The controversial resignation of Mozilla Corporation CEO Brendan Eich prompted thousands of negative comments at the Web browser company’s website, though the company now says it accepts those who do not support a redefinition of marriage.
Since Eich’s April 3 resignation from Mozilla, the producer of the popular Firefox Web browser, tens of thousands of people have left negative comments on the Firefox feedback page. Many have said they will no longer use the Firefox browser because of Eich’s resignation.
Mozilla said that Eich voluntarily resigned and was not asked by the board of directors to do so. The board responded to his resignation by asking him to take another position at the company, but Eich declined the offer, Mozilla said on its blog April 5.
“The board respects his decision,” the company stated.
Mozilla rejected claims that the resignation of three members of the board of directors was due to concern about Eich’s beliefs on marriage.
Eich’s appointment soon came under criticism from “gay marriage” advocates because of his $1,000 donation in 2008 to the Proposition 8 California ballot measure campaign that defined marriage in the state as a union of one man and one woman. The ballot measure won in the 2008 election, though a disputed 2013 Supreme Court decision resulted in it being invalidated.
Backers of “gay marriage” targeted Mozilla for boycott and encouraged hostile media coverage.
Eich said March 26 that he was committed to making sure that Mozilla is “a place that includes and supports everyone.”
However, the controversy continued, leading to Eich’s resignation April 3. He said that he could no longer be “an effective leader” under the circumstances.
Mozilla on April 5 said that while the company has a statement of support for “marriage equality,” it does not require this view to be held by employees, leaders, volunteers and supporters, known as “Mozillans.”
“There is no litmus test to work at Mozilla,” the company said April 5, voicing its commitment to the goal of “protecting and building an open web.”
Some supporters of Eich announced their own boycott of the Firefox Web browser, and the resignation has prompted many reflections on what the case means about whether supporters of traditional marriage may face future political intimidation and threats to their livelihoods.