I'm curious what the community thinks about the ouster (under pressure) of Brendan Eich from Mozilla.

Should someone be deprived of their livelihood for contributing to a candidate or cause with which we don't agree?  Is it OK for a company to push someone out for personal views contrary to company policy that are not expressed on company time?  Is it OK for people to try to force a company to fire someone because they don't care for the person's personal views or contributions?

In all cases?  In some cases? 

For those not familiar, here's a blog that sort of gives both sides of the argument, in that it quotes heavily from one while presenting another.  

http://www.slate.com/blogs/saletan/2014/04/07/brendan_eich_homophob...

Eich, for those who are not aware, was the co-founder of Mozilla, its chief technical officer, and the developer of Javascript which is used across the web.

Tags: 8, Eich, Proposition, discrimination, homosexual

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People vote at the polls, but also with their dollars. We forget how much power consumers can have. Corporate officers have a responsibility to promote the company; not cause damage. He let his personal beliefs conflict with his public business responsibility, and realized it and did the right thing.

Apparently you can have those beliefs and still sell fried chicken. That's OK with me. I had chicken once. It tastes like possum.

 

I had opossum once. Tastes like alligator.

If Eich said "I wouldn't want my son to marry a black woman" or "I'm glad my son isn't a Jew" or if he donated money to organizations unsympathetic to Black equality ... he would never have made CEO in the first place. Gay equality is still not taken as seriously as other equality in the United States.

And there's a reason for that. It's hard to raise gay marriage to the same level as black equality or Jewish acceptance for two major historical reasons: slavery and the holocaust. It's not like he endorsed putting people in chains, working people to death, or exterminating gays in death camps. 

I disagree with him, but to claim some sort of parity with the situation of the blacks and Jews simply doesn't hold a lot of water. 

I half agree and half disagree.

Disagree: While Jews suffered the worst targeted abuse from the Nazis, other groups were targeted along with them, imprisoned, experimented on, and killed. Incidentally, this includes gay men (though there were exceptions). Speculating a bit, the reasons homosexuals garnered far less consideration is that homosexuality was not seen as an immutable characteristic by most; it was a moral failing in individuals rather than a class of oppressed people.

Contrast this with Jews who could not help but to be Jews, and black people who could not choose the colour of their skin, and it doesn't seem to be as big a deal to target people who choose to be homosexual, or at the very least are suffering some mental affliction.

Agree: Prior abuses seem to change how we view subsequent rights issues. Anti-semitism was a big problem in Canada prior to, during, and even after WWII. The Holocaust did, however, play a large role in how we view rights issues in this country, and how we view prejudice and discrimination. While bigots still exist in this country, anti-semitism in particular is quite taboo even though we never approached the extremes of the Final Solution.

The same applies to gay rights as well though. If members of the LGBT community hadn't undergone so much suffering and discrimination prior to people's attitudes changing, same-sex marriage probably wouldn't seem to be as big of a crux issue. Perhaps it would be on par with marijuana legalization or death with dignity legislation.

1. All discrimination is wrong. A gay guy not being hired at a job for being gay is just as repugnant (and just as illegal) as not hiring a black man for being black. And the gay guy deserves to be defended just as much as the black man. We wouldn't because gay people weren't slaves in the past? They get less protection? If a CEO publically said "I don't want my son to marry a black woman" he would be out before the end of the day. This guy donates money to an organization against equality and says he wouldn't want his son to marry a man and it's  "free speech". Black people can get married because they were once slaves but gay people can't because they weren't? Gag.

2. Gay people have been persecuted (and nastily so) WAY before jews and African-american slaves ever existed. Would you like a beheading in Arabia? Or raped with a hot poker? Or being castrated for sodomy? Or hung in Iran. A pink triangle in Dakau? Set on fire in Kiev? How about being pummeled to death in Idaho? Having guys beat you up and piss on you in Moscow? Or your head bashed in by your father? Or dragged through the streets in Uganda? Or jocks forcing you to eat shit. Or a group of soldiers mouth raping you for looking efiminate? To just what degree to gay people need to have been persecuted to be protected?

First, illegality is beside the point because we're not talking the law, we're talking ethics. All discrimination is wrong? Not so. Discriminating against pedophiles is wrong? Discriminating against smokers in many situations seems proper enough. If the gay guy deserves to be defended just as much as the black guy, then by your logic the smoker (or pedophile) deserves the same, right? Make no mistake: I support gay marriage, but on a scale from horrifically offiensive to banally offensive, it's more toward the banal end (not AT the banal end), but that may be due to my attitude toward marriage.

Gays are not generally subjected to beheadings or rapes with hot pokers. Certainly violence against gays happens, as it does against elderly people, handicapped people, women, and men of the wrong race in the wrong place. Gays ARE protected here against that sort of thing, though like most such "protections" the "protection" consists of prosecuting offenders after the fact. I do feel sorry for gays facing the marriage problem. I wish I could find my magic wand. I'd wave it and make gay marriage legal everywhere. However, any attempt to equate it with slavery or the holocaust is actually rather laughable.

If you really think that gay people today don't get executed in the Middle East and that gays don't have their faces bashed in in Russia and that 100 years ago in America openly gay people were murdered, jailed or tortured ... then there's no point in continuing this conversation with you.

First, illegality is beside the point because we're not talking the law, we're talking ethics.

I think we're discussing both, since Eich and others like him specifically use or intend to use the law to deny rights to LGBT people.

