[icon color=”#e96a2a” size=”16px” name=”awesome-file-alt”] March 31, 2014
Online dating service OKcupid is urging its members to reject FireFox and use either Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Opera. The move was made when OKcupid learned that Mozilla’s new CEO (Mozilla owns Firefox), Brendan Eich, has opposed equal rights for gay couples. Users logging into OKCupid via FireFox receive a six paragraph message asking them to oppose Firefox for having a CEO that opposes gay rights.
Here is the open letter in its entirety that appears on the OKcupid home page:
OKcupid Letter About Firefox and Gay Rights:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”100%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#e96a2a”]Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.[/dropshadowbox]Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here... Click To Tweet
The page also contains a shaded box titled, “Background on Mr. Eich and Mozilla” with the following information:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”100%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#e96a2a”]In 2008, Mr. Eich supported the passage of California’s Prop 8, a statewide initiative to ban gay marriage, with a $1000 donation. Granted, his contribution is now six years in the past, and people can change. But Mr. Eich’s boilerplate statements in the time since make it seem like he has the same views now as he did then. Mozilla recently promoted him to CEO, hence the issue only now coming to our attention. His donation was known to Mozilla at the time of his promotion, and, furthermore, CEOs are rewarded based on their company’s performance. The CEO is the visionary for a company and its products. We are sad to think that any OkCupid page loads would even indirectly contribute towards the success of an individual who supported Prop 8—and who for all we know would support it again. We wish Mozilla’s institutional commitment to freedom and openness were better reflected by their choice of leadership.[/dropshadowbox]
There are links to Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer (which they call Internet Exploder), along with a text link option to continue to OKcupid via Firefox.
OKcupid is owned by IAC/Interactive Corp. It’s sister sites include Match.com and Chemistry.com. As of this writing, neither of those sites have taken an similar stance. But other companies are following OKcupid’s lead.
Prior to the OKcupid message, Brendan Eich had already backed off his stance on anti-gay rights. Appointed to CEO on March 24, Eich wrote a blog post on March 26 titled, “Inclusiveness at Mozilla” for his blog. In part, he states:
“I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results.” – Brendan Eich, CEO of Mozilla
He then outlines his commitment to the LGBT community, equality, and non-discrimination and says he is taking advice and guidance from the LGBT community.
One of the commitments is “Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.”
What are your thoughts on this article? Is OKcupid doing the right thing by organizing a boycott of Firefox? Should Eich be given a second chance to prove that his actions and opinions have changed? Leave your comment below.