Gay conservatives clamor to defend fallen- Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich

A group of mostly gay-Republicans, and other signatories I’ve not heard of, issued an open letter on the far-right GOP Web site RealClearPolitics, defending anti-gay Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich who stepped down from his job recently.

Eich’s appointment, to head the California-based technology foundation that oversees the Firefox Web browser, caused a firestorm among Mozilla’s employees and board of directors. A number of employees spoke out against the hiring, and half the board of directors quit, leading Eich to finally resign.

Gay conservatives think this is a step too far, and they’re just not giving up, even though the story was over and done with weeks ago.

Brendan Eich’s offense

Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photo

Brendan Eich, official Mozilla Foundation photo, with my embellishment.

The problem Eich was confronted with? He donated $1,000 in 2008 to help pass California’s noxious Proposition 8 state consitutional amendment, that not only took a civil right to marry about from millions of gays and lesbians in California – a right they already had been granted – but Prop 8 also was intended to dissolve the pre-existing marriages of 18,000 legally-wed gay couples.

The gay conservative letter makes the same “mistake” that others have made on this issue, claiming that the issue at hand is a person’s position on gay marriage – a position, the gay conservatives say, most of America held in 2008:

He was pressured to leave because of personal political action he took at a time when a majority of the American public shared his view.

In fact, Eich’s position was not simply that he “opposed gay marriage” at the time.

(Good guy) protesters outside the Supreme Court, and across from the US Congress, for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. © John Aravosis 2013

(Good guy) protesters outside the Supreme Court, and across from the US Congress, for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. © John Aravosis 2013

Eich’s position was that existing civil rights should be repealed and taken away from millions of Californians — something unique, and uniquely evil, in the history of civil rights.  Eich’s position was also that 18,000 marriages in California, many of which involved families with children, should be dissolved.  I’d like to see the national polls from 2008 showing a majority of Americans believing that existing legal gay marriages, including families with children, should be dissolved by the state.  That’s an entirely different matter than simply “having an opinion” on gay marriage.

Eich’s embrace of discrimination has not waned

There’s another interesting problem with the conservative letter.  Even were we to grant them, arguendo, that Eich’s position was identical to the sentiment of a majority of Americans “at that time,” we’re not living any more in that time.  We’re in 2014, not 2008.  What is Brendan Eich’s position on gay marriage, and the dissolution of 18,000 legal gay nuptials, today?  We don’t know because Brendan Eich wouldn’t say. And that, in and of itself, is telling.

The gay conservatives present this very standard – judge Eich by 2014, not 2008 – in their letter. And they think he’s fine now that it’s 2014:

There is no evidence that Brendan Eich, the Mozilla CEO who resigned over his $1,000 donation to California’s Proposition 8 campaign, believed in or practiced any form of discrimination against Mozilla’s LGBT employees.

If past is prologue, Eich is on the cutting edge of anti-gay bias — not only holding an anti-gay position, but willing to plunk down $1,000 for one of the most of the extreme anti-gay positions, anti-gay actions, then or now.

Pro-gay protesters outside the Supreme Court for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. One little girl, there with her parents, was wearing ruby slippers. © John Aravosis 2013

Pro-gay protesters outside the Supreme Court for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. One little girl, there with her parents, was wearing ruby slippers. © John Aravosis 2013

And since Brendan Eich has not recanted his previous actions, one must assume he holds them even today. I would argue, that this is prima facie evidence of Brendan Eich’s willingness to discriminate.  He was willing to discriminate to before and has yet to repudiate his discriminatory actions.

Had Brendan Eich recanted his previous actions — and since they were costing him his job, you’d think he’d have spoken up if his mind had changed — it would have been an entirely different ballgame.  I’d have forgiven the man had he fessed up to a change of heart.  But Brendan Eich never said any of that, he never said anything about changing his mind in 2014. One can only assume that Brendan Eich’s actions at that time would be replicated today, if given the chance.

Using the conservatives’ logic, since Eich is out of synch with the majority today, then it acceptable to hold Eich accountable for his current views and actions.

Do we truly not hold people accountable for past discriminatory actions?

Overall, the point the conservatives appear to be making is that, sure, we hold people accountable today for their racist views today, but we don’t hold them accountable for their views in the past (tell that to Paula Deen).  But if that’s true, then they’re admitting that society does, and should, hold people accountable for their current bigoted views that run counter to the majority of the American public.  And if that’s the standard, Brendan Eich meets it.

Of course, the entire argument is a bit specious.  We should only hold bigots accountable when the majority doesn’t agree with them?  Why is that exactly?  Was segregation “understandable” because “you just had to be there”?  “All the kids were doing it, you know.”  I’m not sure I buy the underlying notion, but regardless, let’s buy it anyway, arguendo.  Brendan Eich simply doesn’t meet the standard the conservatives set out for themselves, and for us.

And in any case, Brenda Eich has to date refused to recant his previous anti-gay actions, so we’re not talking history, we’re talking the present.  There is no better window into how Brendan Eich would treat his gay employees than his current views on dissolving the civil rights, and legal marriages, of said employees.

There’s a reason Brendan Eich has refused to state his current views on having a majority of the public fiat the dissolution of 18,000 gay families. And it’s likely not because Brendan Eich’s current views exonerate him in their eyes.

Let’s not dumb-down Brendan Eich’s offenses

Protesters outside the Supreme Court, and across from the US Congress, for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. © John Aravosis 2013

Protesters outside the Supreme Court, and across from the US Congress, for the oral arguments on the gay rights cases involving DOMA and Proposition 8 in March, 2013. © John Aravosis 2013

As I’ve written before, I’m sympathetic to concerns about over-reach. I have it on every single political advocacy campaign I work on. It’s a concern that good people have when they do work like ours. It’s a gut-check to ensure that you’re not targeting the wrong person, or over-targeting (doling out more punishment than is merited) to the right person. So I get the generic concern.

What I don’t get is the dumbing down of Brendan Eich’s offenses, which was perhaps understandable from straight allies who didn’t fully understand the issue at hand, but from gay allies, there’s really no excuse.

If Brendan Eich is such a good guy, then let him speak. Until then, we will judge him by his actions – not his opinions, his actions.  And his actions to date, which has yet to repudiate, have been appalling.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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176 Responses to “Gay conservatives clamor to defend fallen- Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich”

  1. caphillprof says:

    I don’t think you understand relevancy.

    Have a blessed day

  2. AnthonyLook says:

    Pat, he isn’t gone. He didn’t take the CEO job; but he’s a cofounder. He is very much still there.

  3. Pat says:

    So why exactly are you still protesting and advocating a boycott of Mozilla, now that Eich is long gone? An answer would be nice.

  4. AnthonyLook says:

    You protest where and how you want. The American public has every right to continue advocating a boycott against Firefox/ Mozilla.
    “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”
    Eich’s free speech was never compromised. He spoke his piece and it had consequences. There is no balancing between equality or free speech, there is no compromise for equality, there is no second hand solution for equality. No one stopped Eich from donating, voting, or speaking. He practiced his free speech rights and the American public has their rights to respond to and solicit consequences for actions and words and consequences for half baked commitments.

  5. Pat says:

    What a deluded fanatic you are (and what engine are you talking about?)! Mozilla got Eich to resign and Chairwoman Mitchell Baker endorsed marriage equality, breaking from Mozilla’s past policy of not taking positions on issues outside the scope of their mission. So to continue advocating a boycott is crazy. Go put your energy into something pressing and real, like abuse of gays in Africa.

  6. Ninja0980 says:

    Because some of the things Sullivan has written about gay couples truly are touching.
    The problem is that compassion keeps clashing with his conservative views and the need to lecture Democrats.

  7. Jade says:

    And Sullivan led Savage down that Iraq War wrong turn as well, something he’s sincerely apologized for and is mortified about. That’s why I can’t understand why he still listens to him.

  8. BeccaM says:

    Let me check with my wife. ;-)

  9. Ninja0980 says:

    Really sad to hear that. And I’ll be blunt with him, I’ve lost track of how many things he’s said that have been used by the right.
    If he’s concerned about blowback, then he needs to shut his mouth.
    As for Sullivan, that war cheering Bush supporter can stuff it.

  10. Jay says:

    May I say that I adore you, BeccaM?

  11. Jay says:

    Please note that the signatories to this piece of garbage include people who themselves have a long history of anti-gay activism, including David Blankenhorn, who was not only the star witness in the Prop 8 trial, but also wrote at editorial for the LA Times saying that one should vote Prop 8 “to protect the children.” Blankenhorn finally ended his crusade against gay marriage (it was becoming too costly for him), but he has not renounced his views. To have people like him and Ken Mehlman and Charles Murray lecture us about civility is mind-boggling.

  12. Jade says:

    No, he mentioned it on a recent podcast, #389. He isn’t completely dogmatic like Sullivan, but he express concern that the Right is exploiting this to their benefit. He’s not unhappy Eich had to resign, but he really wishes that we’d distance ourselves from the story altogether. Some quotes:

    “I don’t think that the firing of Eich is going to help get us [our rights] any faster.”
    “I don’t think this has been a ‘win’ for us.”
    “As we reach that tipping point on equality…we don’t want to be in the business of scaring people.”
    “Whatever else you think about this, we have to recognize that this has been a setback PR-wise for LGBT equality.”

