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Mozilla chief steps down in gay marriage scandal

Published time: April 04, 2014 16:23
Reuters/Albert Gea

Reuters/Albert Gea

The head of the group behind the Firefox Mozilla web browser, Brendan Eich, has resigned over the online outrage to his personal donation to an anti-gay marriage campaign a few years ago.

Eich only started in the job a fortnight ago – but was forced to give it up after his $1,000 donation emerged.

“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech . . . Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard,” Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s chairwoman, said in a statement on Thursday.

But the company “prided itself on being held to a different standard”, relying on a “large, global, and diverse community,” Baker said, as quoted by The Financial Times.

However, Eich retorted that if the company can’t operate “according to its principles of inclusiveness, where you can work on the mission no matter what your background or other beliefs”, he thinks they “will fail.”

A few technology giants like Google and Apple – mainly representing a young and liberal workforce - spoke out publicly against Proposition 8, the 2008 proposal calling for a ban on gay marriage in California.

Eich’s isn’t the only case where a top executive is fired over his anti-gay marriage views.

Last month, Dan Cathy, boss of fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, told his home town newspaper the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he regretted taking a public position on the issue after his company suffered a backlash from consumers who “want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with,” according to Cathy.