clear whether she defends Eich’s right to his own view or sympathizes with the mob. “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And free speech is needed to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard,” she wrote.

Mozilla, a company that extolls itself on diversity, inclusiveness and openness, has proven that the organization does not cultivate an environment that exemplifies any of these qualities.

No one should have to leave a job due to their personal political opinions, particularly when they don’t interfere with their professional life. This is a tragedy, and it probably would not have occurred without the mounting outside pressure of boycotts and petitions.

Sadly, the donor list for Prop 8 has become the 21st century’s exact equivalent of the 1950s Hollywood blacklists. Boycotts and demonstrations have pressured numerous individuals out of their jobs. Scott Eckern, artistic director of the California Musical Theater; Richard Raddon, director of the Los Angeles Film Festival; and Marjorie Christoffersen, face of the popular Los Angeles restaurant El Coyote, have all left their jobs due to backlash from their donations.

These political tactics are downright despicable. Members of the political left who are unwilling to speak out against such shameful practices prove themselves to be mired in deep hypocrisy. Just what are the values of these progressives? Not merely intolerant of opposing views, they actively seek to tear down and destroy the livelihood of anyone who opposes them. These are the values of fascistic dictators.