    I think sometimes he listens too much to Sullivan.

  13. Ninja0980 says:

    I think that its regards to the new book that has come out.
    If he’s jumped on this bandwagon.. the UGH is all I can say to that.

  14. Jade says:

    I feel the same way. I won’t be lectured to by the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Ken Mehlman.

  15. AnthonyLook says:

    The American public has every right to express their freedom of speech and level consequences for behaviors it does not see in agreement with. If the right wants to start a campaign to outs all CEO who didn’t support racist candidates and donate moneys for bigoted legislation; they are free to do so. Mozilla and an engine should continue to be boycotted for willing playing the victim and never admonishing such travesties committed by Eich. As long as these forces continue to defend and fight back; we should express our power, delete Mozilla, and get a new engine.

  16. Mark_in_MN says:

    So what? You’ve said that it ought to be a basic principle that no activity, attitude, or beliefs outside of one’s work should be given any consideration in matters of employment. I think that’s not a good policy, especially applied in such a blanket manner. And I wonder why it simply gets asserted and never really supported by an argument or explanation of why one believes that when there are good reasons to think that, within some limits, employers should be interested in having employees with good character, good ethics, and who can support and do not undermine their work, mission, and values.

  17. Mark_in_MN says:

    You’re not sure I’m using the words “character” and “ethics” correctly? How do you think I’m using them?

    I don’t think actively supporting, including giving a large donation to, an effort to remove the rights from a group of people indicates good character on the part of a person. It sure isn’t ethical or an indicative of a good ethics.

  18. Jade says:

    And … SILENCE from poor, concern troll, Jedidiah.

    He’d never, ever thought of it THAT way. Huh.

  19. Jade says:


  20. Jade says:

    Andrew Sullivan (and other gay conservatives) make a LOT of money eating right-wing shit. Connect the dots: their bigotry pays his bills, and it’s in his own interest that homophobia remains. The love/hate relationship is on both sides.

  21. Jade says:

    I’m also very surprised and disappointed with BTB. Dan Savage has also made noises that he agrees with Sullivan. I just don’t understand it, but my guess is that this came on the heels of the Cancel Colbert nonsense, so they’re gun-shy.

  22. VoteYES says:

    I’m not sure you’re using the words “character” and “ethics” correctly. As I said, his disagreeing with you (and even supporting that disagreement with money) on the issue of gay marriage is in no way a reflection of a lack of character or a breach of ethics.

  23. VoteYES says:

    Well your analogy isn’t exactly applicable to Mozilla; Mozilla’s mission is web browsers not gay marriage.

  24. Ninja0980 says:

    I know you followed the marriage equality debate in your neck of the woods and how happy you were to see it pased there.
    Two of the people signing this brief are two of the legislators who helped pass marriage equality in Minnesota.
    They clearly seem to be ignoring the fact (Sen Paterson most of all) that the Religious Right is coming after them with a fury solely because of this vote.
    If you want to see the hypocrisy in the statement they signed, that’s it.

  25. Mark_in_MN says:

    No, disagreeing with me isn’t an indication of a lack of ethics or character. But saying that character and ethics don’t matter is a huge, huge problem.

    But what is more, this isn’t just about disagreeing. Eich’s donation is an indication of ethics and character. It wasn’t just a personally held moral opinion, about his personal beliefs about how he would conduct his life or how he’d hope his family and others might conduct theirs. His action was to actively support the removal of the rights from millions of Californians. If that’s not a reflection on character and ethics, then there is a huge problem needing to be addressed pronto.

  26. VoteYES says:

    “Can we really justify that? I don’t think so. It’s one of the reasons
    that the corporate world can be so messed up and the distribution of
    wealth and income so vastly skewed, this belief that somehow ethics and
    character don’t belong amongst business considerations, just
    maximization of revenue and profits for the owners.”

    I agree mostly, but disagreeing with you isn’t an indication of a lack of ethics or character.

  27. Mark_in_MN says:

    There are all sorts of ways that information like that in my scenario could have come to the attention of an employer without them actively seeking dirt on an employee. The employee could have been quoted in a news paper, been seen at a rally or working a booth for the anti-immigrant organization, happened upon while doing research about ongoing issues related to immigrants, been told by a client or an acquaintence of another employee, etc.

    But you don’t answer the question of why this should be the case. You again simply reassert it. But why should the non-profit, for example, keep an employee who is actively working in a way that undermines his or her employers mission and endangers its ability to fulfill that mission?

  28. VoteYES says:

    This whole issue is bringing into relief the distinction between private activities/attitudes and employers and behaviors/attitudes at work. As the internet, and our interactions on it, become more and more numerous we need to ask ourselves how much access to that and latitude we want to allow corporations to use in informing decisions about their employees. If we don’t watch it, I’m fairly sure nearly anyone can be bullied in a similar fashion for opinions they’ve expressed or donations they’ve made.

  29. VoteYES says:

    As long as (like you indicated) the person is doing the job they’re supposed to be doing well, I’d say the company has no business doing anything to or about the employee. Once you give corporations the ability to dictate what attitudes, opinions and actions you can have/do outside of work you’re in trouble. I’d also ask why we’re OK with a company seeking out that kind of personal information about employees. Do we really want that?

  30. Mark_in_MN says:

    You and other critics of the Eich-Mozilla matter keep asserting this principle as it is axiomatic or obvious. Apart from concerns for stifled discussions, there doesn’t seem to be any interest in providing reasons for why this should be. Henry Ford’s Sociology Department went way, way overboard. (That set-up moves a long way toward “fascist tactic.”) But to simply say it has no place at all, seems to push too far and suggest that ethics and character in employees or leaders are not matters for consideration of employers. Can we really justify that? I don’t think so. It’s one of the reasons that the corporate world can be so messed up and the distribution of wealth and income so vastly skewed, this belief that somehow ethics and character don’t belong amongst business considerations, just maximization of revenue and profits for the owners.

  31. Mark_in_MN says:

    It’s not like ousting someone for support of abortion or a position on another controversial issue. He wasn’t under fire because of his opinion over same-sex marriage. His commitment to Mozilla’s diversity and nondiscrimination values was called into question not by a mere opinion, but by his actions (via a substantial donation) to undermine and remove the rights of fellow Californians. This was indeed discrimination against gay employees at Mozilla, and everywhere else in California. Although not through the power of an employer directly against an employee, it was still discriminatory activity that he actively supported and merely agreed with.

    “Attitudes and behaviors outside of work shouldn’t be allowed to influence actions by your employer.” Why? The character and ethics of an employee don’t matter? Concern for stifling discussion should override concerns about having employees, and especially leaders, of good character and sound ethics? Do those attitudes and behaviors never potentially impact one’s work?

    Let’s say, for example, that a non-profit organization that provides social services to immigrants has many clients who lack documented immigration status and believes that it is important for these clients to be able to trust its employees. An employee is discovered to support and be involved in groups advocating for a hard nosed approach to the detention and quick deportation of “illegal immigrants,” for provisions that may require someone to be able to produce identification and proof they are legally in this country, for measures designed to keep people from providing food, shelter, and other aid to “illegal immigrants,” and possibly even required reporting of those known to lack proper immigration status and documentation. This employee does his or her job well and outwardly shows respect for clients when working with them. Should such an employer simply turn a blind eye to all this because it’s “attitudes and behaviors outside of work” even though it could directly impact the trust of those they serve and thus undermine their work and mission? If so, why?

  32. VoteYES says:

    This guy was forced out through what amounted to a witch hunt because he held an unpopular opinion he’s entitled to have. He didn’t mistreat or discriminate against gay workers at Mozilla. The only reason anyone even found out about it was a donation to Prop 8 years before. This is equivalent to someone being ousted because they support abortion, or any other controversial issue. People shouldn’t be organizing witch hunts to attack people they disagree with and penalize their livelihood.

    Attitudes and behaviors outside of work shouldn’t be allowed to influence actions by your employer. This stifles discussion of real issues and makes people afraid to voice unpopular opinions.

  33. Mark_in_MN says:

    We’re not talking about different things. You argued that the people disagreeing with Eich are bringing something into a business situation that doesn’t belong there, that these issues and disagreements go beyond what is deemed permissible. As long as he wasn’t breaking the law, he’s fine. Interesting benchmark. Apparently you don’t think leaders, business leaders, should be expected to uphold a high ethical and character standard. Why?

    I don’t agree that disagreeing with someone, voicing that disagreement, questioning their suitability for a leadership position, or expecting them to have high ethical and character standards which match the organization that they lead or seek to lead is a “fascist tactic.” Brendan Eich is completely free to voice his opinion, if he chooses to do so. Saying that someone isn’t suitable for a particular job, especially a high ranking leadership position like CEO, at a particular company isn’t squashing dissent.

    There was criticism of Eich and of Mozilla for appointing him CEO. That appointment raised legitimate questions for employees, people who work with Mozilla, and customers. They voiced that criticism. I’m not sure how, exactly, that gets transformed into “punishment” even when the one who is supposedly being “punished” makes their own choices.

  34. dcinsider says:


  35. cminca says:

    Ken Mehlman is offended because someone resigned their job?
    What about the republican support of DADT Ken? What did you do all of 2004 Ken?
    You didn’t just watch people lose their jobs because of bigotry Ken–you intentionally made political hay over it.