Consider, for instance, how many state laws were passed or state constitutions were modified to deny same-sex couples the right to marry (after which LGBT people were sometimes accused-- without irony-- of redefining marriage).

Eich himself donated the $1000 in question to support Proposition 8 in California: an effort to ban same-sex marriage in that state.

All discrimination is wrong? Not so.

It should be obvious we are discussing discrimination that means "the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people". The operational word is unfairly. In other words, treating people in a way that is not fair, honest, or just.

But since you didn't find that meaning obvious, let's be clear: we're not talking about the meanings that refer to things like discriminating taste in wine and cigars.

Make no mistake: I support gay marriage, but on a scale from horrifically offiensive to banally offensive, it's more toward the banal end (not AT the banal end), but that may be due to my attitude toward marriage.

I'm touched, Unseen. It's so magnanimous to support gay marriage even though you find it banally offensive. I'll say this for you. You're light years apart from people like Eich.

Gays are not generally subjected to beheadings or rapes with hot pokers. Certainly violence against gays happens, as it does against elderly people, handicapped people, women, and men of the wrong race in the wrong place. Gays ARE protected here against that sort of thing, though like most such "protections" the "protection" consists of prosecuting offenders after the fact. I do feel sorry for gays facing the marriage problem. I wish I could find my magic wand. I'd wave it and make gay marriage legal everywhere. However, any attempt to equate it with slavery or the holocaust is actually rather laughable.

Davis clearly referred to violent persecutions of gay people throughout the world, dating back to times before Jews or American slavery existed. You restated that in terms limited to the present and (presumably) to the United States. That wasn't Davis attempting to equate same-sex marriage bans with slavery and the holocaust, that was you stuffing a strawman falllacy.

Gay people have been mistreated throughout human history. Progress has been made in recent years, but the mistreatment is still widespread today. Violence is one manifestation of it. Denial of human rights (through efforts like Proposition 8) is another.

It's not like he endorsed putting people in chains, working people to death, or exterminating gays in death camps.

True, that's not what Eich did.

Eich funded (not simply endorsed) efforts to deny basic human rights to people based solely on sexual orientation. That Eich would use legislation to deny some human rights (instead of chains and death to deny all human rights) doesn't appreciably change the point.

Eich can legally marry, divorce, be recognized as a parent to a stepchild, visit loved ones in the hospital, receive benefits when his spouse dies and so on. Eich doesn't believe LGBT people should have these rights like everyone else. The reasons that Eich and bigots like him hold these views are without merit, but this too is beside the point. Eich and his ilk can believe whatever they like.

The part I find troubling is the imposition; the attempt to make others who do not believe it-- in their families, relationships, bedrooms, hospital beds and funeral parlors-- live their most intimate lives as though they believe it too.

The notion that resisting this imposition is a form of discrimination-- or (as you hypocritically overstated it) a lynching-- is absurd. There is no symmetry here. Nobody is out to deny Eich his rights. They're trying to stop Eich from denying rights to others.

The Mozilla Foundation emphasizes building strong communities, fostering collaboration, and the public good. This squeaky clean, all-inclusive message looks a little soiled when your CEO wants to pass laws against Those People.

Whether gay marriage is a basic human right is not written in granite (only a god could do that). So, it's a legislative matter and legislation is based upon the opinions of the constituents in a political jurisdiction.

Who gets basic rights and what those rights are are contingent and historical. For example, sex between men and teenaged boys was entirely okay according to the Greeks, and happens as a matter of course in some other cultures in the Pacific islands and among some Native American tribes (at least, until the white man arrived).

Gays will have full rights when the public wants them to, which clearly is happening apace. 

By now, you must know that I don't believe in human rights except insofar as they are legislated. Any other conception of them falls into the "imaginary" category. 

It seems clear to me that Eich quit after realizing he was not a good "fit" with Mozilla's corporate culture to a degree that would make him ineffective in his role as CEO. It seems to me that was an excellent decision on his part.

Whether gay marriage is a basic human right is not written in granite (only a god could do that). So, it's a legislative matter and legislation is based upon the opinions of the constituents in a political jurisdiction.

As I said, discrimination means "the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people".

Marriage is a right when states declare it's a right. States may exclude gays (or Jews, atheists, Canadians, and people over 6 feet tall) from marital rights, but don't tell me it's fair, and done for just and honest reasons.

What you're describing is discrimination.

Who gets basic rights and what those rights are are contingent and historical.

And sometimes, it's discriminatory.

For example, sex between men and teenaged boys was entirely okay according to the Greeks, and happens as a matter of course in some other cultures in the Pacific islands and among some Native American tribes (at least, until the white man arrived).

I'm sure three examples of paedophilia in ancient Greece, the Pacific, and Native America somehow have relevance in a conversation about states granting legal rights to some groups while unfairly denying the same rights to others.

Then again, maybe it doesn't.

Gays will have full rights when the public wants them to, which clearly is happening apace. By now, you must know that I don't believe in human rights except insofar as they are legislated. Any other conception of them falls into the "imaginary" category.

Of course rights are made up. Here we are discussing the unfair application of rights-- which describes discrimination-- not the origin of rights.

Sure, some people claim human rights have supernatural origins. Some claim to have supernatural backing in their efforts to strip Those People of the same rights. Naturally, God's magical powers aren't up to the job, so cold, hard cash will have to do.

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