While Matt Barber and other anti-gay bigots declare that the boycott that led to Brendan Eich’s ouster as CEO of Mozilla call gay rights activists Nazis, Glenn Beck decided to go straight to calling them terrorists. Because that’s a totally reasonable reaction.
I’m not entirely comfortable with what happened to Eich myself, to be honest, and neither are some very prominent gay rights activists. Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, one of the best gay rights blogs in the world, makes a fairly persuasive argument:
But at a time when we are demanding passage of the Employment Non-Discrmination Act so that companies can’t just up and fire LGBT employees because they don’t agree with them — as they can now in about two-thirds of our states — we need to think very long and hard about whether we should demand someone be removed from his job for exercising his constitutional rights as part of the cornerstone of our democracy: a free and fair election.
We say that LGBT people shouldn’t be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job performance. I think that principle is good enough to apply to everyone, including Eich. And there is no evidence that I can find that his donation affected his ability to do the job he was hired to do. Eich made his donation out of his own pocket. He didn’t do it on behalf of Mozilla, he didn’t do it with Mozilla funds or through a foundation sponsored by Mozilla. And he certainly didn’t own Mozilla, which is a non-profit organization. It was his own dime on his own time.
Bil Browning of Bilerico, whose gay rights credentials certainly can’t be questioned, has made a similar argument. Those who campaigned against Eich were within their rights, of course, but I think the furor over this was a bit out of proportion. My understanding is that Eich made a single $1000 donation to the Prop 8 campaign in 2008. While that’s certainly not something I like, I don’t think it makes him Peter LaBarbera or Scott Lively. There are reasonable arguments to be made on both sides, I think. But to claim that this makes makes those who advocated against Eich into Nazis or terrorists is just moronic.