  36. VoteYES says:

    You’re referring to the business; I’m referring to the exodus of employees and board members who disagreed with him, essentially forcing him to resign. I can understand disagreeing with him (so do I) I’m just wondering why we feel we can force popular opinion and actions onto others by way of these bullying tactics. Don’t you agree that this squashes dissent and is a fascist tactic? I know on this one topic most people would rather there weren’t any dissent, I just would rather not see people punished for their opinions or legal actions like donating to a public policy ballot. It’s not what the USA is about.

  37. Mark_in_MN says:

    He also refused to even discuss the matter, suggesting that it wasn’t relevant. He wouldn’t apologize or renounce the donation, but neither would he defend it or make a case for his assertion about its irrelevance. A defense might have done him no good, but it might have also allowed him to talk about commitments to nondiscrimination (if he really has them) in a way that might have been seen as more honest and genuine. Of course, such a move could have also sunk him faster and deeper.

  38. Mark_in_MN says:

    Yes. What did Eich in was almost certainly his handling of the controversy, which he (and to some extent Mozilla) handled very badly. The controversy was causing damage that needed to be addressed and put to an end, there may have been opportunity to do that and see Eich remain in the CEO’s office. (Then again, maybe there wasn’t.) But that didn’t happen. If he couldn’t handle this in a way that limited or resolved damage being done and to remain a viable leader for the organization, he didn’t have the skills or leadership to lead in any other future and unforeseen crisis that might possibly occur at some point.

  39. Mark_in_MN says:

    seek out and destroy innocent people who have simply acted in accordance with the very beliefs that this nation was founded upon

    The beliefs that this nation was founded upon include these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Alas we are still living into those words. We’ve had lots of problems doing so over the years. We had to fight a civil war to rid us of slavery. We had to have a civil rights movement to treat our African American citizens with even a semblance of equality before the law. We still have a good long ways to go on matters of race and ethnicity. It wasn’t until 1920 that women had the right to vote all across the country, and there is still much work to be done on the rights of women and discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. We still wrestle mightily with our treatment of immigrants. We still fall far short when it comes to treating gay and lesbian citizens equally.

    Prop 8 wasn’t about acting in accordance with the very beliefs that this nation was founded upon. It was acting directly contrary to them. It was failing to live up to them. It was a betrayal of those beliefs.

  40. Mark_in_MN says:

    Leaving aside your inaccurate description, you’re asserting that as a matter of ethics and proper behavior, a business should only consider conduct of business and skill in work. You even take that further by saying, with respect to conduct of business, that avoiding illegal action is all that is or can be required. Is there no place in business and in employment to consider the ethics and character of an employee, even if a person is in a leadership position, especially the top leadership position as CEO? Character and ethics of an employee, short of not braking the law, is something to be blind to? Why? What justification do you have that those things apparently do not, should not, and even must not matter?

  41. Mark_in_MN says:

    I have three particular problems with that statement.

    1) There is some odd generalizing going on in that statement. They say that disagreement should’t cost someone a job, yet do not address the particulars of the situation, the position, the company, and so forth. They want to gloss over those particulars, because it is far easier to get agreement on the idea that opinions and disagreements shouldn’t cost someone a job in general. But this leaves unaddressed questions about if a particular person is right for a particular job at a particular company at a specific time. By leaving it at the level of a generic “job,” they also avoid having to address any questions about what a leadership position might mean and how it might relate to the organization, it’s values, needs, mission, and commitments. You’d think that so many lawyers and at least one philosopher would recognize these gaping holes in the statement’s argument.

    2) The unexamined characterization of what happened in the Eich-Mozilla situation as punishment rather than criticism. It’s not clear what the mechanism of punishment is, other than through a cloud of criticism. They recognize that Eich resigned and don’t try to speculate that it was forced. “We should criticize opposing view, not punish or suppress them.” But isn’t criticism exactly what they are complaining about?

    3) It calls Eich’s donation to the Prop. 8 campaign “personal political action” in contrast to no evidence that he “believed in or practiced any form of discrimination against Mozilla’s LGBT employees.” One would presume they mean in the employment setting. The suggestion here is some moral, character, or personal version of “the corporate veil.” I am not unsympathetic toward some of what they say, but they simply assume that what maters in employment is only related to job duties, even when we are talking about leadership posts. Ethics and character, apart from that in the walled off confines of one’s duties, are simply off limits, regardless of position. There is no attempt to argue why concern for ethics and character beyond the workplace may or may not be appropriate considerations with respect to a leadership post. This shouldn’t be seen as all or nothing, in my opinion, but implicit here is that it should be nothing. I really wish those who want to make statements like this one would address that matter directly.

  42. kumral says:

    yes thats true good post but not good idea for more infomation

  43. Aladin says:

    Alaska back to russia!

  44. Thom Allen says:

    Eich expressed his opinions and thoughts at least twice after assuming the position of CEO. He’s certainly still free to express his opinions now as former-CEO. And it was more than his opinions and true feelings. He contributed to political campaigns that were not in conformity with Mozilla’s policies, that’s MORE than expressing an opinion.

  45. Pat says:

    I am not an apologist and the Foundation’s uproar was not the same as the lack of uproar in the .com. The foundation employs lots of progressives and it is no surprise they protested. What’s your point?

  46. RogerRoger says:

    He didn’t even bother to read what happened with Mozilla! All he wants to do is “get even”. That’s a losing strategy!

  47. BeccaM says:

    Hmm… Journalist with sources… or a press release intended to make the issue go away and repair the PR damage to the Mozilla brand?

    I’ll go with the journalist.

  48. BeccaM says:

    Uninstalling a browser isn’t bullying. It’s voting with one’s computer.

  49. BeccaM says:

    I don’t bully. Mozilla doesn’t care about me or my opinions. But I do fight and I won’t apologize for fighting for my civil rights.

    Anyway, take care and I hope you have a good night. I need to catch up on Mad Men, too, one of these nights.

  50. BeccaM says:

    No offense taken. And you are 100% right.

    It Eich and possibly the remaining Mozilla board who caused him to resign. Why? Because the attention on his political activities was threatening to do real damage to the company brand, and possibly because he lacked the PR savvy to know how to put out the very first fire of his controversial short tenure as CEO.

    We’re not even close to that powerful. I have no personal influence whatsoever beyond whoever bothers to read this blog — and I’m not going to change any minds with whatever I happen to write. Opponents of gay rights will continue to oppose them. Supporters will support. And those who want to lobby for gay rights but are afraid to risk annoying the anti-gay folks will follow their own paths.

    Yet the concern trolls and the homocons and the anti-gay bigots are calling us haters because we used our First Amendment rights to voice our objection and, in some cases, to vote with our computers (i.e., uninstalling Mozilla products). I apologize for nothing.

  51. RogerRoer says:

    He doesn’t care–he–wants–to–bully–him. It’s a natural reaction to having been bullied but in politics or business, if you stop being the underdog and start being the bully you are going to stop winning and start losing.
    On second though, continue bullying people.

  52. BeccaM says:

    Here, I suspect you and I are closer to agreement. His other problem is he gave a number of really terrible interviews, none of which were convincing as to his commitment to Mozilla’s diversity policies. In short, he said he’d support them — but he never said he shared those values.

    Another unpardonable ‘sin’, so to speak, was his arrogance and egotism. One expects a bit of pride in a leader, but he made it sound like he was the only choice Mozilla ever had to lead the company into the future. He used to be CTO — chief technical officer; that’s not usually the kind of skill set associated with knowing how to run a company.

  53. Dan B says:

    What stuns me is the folks who signed this letter of support for Eich seem unable to see the story. The same is true of most of the media. The “story” is that Brendan Eich failed as a CEO.

    The first job of a CEO is to represent and be the voice of your organization. Mozilla is open source, transparent, etc.

    Was he transparent when the story first broke? NO! He issued a written statement that Mozilla was about diversity and treating its LGBT employees with dignity. He promised to open conversations.

    Why make a “promise to open conversations” when you could pick up the phone and schedule a meeting with GLAAD, HRC, and a half dozen other LGBT organizations? Why stall?

    Was it because they did not express any opposition to him?

    Why not a meeting with the employees who opposed him, or the board members? Why not at least make an open effort?

    He failed to address the brush fire and it burned him up. End of story.

  54. RogerRoger says:

    Every right we have in this country has either been voted on or literally fought for. You can look it up.
    You’ve worn me out, I’m leaving to watch “Mad Men” Season 7, episode 2. I’m going to mellow out with Christina Hendricks and dream nice things.
    Again, please re-consider bulling people since you already won!


    Gay people have been abused for decades and now someone on the other side is screaming unfair ? Are you kidding me ? Of course “they” are going to be sacrificial lambs as the Pendulum swings towards gay rights and I’ve never seen or heard of one that swung to dead center. I will remind you that gay people to this day are still being treated unfairly by the right who not only want to block gay marriage but all gay rights even something as basic as federal employment discrimination. So cry me a river ,,,,I’m hard pressed to find sympathy for this guy..

  56. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    I’m sorry, why should I give a flipping shit how “honest” Eich’s bigotry is? He’s got plenty of places to be “honest” elsewhere than on Mozilla’s dime.

