Well, certain members of both sides, at least.
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid. [...]
OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
I think it’s fair for Mozilla employees to object to Eich’s promotion – it’s their company, they’re directly impacted by who runs it, and they have a stake in the company’s internal culture.
But OKCupid is in the wrong. Note that they are not asking that Mozilla change any specific corporate policies; rather, they are saying that no one who disagrees with them in private life about SSM should be CEO. This isn’t working to create real, positive change; it’s an attempt to economically punish Eich for disagreeing with them. “We wish them nothing but failure” is not a generous sentiment.
Now here’s where it gets funnier. Robert George, co-founder of NOM and the leading intellectual of the anti-marriage equality movement, read this article, in which Eich non-apologized “I express my sorrow at having caused pain.” Eich continued:
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.
I have just deleted Mozilla Firefox from my computer. If I’m not morally fit to be their employee, I’m not morally fit to use their products. If you are a faithful Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Mormon, Orthodox Jew, Muslim, or member of any other tradition that believes that marriage is fundamentally the institution that unites a man and woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children born of their union, providing those children with the inestimable blessing of being brought up in the committed bond of the man and woman whose union brought them into being, or even if you believe in marriage thus understood quite apart from membership in any community of faith, I would ask you to do the same. Why contribute to the prosperity of those who would exclude you? Cancel Firefox or any other Mozilla product. Sure, its competitors are probably “just as bad,” but we have an opportunity here to send a message to all of them.
Problems with both their approaches:
1) It goes against what I think of as a “free speech culture” to encourage an companies to fire employees (even CEOs) based not on how well the employees can do the job, but on their stands on current political controversies. Although there’s no government censorship going on here, that’s not enough. Truly open and free speech – substantive free speech – won’t exist if people are afraid of being fired for taking a side on a controversial issue.
2) It doesn’t actually advance anyone’s cause in any meaningful way. (Admittedly a plus as far as Mr. George’s bigoted cause is concerned).
3) It encourages people to think of politics as a matter of maintaining personal purity through choosing the correct products, rather than making meaningful change.
This sort of approach makes both sides look like bumblers and busybodies, searching around for a high horse to nit-pick from, and makes both sides look as though they aren’t committed to a civil debate or the ideal of substantively free speech. I don’t know if Robert George’s side can do better, but I’m certain the pro-SSM side can.