This is the reaction from one Heritage Foundation scholars:
Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, warned that “bullies” were poisoning democratic discourse by attacking anyone who doesn’t share their view:
The outrageous treatment of Eich is the result of one private, personal campaign contribution to support marriage as a male-female union, a view affirmed at the time by President Barack Obama, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, and countless other prominent officials. After all, Prop 8 passed with the support of 7 million California voters.
So was President Obama a bigot back when he supported marriage as the union of a man and woman? And is characterizing political disagreement on this issue—no matter how thoughtfully expressed—as hate speech really the way to find common ground and peaceful co-existence?
Sure, the employees of Mozilla—which makes Firefox, the popular Internet browser—have the right to protest a CEO they dislike, for whatever reason. But are they treating their fellow citizens with whom they disagree civilly? Must every political disagreement be a capital case regarding the right to stand in civil society?
When Obama “evolved” on the issue just over a year ago, he insisted that the debate about marriage was legitimate. He said there are people of goodwill on both sides.
Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, said the episode was an example of how the disclosure of political contributions served as a means to intimidate and harass an individual for his personal views:Although Andrew Sullivan of The Dish claims he's a conservative, he's pretty liberal on most social issues, including redefining marriage. He also happens to be openly gay and proud, and he was outraged at what happened to Eich, saying it “should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”
Before Eich resigned, he pointed out that he had kept his personal beliefs out of Mozilla and that they were not relevant to his job as CEO. He was exactly right, although that did not prevent him from resigning.
In a startling display of irony that was obviously lost on her, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, who approved of Eich’s resignation, said it was necessary because “preserving Mozilla’s integrity was paramount.” She seems not to recognize that forcing a founder of the company to resign because of his personal beliefs that have nothing to do with his qualifications as a corporate officer is the exact opposite of “integrity.”
Eich is certainly not alone in his predicament. As The Heritage Foundation previously pointed out, other supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, death threats, and anti-religious bigotry. All committed by individuals claiming they are simply trying to gain “acceptance” and who complain about the supposed intolerance of society over their lifestyle.
He posted this on his website:
The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists. After an OKCupid decision to boycott Mozilla, the recently appointed Brendan Eich just resigned under pressure:Some of his readers took issue with his stance, so he wrote another post addressing those issues.
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
It's a sad day when our private lives can adversely effect our work life.
4/7/14: Seems Eich founded Mozilla, so was basically forced out of his own company.