  57. Houndentenor says:

    No offense to you, Becca, and Jon and Joe Jervis and whoever writes press releases for GLAAD and everyone else being attacked in this Eich story, but you don’t, even collectively, have enough influence to get a company to force out their CEO. Sorry but the very idea is ridiculous. You’re great and you do have some influence but the gay movement collectively is just not that powerful. The religious right wants to inflate us all into this all-powerful threat to make themselves look like victims. The homocons and a few others are playing right into their hands. But to prove their case, let’s pick another CEO to oust and see how that goes? It won’t work because that’s not at all what happened here and everyone knows that. So let’s not bother pretending otherwise. At best this was an excuse to force out a new CEO that a lot of the board wasn’t that enthused about to begin with. I still think there was more to the story (most of which we’ll probably never know). Having worked for several executives I know for a fact that the real reason people left and the public reason are almost never even close to the same thing.

  58. Pat says:

    I agree with your last sentence 100%. Unfortunately California’s ballot initiative process allows just that, and not just in the case of Prop 8.

  59. BeccaM says:

    We were winning, until the anti-gay bigots opened their wallets and, through millions of dollars of out-of-state money that we, a minority, could not match, blanketed TV, radio, and print media with anti-gay ads that made it sound like knowing gay people exist would turn children gay.

    My evidence Eich hates gay people is he wanted to help deny the right of civil marriage to gay people. Gays and lesbians getting married had zero effect on his life. None. Supporting Prop 8 sought to take away a right that existed, and in doing so caused real and demonstrable harm to gay and lesbian couples and their families.

    I don’t need evidence that someone hates me if they’re kicking me in the face, on purpose. It can be surmised pretty certainly.

    Nobody should get to vote on other people’s rights.

  60. Ninja0980 says:

    Throw in John Corvino as well, who insists on having debates with the likes of Maggie Gallanger and Ryan T Anderson, two people who have been very vocal about stopping marriage equality and had the gall to tell us we shouldn’t protest after Prop 8 passed.
    He also showed his true ignorance when he wanted to ahead with one talk in Chicago last May, right after marriage equality was stalled there.
    A complete and utter disregard for the feelings of the LGBT people in Illinois.

  61. RogerRoger says:

    Maybe we’ll see how funny that is when somebody dumps you because of your beliefs. If it can be done to Eich, it can be done to you.

  62. RogerRoger says:

    Sadly I’ve seen “the law” work up front and personal when a good friend of mine was on the wrong side of discrimination law suit. He won and should have but it cost him.
    What I am saying is that laws, civil rights laws or any laws mean nothing without civilized people willing to abide by them.
    Attorneys will have you believe that civil rights laws changed opinions on their own merit. They did not. Leaders like MLK changed the hearts and minds of Americans so that they would comply with those laws. Those laws are the last defense against tyranny unless your looking to sue businesses and make a killing.
    Again, it’s not that hard to hire or fire anybody you want unless you work in a the public sector or for a very large corporation. The rest of the working world–most of those 47% of us work in LLC’s, private companies or very small businesses. It’s no mystery that most people of all types would rather work someplace where you are less likely to have to depend on that thin blue line.

  63. Julien Pierre says:

    Not sure what happened to my other reply.

    Only one CEO on that list, the CEO of Cinemark. His company was boycotted too, for the same reason. He did not step down.

    The others are individual contributors, except #5 which is a board member of a charity – but not industry.

  64. Pat says:

    John Aravosis, one correction you need to make is in your second paragraph: Eich was not appointed to head the foundation that oversees the Firefox web browser, he was appointed CEO of the .com that the Mozilla Foundation controls which develops and markets a number of open source products, amongst them the Firefox browser. The foundation is the parent and its chairwoman is Mitchell Baker, and Eich had no role in the foundation. Please fact check and correct your piece.

  65. Julien Pierre says:

    Thank you.

    I see only one CEO on that list, and that is the #1, Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark.

    His bigotry is well known and he has been the subject of boycotts.

    He has actually been called on it on this very blog.

    There was a call for a boycott of his company as well.
    As you see, this is pretty consistent.

    None of the others were in leadership positions in any way comparable to CEOs. Most of them were just individual contributors.

    The closest would be #5, someone on the board of directors, however, of a charity – not industry.

    I can tell you that the #2, Ken Swanson, wasn’t in a leadership position at Sun Microsystems, because I worked there at the time.

    There is currently a Ken Swanson listed, with an individual contributor role, in directory of the company that acquired Sun Microsystems. I don’t know if it’s the same person. His office is within walking distance of mine. I am glad I am not in his group.

  66. RogerRoger says:

    It’s sour grapes to blame lies and propaganda for losing a campaign that was very winnable–especially in 2008 with Republicans taking in on the chin for everything from the wars to the recession and with the first Black man at the top of the ticket for Democrat nominee for President.
    Reminds me of the losers that blame Obama’s victories on stupid people. You had the wrong message and the wrong sales pitch and you lost but the courts bailed you out and we live with that because we are a nation of laws.
    And you do not have any evidence that Eich hates gay people. He was never asked and never explained his donation.
    However, if Eich is a bigot on the basis of his donation so are the majority of the voters in the one of the most liberal states in the country. Again, I would like to see GLAD target some of those minorities who helped win that vote and see how well they do in that campaign. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  67. Pat says:

    Here’s one article listing more technical leaders who support Prop 8:

  68. BeccaM says:

    My proof that Eich hates gay people — as a category, but not necessarily as individuals he may know — is that he donated to a campaign that was won with lies, slander and a blitz of fear-mongering commercials funded by other people who hate gay people, who wanted to take way an existing right to marry.

    Until that barrage of televised lies throughout the month of October, Prop 8 was trailing in the polls by as much as 18%. You’re partly right: They didn’t need just the right-wingers to vote for it. They needed to convince the undecideds, the ones in the middle who perhaps weren’t aware that the mere existence of gay people isn’t a danger to children — and through the millions of dollars in donations from individuals and through the Mormon and Catholic Church, people were propagandized into believing lies about gay people.

    Eich’s donation helped make that happen.

  69. BeccaM says:

    It’s not a ‘burden of proof’ standard. You cannot sue for damages for categories of discrimination that are not prohibited by law.

    It is legal — 100% indemnified legal — to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in employment in 31 states. There is no ‘burden of proof’ to be met where suddenly a law appears *poof* out of thin air, giving a judge and/or jury the legal means to find for civil and possibly punitive damages.

    Absent a law, it is legal to discriminate. Period. Until Civil Rights Act of 1965 was passed, it was 100% legal to discriminate on the basis of race. The courts were not clogged with cases of African Americans suing because white people wouldn’t hire them — because there was no legal basis to sue. Same deal with laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, and national origin.

    You do seem sensible in some ways, with respect to having savings and all that, but it’s pretty clear you don’t have a very clear understanding as to how the law actually works.

  70. RogerRoger says:

    I believe I conceded that the burden of proof was higher in those 31 states. More importantly, exactly how often are companies overt about that sort thing in this day and age? I mean medium to large entities, public sector jobs and the like.
    More importantly, even with laws it is not that difficult to fire somebody for reasons of race or sexuality. It just takes more time to build up a case, document it and pounce when the time is right. I’ve seen it done too many times to keep track of it.

    Your best protection is to choose the best employer you can, keep up your skills and save and invest as much as possible. In my parents day they use to say “keep plenty of FU money on the side” and they did. They knew how to stay out of debt in more ways than one.

  71. The_Fixer says:

    Which brings up a point that I have made time and time again.

    It goes something like this: Yes, slavery, an all-white wealthy male electorate, and Native Americans relegated to worse then second-class status were once the norm when our country was formed.

    However, does that mean that we’re not supposed to ever make progress in the modern era? Does this mean that we are forever stuck in colonial times in spite of the fact that we’ve become more sophisticated and learned so much more than we knew then?

    I think not. Some enlightened people put forth amendments to the constitution in the form of the Bill of Rights, based in part on the Magna Carta. Although they were proposed to be included in the constitution, it took some time for them to be approved. Because people advanced.

    Of course I have told you nothing new here :) But it is something that some other people need to hear (notably, that “strict Constitutionalist” Antonin Scalia).

  72. RogerRoger says:

    My original response was to the owner of this blog who did compare Eich to a Nazi sympathizer.
    As far as calling him “gay hating bigot” you produce no evidence that he hates anybody–we don’t know why he supported that proposition. We do know that it passed by a majority of votes in one of the most liberal states in the nation and further that it with a majority of the black and Hispanic vote. You didn’t need right wingers to vote that down–I like to see you try and bully some of those minority voters. You did need a George H. W. Bush appointed judge to get the ball rolling and overturn that vote and a Ronald Reagan appointed SJC to help confirm that ruling.
    The rest room remark was a reference point; suggest you lighten up. If you are 51 years old you know only too well what attitudes were like when you entered the work force and its’ suffice to say that many business would not have given you the time of day.
    The civil rights movement did boycott to win but never to intimidate and especially after they won a round. Those leaders were smart

  73. BeccaM says:

    Beliefs this nation was founded upon:

    1. Humans from Africa are considered property of white slave owners.
    2. Women don’t deserve the right to vote — it’s MEN who were created with those inalienable rights.
    3. It’s okay to restrict the vote to rich white men (property-owners).
    4. Native Americans have no rights either and can be relocated, robbed, and/or killed with impunity.

