Mozilla in damage control mode as pressure builds against CEO

Negative backlash from the appointment of Brendan Eich as Mozilla's new CEO has become a public relations crisis for the company.

Ananth Baliga

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 1 (UPI) -- Mozilla has been in damage control mode ever since it became public that its new CEO, Brendan Eich, supported anti-gay legislation in California in 2008.

The opposition to Eich's ascension as Mozilla chief executive includes an online petition calling for his resignation unless he makes a statement in support of same-sex marriage, as well as a campaign by online dating site urging its members not to use Mozilla's internet browser Firefox.


"Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure," wrote founder Christian Rudder.

"Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally," a spokesperson said, adding, "OKCupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts."

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Mozilla took to its blog Saturday to clarify the company's stand on marriage equality.

"Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally."


After Eich's appointment as CEO, word spread across the Web, especially Twitter, that the Eich had donated $1,000 to support California's Proposition 8, which was dismissed on appeal last year by the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower court struck it down.

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Several Mozilla employees have also come out against Eich and app developer Rarebit said they are withdrawing support from Firefox and listed what Mozilla and Eich needed to do to regain their support.

"We thought that last week Mozilla would immediately come out with a statement of support of equality and Brendan would issue an apology," Hampton Catlin of Rarebit said in an email to CNET. "Unfortunately, this has become a far larger issue and I'm not sure there is a solution that would please everyone."

Eich and Mozilla Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker took to their blogs to clarify the company's stand on LGBT issues.

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"I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion," Eich wrote on March 26.

[Computer World] [CNET]

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