Friday, 04 April 2014 13:18

Mozilla’s Brenden Eich, latest gay-activists', free-speech censors' victim

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chick-fil-a-gay-One of our cherished rights in this country is our 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech. Throughout our history, Americans have been allowed to speak their mind no matter how controversial the topic. Unfortunately, over time, this right has been steadily diminishing and the forces of censorship are winning. For example, on college campuses today, liberal speakers are welcomed, while conservatives are ignored and labeled too reactionary for young audiences.

 

In the corporate world, beliefs in traditional marriage are considered homophobic and antiquated. In June of 2012, Dan Cathy, the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, expressed support for traditional marriage in an interview. This led to boycotts and protests from gay rights activists.  Even though a counter protest was launched in support of the chain, the damage had been done. Eventually, the restaurant executives decided to refrain from commenting on the marriage issue and their charitable foundation stopped giving financial support to pro-traditional marriage organizations. In effect, the protests silenced this corporation and their executives.

In the last two years, the intimidation from gay rights activists has only increased. Almost all Democrat politicians are now supporters of gay marriage. Included in this number are President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, all of whom previously opposed the legalization of same sex marriage. In fact, Bill Clinton even signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which allowed states to refuse to recognize same sex marriages sanctioned in other states. Today, 33 states still ban gay marriage, even though some courts are trying to override the will of the people in many of these states.

One state that has seen a reversal is California. In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that legalized same sex marriage even though 52.2% of the voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008. The initiative banned gay marriage and was supported by a vast array of donors and volunteers. One of the donors was Brendan Eich, a technology innovator credited with inventing JavaScript and co-founding Mozilla, which operates web browser Firefox. He had the audacity to give $1,000 to support Proposition 8 and for that decision he is now unemployed.

An online dating website discovered his donation and launched a boycott of Firefox. This led to Eich’s swift resignation as CEO of Mozilla and an apology from the company, which asked for forgiveness from activists for not moving “fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started.”  

This is very disturbing for a number of reasons. Namely, Eich did nothing wrong in financially supporting a political cause. In fact, donating to a voter initiative should be applauded not condemned. It is the right of every American to get involved in political activity by donating or volunteering.

Eich’s support of Proposition 8 is also totally irrelevant to his duties as CEO of Mozilla. He is credited as a leader in the industry who has played a major role in the growth of his company. According to venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, Eich “made a profound contribution to the Web and to the entire world.”

Despite his technology track record, Eich was forced to resign due to his views on marriage. This is a victory for the forces of censorship who have claimed another victim. It seems no one can oppose gay marriage. If so, their business will be attacked and their jobs will be threatened. Fortunately, not all gay rights activists support this type of censorship. Commentator Andrew Sullivan lamented that “if we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.” Yes, the tables have certainly turned.

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Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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