    Maybe he means those beliefs. Because beliefs never need to be re-examined or reconsidered or suffer from the enlightenment of new information or more evolved social attitudes of tolerance and inclusion.

    Nah, I’m just kidding. He was just blowing that anti-gay dog-whistle for all he’s worth. The fact we object to being discriminated against makes us ‘hateful.’

  74. The_Fixer says:

    Well, It is apparent to me that in the public arena, one has to contest faulty notions and bad information or people tend to believe that bad information.

    The gay conservatives brought this up, and if it were ignored, their faulty ideas would gain traction. We never would have made any progress in gay rights if we didn’t, for example, continually argue against old canards like the one saying that gay people are child molesters. We continually argued against them because they continually bring them up.

    Sure, some things can be ignored. However, this comes from gay conservatives, and the ill-informed among t the public may actually give them credence. That makes it important to correct them and set the record straight.

  75. Ricky says:

    Sullivan and Mehlman are a disgrace to humanity – these two cowards would have donned police uniforms at Stonewall and gladly beaten to death any gay or lesbian who did not conformed to their emotionally-damaged sensibilities. They do not understand the first thing about dignity, equality, honor, or simple decency.
    Eich contributed to a campaign to take away – again, take away, the right to same sex marriage – not because he or those supporters believed for a moment they could stop it – but to punish gays and lesbians for prevailing in the American courts. Eich and the supporters of Prop 8 also hoped – in their fevered dreams – to actually nullify those marriages that had already taken place – yes, to actually nullify same sex marriages – but the courts quickly ruled that was a bridge too far for a simple majority at the ballot box.
    If I want to know how to debase myself in both my personal and professional life – I will look to these two self-loathing masochists – since that is all they really know – or have ever known.

  76. BeccaM says:

    I believe you can still bring suit against a company if they are dumb enough to cite “being gay” as a reason for dismissal

    You can believe all you want. In those 31 states, there is no legal basis for winning such a case and it can and would be summarily dismissed.

    Our legal system depends on these things called “laws” which are passed by legislatures and signed by state or federal executives called governors or presidents. Absent a law banning it, you can’t sue for discrimination or anything else.

    Well, you can sue. But like Orly Taitz and her Quixotic attempts to prove Obama was born in Kenya, you’ll be laughed out of court and assessed fines for wasting the court’s time — and charged for the attorney fees of the company involved.

  77. BeccaM says:

    I took it entirely as the compliment you intended. :-)

  78. RogerRoger says:

    [It’s still legal to fire someone for being gay in 31 states. Where is their outcry over that?]

    I’m not saying that’s completely incorrect but I think you mean that 31 states don’t have protection clauses for gays in their anti-discrimination laws. I believe you can still bring suit against a company if they are dumb enough to cite “being gay” as a reason for dismissal but that law suit would be harder to prove.
    It’s still very easy to fire someone for any reason but it takes more documentation and patience to pull it off in order to avoid a law suit. Seen it done too many times and know what I’ve seen.

  79. BeccaM says:

    I never called Brendan Eich a Nazi. I called him a gay-hating bigot. What’s with the Nazi straw-man bullshit anyway?

    There’s a difference. The former would be name-calling; the latter is an accurate description of his opinion regarding my civil rights.

    By the way, the African American civil rights movement didn’t limit itself to courtrooms and legislatures. They held marches. They had boycotts. They had sit-ins. They made noise and offended the racist bigots. We learned a lot from that movement and from history.

    And what the f*ck is with the ‘you wouldn’t get to use the rest rooms’ remark? I’ve been on this planet fifty-one years and nobody has ever refused me access to a restroom because I happen to like women as much as I do men.

  80. RogerRoger says:

    Two decades ago you wouldn’t get to use the rest rooms. The victories in the courts and state legislatures have forced public entities to grant rights that were previously denied. Those victories were not the equivalent of asking “pretty please”.
    In this instance you may be legally within your rights to force a resignation but equating this individual to a Nazi and calling him other names amounts to bullying–the same thing that would have been done to you in past years.
    That’s an old story but it doesn’t have to be repeated. I thought the Republican party were the only group capable of snatching defeat from victory–keep this up and you will give them a run for their money.
    Stick to the courts, the states and the laws and you will keep winning. That’s the American way.

  81. You go girl :)

    (And not to derail the conversation, but funny how the word “girl’ CAN in fact be used ironically and in a female-positive way ;-)

    (That’s not directed at you Becca, just some of the trolls who have added “girl-slur-loving” to my list of crimes against humanity :)

  82. BeccaM says:

    Honestly, if the $1000 had been the only donation and Eich had said something about regretting his opposition to marriage equality for gay and lesbian Californians, I’d have forgiven him.

    But his defenders seem to come in two varieties (mainly). Those on the left who seem to think a single donation shouldn’t cause anybody to object to his being put in charge of a company with thousands of employees and a current official policy of tolerance. None of them seem to want to even acknowledge that Eich’s entire history — going back twenty years — of political donations is to extreme right-wing Republicans, all of whom oppose anti-discrimination policies and laws.

    And then we get the folks on the conservative right who don’t want Eich to apologize for anything, because they think gay people shouldn’t have any civil rights.

  83. Max_1 says:

    Not one of these Homocons rush to support a lesbian police chief “forced out” by a mayor because of her sexuality.

  84. Max_1 says:

    Homocons are self haterz…
    … And we are left to suffer their self hate.

  85. Max_1 says:

    I wonder if Ken Mehlman can explain how gay marriage harmed his marriage?
    … Oh the irony.

  86. VoteYES says:

    When someone who holds an unpopular opinion gets bullied into submission (or resigning) that stifles discourse and honest opinions and makes people fear letting their true feelings be known. It makes my radar go off.

  87. Houndentenor says:

    It’s been awhile since Andy played “useful idiot” for the right (like he did on the Iraq War and other issues). I’m sure they’ll be happy to toss him back on the scrap heap when they’re done. Even the other gay conservatives hate on Sullivan except in times like these.

  88. Houndentenor says:

    I never claimed to be a victim nor to be loving. I demand equal rights under the law. Eich is against those rights. He is a hypocrite if he claims rights he works to deny others.

  89. Houndentenor says:

    I’ve already said this many times over the last few weeks. When someone is openly working to deny rights to other people in the political realm, there is good reason to suspect that he (or she) will personally discriminate as well. The argument has been made that while Eich is politically anti-gay that he could have separated those from his professional decisions regarding hiring and promotions inside Mozilla. Having known a good many people who were rather openly racist and sexist, I have to say that if he believes that then he’s fooling only himself. Of course that’s a real problem now. Even people who are racist don’t think they are. The same with anti-gay bigots. Sorry but Eich was unfit to run a progressively-minded corporate environment like Mozilla.

  90. Houndentenor says:

    So Eich has rights but his critics don’t? WTF?

  91. Houndentenor says:

    I already did that the day I found out about Eich (from this blog). I’m using Chrome now. (It sucks, btw, but I’m still using it.)

  92. Houndentenor says:

    Where are these signatories when right wingers call for boycotts of companies with pro-gay policies? It’s still legal to fire someone for being gay in 31 states. Where is their outcry over that?

  93. Houndentenor says:

    Facts that disprove their right wing paranoid narrative must be discarded.

  94. Julien Pierre says:

    It’s funny how the letter cites “liberal principle”, “liberal values” and “liberal society”. Where are the liberal signatories ?

  95. Pat says:

    Responding the way John did here to such nonsense from the Gay right extends the flogging and I think they would be best ignored.

  96. Pat says:

    Mozilla denies that the board resigned over Eich being made CEO: There are numerous sources that Ellen Siminoff and John Lilly were both leaving for unrelated reasons for quite some time. You make a lot of assertions about unspecified numbers of subcontractors and software freelancers rejecting his leadership (as what, first CTO and then CEO, or just as CEO) — what evidence do you have? Hampton Catlin claimed in the end he was fine with Eich as CTO or even CEO if he would just have “shown more empathy” for the hardship Catlin and his UK partner faced under Prop 8. The only people who tweeted demands to step down from any part of Mozilla were from the Foundation, which he had no say over and who had no reporting relationship to him.

    Also it seems quite paranoid to suggest that the right wing propagandists are using this situation to split the interests of gays. This is a fundamental disagreement about whether being opposed to marriage equality is equal to being openly racist. We don’t have a strong majority if even that on our side if we argue from that equivalence. And I for one don’t need the enemies of gay rights or marriage equality to be silenced and shamed or shunned into the shadows. Historically, with small minorities like us, that leads to a backlash and disaster.

  97. BeccaM says:

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, how many of the apologists keep downplaying the uproar inside the Mozilla Foundation?

  98. Stev84 says:

    >”there is a hate filled community out there who seeks only destruction”

    Yes, they are called the Christian right

  99. BeccaM says:

    It doesn’t “work both ways” and as ever you proceed under a whole boatload of false assumptions.

    It’s actually illegal in 21 states not to hire someone if the reason is because they’re openly gay. California is one of them, which is where Mozilla is based.

