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Mozilla CEO resigns following anti-gay donation backlash

Matthew Jarvis
Mozilla CEO resigns following anti-gay donation backlash

The CEO of Mozilla has stepped down following controversy over his donation to an anti-gay bill.

Brendan Eich’s $1,000 donation to the Californian gay marriage ban Proposition 8 in 2008 was highlighted earlier this week.

Dating site OkCupid drew attention to Eich’s donation by advising those using Mozilla’s Firefox browser to cease using it.

“Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” the statement presented to those who attempted to reach the site using Firefox read.

“We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.”

The message has now been removed.

Eich’s departure was announced by Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker, who commented that Eich had “made this decision for Mozilla and our community.”

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it,” said Baker.

“We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.

“We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

“We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.

“Thank you for sticking with us.”

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Tags: firefox, mozilla, browser, Brendan Eich, OkCupid

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