Brendan Eich did not get a chance to hand in a two-weeks notice; in fact, he worked fewer days than that. Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla after his $1,000 donation to Proposition 8, a campaign to abolish same-sex marriage in California, came to light. Yet unlike other such cases the discussion did not peter out with Eich’s resignation. The controversy has ignited a firestorm of opinions decrying bigotry and intolerance from both sides of the political spectrum.
Unlikely allies have come to Eich’s defense, such as prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan, himself a same-sex marriage activist and gay man, who wrote on his blog: “If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.”
Prior to Eich’s resignation, the dating website OkCupid posted a letter to its users, urging them to boycott Mozilla’s Firefox web browser and providing links to alternate browsers. Mozilla did not initially respond to the attacks but later posted an apology on their website, confirming Eich’s decision to step down and stating, “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”