    It was totally legal for the Mozilla Foundation to chose Brendan Eich to be their CEO.

    It was also totally legal for individuals and other companies, such as OKCupid, to protest and to announce boycotts of Mozilla products, because no corporation is entitled to receive business from anybody. And nobody is forcing you to join said boycott. You can attempt to persuade the rest of us not protest or to boycott, that’s you’re prerogative, just as it’s ours to say, “Fuck no, we won’t buy products from a company whose CEO hates gay people.”

    We’ve learned over the last two or three decades that saying “pretty please don’t hate us — we luvs you and feel you’re entirely entitled to try to deprive us of our civil rights, we don’t mind” doesn’t work.

  100. Pat says:

    Eich was under a magnifying glass since the twitterstorm in 2012 about how he treated LGBT people and had no bad reports, period. To imply that Eich was a threat to employees or suppressing them with zero evidence is wrong — if you have some, present it. I take your “you’ll never work in this town again” as glee about Eich’s unemployability, which just reinforces the over-reach meme. Or is that just if he tries for a C suite job, and you’d be ok with a lower level role?

    Mozilla has been spending a large majority of its dev budget on mobile OS, under Eich’s leadership as CTO. Whether they succeed or were poised to succeed is up for debate, but it is not true that Mozilla hadn’t moved toward mobile. Do not track, while admirable, was not a win, but is important for anyone concerned with privacy. Their browser share was sinking and the boycotts were really killing it, so he had to go to try to preserve the project. We’ll see if they survive.

  101. Julien Pierre says:

    Responding to your last question – because they think the 2nd amendment comes before the 1st.

  102. Julien Pierre says:

    Would you mind naming these other “Yes on 8” donors who are quite highly ranked in industry ?

  103. Julien Pierre says:

    Way to turn things around, the only thing that was vindictive was Prop 8 itself.

  104. RogerRoger says:

    That works both ways. Why would any sane public company hire an openly gay person under these circumstances if you take that tact? Unlike other minorities it is very easy to pass on a gay employee. Sure, Eich can weather out this type of shortsighted policy and so can people of your ilk but the rest of us don’t need the trouble that this causes and we don’t have the means to stage this type of fight.
    He’s no Nazi sympathizer–just doesn’t agree with same sex unions. I may not agree with him but he’s like a lot of otherwise good people. I would rather win them over in the long run, not cut my nose to spite your face. Thanks but no thanks.

  105. mike31c says:

    Typical GOP pig reaction: always jumping onto a cause long after it becomes irrelevant.

  106. silas1898 says:

    I hope the poor guy can survive on unemployment and food stamps. Cry me a river.

  107. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Kapish? Do you mean “Capiche?”
    How is it not even more likely that people who had to protect their careers from Eich’s political predilections would be less prone to publicly opposing him? Talk about “you’ll never work in this town again” time. It is fortunate that there were people in the greater organization who could potentially speak for those whose jobs were at risk.
    A side issue is that after his long term CTO role at Mozilla, why they hadn’t moved earlier into getting the browser into the mobile market where all the growth and revenue has been for a decade. That’s a major fail right there no less than Ballmer at MS and a further discommendation for CEO status.

  108. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Nope. He was rejected by his coworkers as having the potential to be a shitty boss, and the board of his company. How destroyed was he for not getting a job he was clearly not qualified for?
    If he plays his cards right he can go on to be a well remunerated professional right wing martyr, traveling the land and the airwaves spoon feeding bigotry and propaganda into the willing ears of a shrinking minority of hypocritical and demented haters whose fear has overcome the better angels of their nature. Coming soon on Fox News, the Eich Tech Report…

  109. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Fallacy of composition. Nobody tried to shun or censor Eich and nobody kicked him out of anything. In fact it was likely his lack of circumspection and filtering that made him an inappropriate choice for CEO.

    The majority of the Mozilla board resigned rather than hire him after interviewing 24 alternative candidates. His employees started a twitter campaign demanding he not be given the position. Subcontractors and software freelancers publicly rejected his leadership. This was after his having occupied the CTO position at Mozilla for years, so it was not for lack of familiarity that Eich was publicly rejected. People who knew and worked with him for years felt so strongly that he was an inappropriate choice that they felt they had to go outside the organization to have their concerns heard.

    Eich’s donations to Prop 8, Pat Buchanan’s campaigns and other donation information were secondary to his main opposition-his coworkers and the board of the company. Two votes of no confidence from people who knew him well before the public became aware of the issue. Picture Dwight Schrute from The Office being made CEO of the company.

    The narrative being put forth by right wing propaganda purveyors, whom we know to be organized politically by their party to push memes and messages generated by the likes of Luntz and Rove, is to use this as an opportunity to neutralize gay political power by splitting the interests of gays much as they have used issues of blackness, Latino identity, and other groupings to sabotage support for their political opponents. By depicting a minority group as threatening they hope to adversely affect the public popularity and brand of the movement so as to mitigate threats to conservative power and financing.

  110. Uh, yeah, not so much. From the WSJ we learn that the board members, all 3 of then, did in fact step down now as a result of Eich:

    Three Mozilla board members resigned over the choice of Brendan Eich, a Mozilla co-founder, as the new CEO. Gary Kovacs, a former Mozilla CEO who runs online security company AVG Technologies; John Lilly, another former Mozilla CEO now a partner at venture-capital firm Greylock Partners; and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of online education startup Shmoop, left the board last week….

    The three board members who resigned sought a CEO from outside Mozilla with experience in the mobile industry who could help expand the organization’s Firefox OS mobile-operating system and balance the skills of co-founders Eich and Baker, the people familiar with the situation said. They did not want to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

  111. Actually, we’re seeking the right to get married. That’s hardly fire and brimstone stuff. YOu guys have been off your game ever since the gay marriage movement gained steam. YOu were so used to painting us as promiscuous sex-craved pedophiles that the notion that we simply wanted ot settle down with one partners for life threw your message machine for a bit of a loop. So you keep using the bizarre old talking points which have become a laughable anachronism.

  112. Yes, we’re very intolerant of your intolerance. Im sure you can find someone else to hate and oppress in order to justify your “religion.” We’re a big country.

  113. The same reason we shun neo-Nazi sympathizers and segregationists from being corporate CEOs. When America welcomes Nazis and avowed racists, get back to me and then we’ll talk about whether we should welcome gay-haters too. But until then, if we’re going to frown on other bigots holding these jobs, then we’re going to frown on gay-haters too.

  114. VoteYES says:

    Why does anyone think they have the right to shun/censor or kick Eich out for his personal opinions or actions? I disagree with him too, but unless he acted in a discriminatory way while in charge of others (IOW in an illegal way) I don’t see that his personal positions have any business being discussed or used to beat him up with.

  115. The_Fixer says:

    I don’t think that the author of this piece, John, has been flogging this and Eich “all these weeks later”. Notice that the subject of this article, stated both in the title and the first sentence of the post, was that gay conservatives are clamoring to defend Eich and that they are the ones who won’t let it go. The rest of the article recaps why people were initially upset.

    And do note the third paragraph in the post:

    Gay conservatives think this is a step too far, and they’re just not giving up, even though the story was over and done with weeks ago.

    So, who’s beating this to death?

  116. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    There is a hate filled community out there with a bent on creating a passivity in the realm of morals, and a cancer in the foundations of this country, leading only to it’s own destruction.

    I agree. There are a large number of people adhering to a stultified and utterly corrupted form of Protestant Christianity who have passively abandoned all interest in shoring up their own moral and ethical lapses in favor of a prurient obsession with other persons’ sex lives, a hate-filled community that demands perversion of the fundamental concept of equality before the law that is surely the foundation of this country and indeed of any civil society, and but which fortunately is destroying itself though without not doing the maximum amount of damage on the way out.

  117. Pat says:

    Occam’s razor: the board already had lost 2 members, a third was also leaving, Mitchell Baker was fried, and those remaining were all remiss in not even thinking about whether the Prop 8 issue (which blew up as a huge firestorm, when Eich was CTO, on twitter, 2 years ago) would come back and not preparing any strategy to deal with the issue if it did. She admitted this in her Kara Swisher interview, recall.

    Add to this the fact that they’d been missing a CEO for almost a year, with Eich doing some of that job, and an acting COO who was not going to stay. IOW, they were a mess as a board and at the C-level, and made a decision in desperation and with no foresight. And they’d failed to retain prior CEOs for very long after Baker stopped doing that job several years ago.

    I don’t believe that is from any anti-inclusive animus, it seems to have just been a case of their unique culture and dysfunctional board and leadership making a bad decision in desperation.

  118. The_Fixer says:

    OK, I have a few questions:

    1) What truth was he standing for?
    2) What beliefs that this nation was founded upon was he acting in accordance with? The “All men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights” belief?
    3) What “hate-filled community” are you referencing?
    4) What passivity in the realm of morals are you referring to? The passivity toward discrimination, racism, homophobia and xenophobia?

    I think that the article is pretty clear as to why reasonable people have an objection to Brandon Eich heading up a foundation which has in it’s charter an objective of inclusiveness.

    Think carefully when you reply.

