The new CEO of Mozilla, the software company that created the Web browser Firefox, is under fire from equality supporters over a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to support California’s Proposition 8 campaign. Mozilla is the company that created Firefox, a Web browser.
CEO Brendan Eich has not denied the donation or recanted it, but he posted a blog today called “Inclusiveness at Mozilla” after two gay married technology developers called for a boycott against his company.
Eich wrote: "I am deeply honored and humbled by the CEO role. I’m also grateful for the messages of support. 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. A number of Mozillians, including LGBT individuals and allies, have stepped forward to offer guidance and assistance in this. I cannot thank you enough, and I ask for your ongoing help to make Mozilla a place of equality and welcome for all... 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."
Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker responded to the controversy in her own blog, describing her own support for equality as so strong that it’s “pretty radical.”
She wrote: “ I support equal rights for the LGBT community, I support equal rights for underrepresented groups, and I have some pretty radical views about the role of underrepresented groups in social institutions. 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."
Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, has since been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.