My commentary on the resignation of Brendon Eich

I just read of the resignation of Brendon Eich, who was the CEO of Mozilla. Mozilla produces two software packages which I use every day, that being Firefox and, with many contributions from the programming community, the Thunderbird email client.
Brendon was one of the cofounders of Mozilla and was made CEO two weeks ago. He invented the Javascript programming language. He is also opposed to same-sex marriage and donated one thousand dollars in 2008 to support California’s Proposition 8. This was not a donation from Mozilla but was a personal donation from Eich. Unfortunately for him, supporters of same-sex marriage put a great deal of pressure on Mozilla and, after only two weeks at the helm, Eich stepped down as CEO this past Thursday.
Brendon Eich truly believed in diversity, pointing out his willingness to employ and work with individuals in the LGBT community, in spite of his personal views. I’m curious as to why this commitment wasn’t taken seriously by so many. I have worked with and taught individuals who espouse religious beliefs which I don’t always agree with or support and I don’t demand that everyone with whom I work believe the same as I do. I guess that commitment to diversity wasn’t good enough for that particular community who became so angry with Mozilla.
I don’t ever recall hearing any complaints from Protestant or Catholic groups when Jeff Bezos donated a ton of his personal money to support gay marriage. Frankly, I didn’t agree with Jeff’s decision but he was spending his money and not Amazon’s. I wonder what kind of backlash we might have seen if Jeff had decided to spend that same amount of money supporting Proposition 8. Well, I suppose I don’t have to spend too much time pondering it because we’ve seen exactly what would have happened.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about this on a variety of blogs from Mozilla employees and I am under the impression that this resignation was not forced upon Brandon eich by Mozilla.
However, I am extremely concerned that there are large communities of people who will not hesitate to go on witch hunts to demand the resignation of someone’s job, drastically affecting their livelihood, in the name of upholding principles of diversity and tolerance. We have a very ugly habit of taking people who rub us the wrong way and seeing to it that they get nailed to a cross.


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