  119. Pat says:

    My point entire relevant and responded to not just your “Mozilla partisans” shot, but was first responding to bkmn’s item 4 above. In my view, if there had not been the double-whammy of the Credo or OK Cupid boycotts, there was not enough internal dissension _in Mozilla_ (not arguing about development community, that never got clear as to a big movement beyond Hampton Catlin’s solitary protest) to have pressured Eich to resign. What forced the resignation was not the Buchanan and Paul 20 year old donations, in my view — it was a drastic drop-off in Firefox downloads after the boycotts got publicized, especially OK Cupids. Anyway, he’s gone, and not playing the martyr role (even though some on the right are trying to put him there), so my whole thread here is to focus on more constructive ends and targets, or at least to argue to those on the right trying to leverage this already over-blown and dragged out story for their own anti-gay ends.

  120. Silver_Witch says:

    You go BeccaM….you have a magical way with words.

  121. Silver_Witch says:


  122. Elijah Shalis says:

    Gay conservatives are traitors if they support this guy. I don’t want to hear anything more from them.

  123. Silver_Witch says:

    You are right there is a hate filled community(ies) in this country that seems to undermine the beliefs this nation was founded on. Freedom, liberty and the right to be free from the religious beliefs of some forced upon others. I am going to say that perhaps you are part of the community. You can check this by answering one question – what right do you have to judge anyone’s relationship, love ad marriage. If the answer is christianity, or religious beliefs, which you believe we must all live by – right or wrong.
    It is very simple – who someone marries is none of your business, who someone loves is none of your business. Keep your beliefs – totally okay with me – when you force other to believe as you do, you violate the everything this country stands for.
    Equality for ALL my friend, for ALL,

  124. caphillprof says:

    And your argument remains irrelevant.

  125. bkmn says:

    Never said there was a consensus. But those who felt he should not have been CEO felt that their concerns were big enough to take them to a broader audience, and I am glad they did.

    My concern is whether Mozilla is sincere about being inclusive. Putting someone who doesn’t think I deserve to be married in the big chair is not the hallmark of an inclusive company.

  126. Pat says:

    My aren’t you slippery! My comment count is not what you described as fanatical, it was my posts themselves. I’m posting as much as I am here because this blog post and comments continued lockstep pile-on is a pitiful waste of all of our energies, no matter how good and righteous it makes anyone feel. I’ll make you a deal, I’ll stop if you will with the tit-for-tat.

  127. Pat says:

    Eich reported to the Board, not each and every Foundation employee. You’re the one who is quibbling. My point stands, there was no .com employee revolt or protest.

  128. Pat says:

    The people at Mozilla who know him were mixed on whether Eich should be CEO — there was no consensus. How do you claim to know that those who know him were opposed, from reading articles online? I know some of the people there, gay and straight, and there was zero consensus.

  129. BeccaM says:

    The Mozilla Foundation accepted Eich’s resignation weeks ago. There is no need for a boycott.

  130. mstewart1313 says:

    How about we uninstall all Mozilla products and then we do not have to worry about this issue. Do not install FireFox and do not use any of their products anymore and then we do not have to worry about this anymore

  131. dcinsider says:

    Wish I could like this a hundred times.

  132. BeccaM says:

    Let me put it this way; I consider the loss of reputation, employment, savings, or lives victimization.

    You mean the way gays and lesbians had their reputations, employment, savings, and lives ruined by anti-gay haters for hundreds of years? The way gay people can still be fired from their jobs simply for being gay in 29 states? That kind of ‘victimization’?

    Or the ‘victimization’ of not being allowed to be a bigot who seeks to oppress other people, without there being consequences for that bigotry?

  133. dcinsider says:

    Mehlman is still on probation for most of us, John. If I were him I’d lay off the conservative sauce for a bit.

  134. GarySFBCN says:

    Let’s see – you’ve posted maybe 20 posts here and yet I’m the fanatic.

  135. BeccaM says:

    The ‘truth’ is Brendan Eich wanted to deny a civil right to others, based on irrational animus. He’s not innocent. Bigotry isn’t an innocent belief. The hate of anti-gay bigotry is what’s objectionable, not our failure to respect your hate.

    But y’know, I’m glad you and your ilk are feeling threatened by the LGBT community. We were kicked around (and beaten and killed and, in centuries past, literally burned to death) over your irrational Bronze Age-motivated homophobia. Despite all the science showing there is nothing unnatural about homosexuality, you point to a book full of ignorance, violence, slavery and genocide as proof that a natural human condition is immoral. Cherry-picking those bits from your book which lets you hate people who’ve done nothing to harm you, who simply want to be left alone and not to be oppressed or discriminated against.

    We’re done being victims. And we have no desire or patience to tolerate your ignorant intolerance, not anymore.

  136. caphillprof says:

    because it matters not one wit that the employees don’t report to Eich. In a sense, Eich reports to them..

    You quibble with a distinction that really isn’t relevant.

  137. GarySFBCN says:

    My demeanor is directly in response to the idiotic posts here. I don’t claim to be a loving victim. I will strongly fight injustice and if you want to take away my rights (or those of any other group), you will feel my scorn.

  138. dcinsider says:

    I consider the loss of constitutionally guaranteed rights to be victimization. My Constitution trumps your foolish faux employment claims.

  139. Jedidiah says:

    As I said, there is a hate filled community out there who seeks only destruction. Your very demeanor is evidence of it. It is difficult to breath fire while claiming to be the loving victim. Let me put it this way; I consider the loss of reputation, employment, savings, or lives victimization. On a side note, I suggest you look more closely at the definition of the word ‘bigot’ before you continue to use it in that manner.

  140. bkmn says:

    Frankly I don’t give a damn about Eich but I do give a damn about Mozilla and their stated commitment to inclusiveness and diversity. I wholeheartedly agree with caphillprof that Eich should never have been elevated to the role of CEO. That was a move that did not fit with the corporation and foundation’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.

    My point was that people at Mozilla who knew him did not think he should be CEO. Whether they are foundation or corporate people makes little difference.

  141. GarySFBCN says:

    This is rich. Those bigots who actively donate money to bigoted candidates and propositions that incite hatred against gays are the true victims when we complain about it. You are an idiot.

  142. Pat says:

    Nice ad hominem, and right back at you. Your comments here come across as fanatical to me, so let’s just agree to disagree. Oh, wait, that doesn’t work for totalitarians like you.

  143. Jedidiah says:

    It is unfortunate that there is such uproar about one man standing for truth. It disgusts me that there are so many in my own nation who want nothing more than to seek out and destroy innocent people who have simply acted in accordance with the very beliefs that this nation was founded upon. There is a hate filled community out there with a bent on creating a passivity in the realm of morals, and a cancer in the foundations of this country, leading only to it’s own destruction.

  144. GarySFBCN says:

    Fuck you. I have moved on. I’m addressing your fanatical posts.

  145. Pat says:

    I would have no problem with John’s post if it addressed the Conservative opportunists trying to parlay Eich into a martyr instead of focusing yet again, in pointlessly repetitive detail, on Eich’s crimes. You go further in your brief comment with accusations of closetedness and self-hating amongst them that might be a good basis for arguing those conservatives are over-reaching, frankly. And I can imagine other arguments to make about why the conservative gays are so desperate to try to make a martyr here. But that is not what John wrote about, sorry. It would be interesting to hear more from him about though.

  146. Pat says:

    Which is worse, someone like Mehlman, who as a closeted gay engineered the 2004 primaries to leverage anti-gay hate in service of GWB’s reelection, and now has come out of the closet to join the cocktail party Big Gay charity circuit now that he’s moved to NYC, or someone like Eich, who whatever his views, is not gay, and has absented himself from an inappropriate and controversial role in a _private entity_ and withdrawn from public life, and is refusing to be the poster boy martyr for the conservatives like those your write against here? I won’t forgive Mehlman for the huge hate he fomented and leveraged, and the damage he did to people in many states, no matter what he says or does now, because he was and is gay and therefore a total traitor! And frankly he is clearly just a moneyed opportunist now, who may appear to be doing constructive things for equality but as revealed by the idiot Jo Becker’s new book, is still really a self-serving goddamn politician.

  147. Pat says:

    Sorry, dumdum, some of those others are quite highly ranked in industry. And not all of them have taken the Meg Whitman course of evolving to keep their jobs. Eich is no longer the CEO, and Mozilla is the one organization that can’t elevate anyone to be its public face, as it is a collective anyway, so move on!

  148. GarySFBCN says:

    I have moved on. I’m responding to your idiotic posts. I haven’t thought about Eich since the day after he resigned, when I reinstalled Firefox.

    And John’s post is important. Conservative, closeted and/or self-hating gays do more damage to our movement than any imagined ‘over reach’ that is the scorn of your concern and anger.

  149. Pat says:

    And done and over, so move on!

  150. Pat says:

    I am not playing fast and loose with the relationship between the foundation and corporation, in fact you and I are describing it the same way. My point was the only Mozilla employees on record asking Eich to resign from CEO were Foundation employees and not anyone under his reporting structure. Kapish? If not, then say more about how I played fast and loose with anything I’ve written here.

  151. Pat says:

    Oh BS. First, Eich was co-founder, and was not hired as CEO, he was promoted by a dysfunctional board. Second, he resigned, to stop the damage to Mozilla that was beyond control after the Credo and OK Cupid boycotts (and more BS to claim, even if he made an apology and fully endorsed equality with a personal donation to an LGBT cause, let alone just an apology, that the damage was not already to great to be an effective CEO). My concern is with angry trolls like you who want to preoccupy yourself with others past actions to no good ends. No-one is asking you not to boycott, the boycott is over and it was effective, so why not move on from Eich? The best way to get the right to fail to make him a sustaining martyr is to do what he has done and ignore them.

  152. GarySFBCN says:

    Getting a bigoted CEO of a major company to resign because of his bigotry is constructive.

  153. Normandy says:

    the other 35,000 donors arent the face of a major company, dumdum so no, they can stew in their bigotry privately…

  154. Normandy says:

    Beautifully written. I have some gay GOP friends-i dont get it. Theyre not even that wealthy!! why would a person vote for a party that thinks they are less than?? I suspect a very deep self loathing

  155. Pat says:

    So now that he’s gone from public view and Mozilla, you still want an apology not only from him but the people he donated to? How about the 35,000 other donors? One of the things I hate about our side, which is winning, is the stunning vindictiveness that wants to make Eich whipping boy for all of Prop 8. Let it go, and let’s put our energies into constructive endeavors, not rearward facing attacks.

  156. BeccaM says:

    I personally think it was no accident that Eich’s resignation came not after the Prop 8 donation information came to light, but when the media began to notice his other far-right campaign donations. The resignation was literally a day or two after The Guardian (UK) posted a story noting that Eich had also donated fairly generously to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul in the 1990s, as well as to other far-right GOP politicians up through 2010, including multiple donations over two years to Rep. Tom McClintock.

  157. GarySFBCN says:

    John, you left out Andrew Sullivan’s “concern” and condemnation, which was picked-up by the right-wing media.

  158. caphillprof says:

    I’m sure the hysteria on the right will only increase now that the Canadian middle class is better off that the American (USA) middle class.

  159. caphillprof says:

    The board is only to blame in that it should never have elevated Eich to CEO.

    Mozilla Corporation is WHOLLY OWNED BY the Mozilla Foundation. So, while foundation employees may not report to the corporation, the corporation sure as hell reports to the foundation. I’m tired of Mozilla partisans paying fast and loose with the Mozilla foundation and corporation.

  160. GarySFBCN says:

    Prop 8 was one of the nastiest campaigns and Eich actually donated money to that nasty campaign. I’ve yet to hear an apology from him or the people that he donated to,

  161. GarySFBCN says:

    I will boycott any company that hires a CEO who is homophobic, sexist or racist, PERIOD. I’m not asking that the hiring board ask questions to ferret-out bigots, but once the bigotry becomes ‘public knowledge’ is will be time for me to act.

    NOBODY is blaming Eich for prop 8; we are all blaming him for being a bigot, actively supporting bigoted ballot initiatives and bigoted candidates.

    This is not ‘over-reach’, and concern trolls like you are repeating this right-wing talking point.

  162. Ninja0980 says:

    Here’s the thing folks, we are still focusing on this issue because Eich is the newest hero to the Religious Right and their meme on how we’re the true bullies.
    We’re also focusing on it because members of our community are jumping on that bandwagon.
    And most of all, we’re bringing it up because there is still a failure to acknowledge Prop 8’s unique role in gay marriage bans.
    It was one of the few times rights were taken away by popular vote after a group had been granted those rights.
    And it used outright lies against us and our families to do so.
    That is why there is still great anger over Prop 8, and why I suspect there always will be.

  163. Stev84 says:

    Timothy was always a right-wing nut, so I certainly expected this from him. But the others seemed reasonable before. Now they’ve gone crazy. Their whole thing also has a nasty undercurrent of extreme nationalism. They go on and on about implying that only the US is really a free society and that the American way is the only right one. See also their histrionic reaction to Porno Pete’s arrest in Canada.

  164. Pat says:

    Sorry, regarding your number 4, you’re repeating misinformation that has gone to scale but is utterly untrue. The only detractors from within Mozilla who went on public record asking Eich to step down as CEO were Foundation employees not under his leadership (the Foundation owns the .com, which he was CEO of, but their employees have no reporting relationship). And his LGBT colleagues in the .com spoke about his fairness on the job (see for one example).

    The board was losing two members who had announced their intention to resign a year ago, for no reasons related to Eich, and the third member who resigned, although he did not like Eich or agree with him as CEO, was resigning to focus on his VC job. None of the board took issue with Eich’s Prop 8 donation, which was known to all of them since it went public two years ago. So the board is to blame for the whole debacle.

  165. bkmn says:

    1. He gave the money to Prop 8
    2. He gave money to Pat Buchanan and other anti-LGBT equality pols
    3. He refuses to apologize for 1 & 2 and refuses to say if his views have changed (I’m guessing they haven’t) – if he were to admit his views had changed he would probably still be CEO
    4. His biggest detractors were the Mozilla employees and board members that know him and felt putting his butt in the CEO chair was a mistake

  166. Ninja0980 says:

    Indeed, Eich gave no indications he wouldn’t do the same thing again if given the chance.

  167. Pat says:

    You’re still flogging this and Eich all these weeks later, seriously? Stop preoccupying yourself with what someone else (now gone from Mozilla) has done and focus on constructive future facing action for equality! As someone who knows and works with Mozilla, the reason Eich wouldn’t get into his views in any way was because their mission is to focus only on the open web and user sovereignty, and not put out views not relevant to that mission that will inevitably distract and disrupt from the mission. They have a huge global cohort of coders who don’t agree on many things not directly related to open web and web user sovereignty.

    Far enough to argue that Eich might have preserved his job as CEO, though highly unlikely after the OK Cupid and Credo actions, if he’d broken with what had been Mozilla’s social contract about not expressing non-mission related views (which Mitchell Baker had previously written a clear articulation and endorsement about on planet Mozilla in 2012 when a prior flap arose on that forum about an LGBT hostile environment issue, not related to Eich), but why are you still arguing about this and flogging Eich at this point?

    Knowing Mozilla, it is really a shame how so many, starting with Credo and the opportunistic OK Cupid hypocrites, but including most of the punditocracy and blogosphere, have treated them as if they are a public company with stock and not the mission driven non-profit that they are. All users with a stake in the open web and their rights to own their data and not be walled off by the Googles and Microsofts of the world, will suffer because of Mozilla’s disarray. And it was Mozilla’s dysfunctional board (which had not lost a single member due to Eich’s Prop 8 donation) and their chairwoman Mitchell Baker that is ultimately to blame for all the damage, including their choice of Eich for CEO.

    Eich has refused to cooperate as a martyr for the Right who would have him do that, such as those who wrote this open letter (while you and others are happy to make him whipping boy for Prop 8, as if he’s solely to blame for it), while still working on technical efforts around JS as an independent agent, and your assumption about what his current views are is presumptuous and no longer relevant. You claim to be sympathetic to concerns about over-reach — one way to show that would be for you to move on from rehashing Eich’s assumed views and crimes.

  168. It’s meant to be ironic :)

  169. Yes, Mehlman has a bit of self-interest in the notion of not holding people accountable for their past actions. And in any case, I’d argue that Mehlman has atoned by actively working for marriage equality. Has Eich? No.

  170. jomicur says:

    Excellent analysis, John. Thanks.

  171. Indigo says:

    Heavily invested in Java Script are they?

  172. dcinsider says:

    If he acted out against blacks, interracial couples, or women, my guess is none of them would be dumb enough to defend him.

    That level of stupidity is apparently only a gay trait.

  173. dcinsider says:

    This idea that he did not discriminate against gay Mozilla employees sort of overlooks the fact that it is unlawful to do so in California. So he gets points for following CA law?

    One can still be racist and NOT fire black employees.

    These people do not understand, and never will, why Eich’s ouster was so important. If this gets their panties in a bunch, why don;t they spend their time supporting the ACLU, which defends the free speech rights of racists and neo-Nazi’s all the time. If these folks were truly First Amendment purists, they would all be card carrying members of the ACLU (and I know this is not the 1st amendment issue they claim it is, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy).

  174. Ninja0980 says:

    Such a shame to see virtually every blogger from Box Turtle Bulletin sign on to this. I also recogonize the names of Joe Radinovich and Brandon Petersen, two of the Minnesota legislators who helped pass marriage equality.
    Ken Mehlman needs to shut the hell up. As far as I’m concerned, the damage he did goes beyond just the marriage bans.
    He helped get Bush reelected which is why we have a Supreme Court with John Roberts and Sam Alito on it.
    Bottom line, this is just an extension of the usual hypocrisy we get from the Religious Right.
    They can say we’re going to hell, we’re evil but if we call them bigots, we’re the intolerant ones.
    Brandon Eich can help donate to a measure that takes away rights from his gay and lesbian employees (one of the few times in this country’s history that has been done) but if we’re protest, we’re against free speech.)
    And it did so by calling us pedophiles, attacking same sex parents and so much more.
    Let’s be blunt, if Eich had donated to a measure attacking interracial couples, blacks or women we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
    We are allowed to stand up for ourselves, period.

  175. Thom Allen says:

    About time to change Eich’s photo. Remove the “No H8” and insert what he really feels, “Gr8 H8.”

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