Several Mozilla employees and developers have started calling for the resignation of the company’s new chief operating officer Branden Eich. To most of them, it is payback time after it was recently exposed that he supported Proposition 8 in California, a state bill that sought to prohibit gay marriages.
Proposition 8 was on ballot in November 2008. Back then, Mr. Eich donated $1,000 to support the passage of the controversial bill. The law was passed but was eventually recalled when the Supreme Court declared it as ‘unconstitutional.’
The donation was first exposed in 2012. Mr. Eich was chief technology officer at Mozilla that time. Not surprisingly, the issue resurfaced when he was promoted to become the company’s new CEO last Monday.
Calls to step down
Since his latest appointment, many employees and partners have already expressed concern over Mr. Eich’s stance on the matter. Most of them are using Twitter to air their sentiments against the new CEO. Logically, a number of them belong to the LGBT community, while others are supporters of equality and human rights.
Mozilla has not yet responded to those calls for Mr. Eich’s resignation. But the new CEO has faced the issue by releasing a statement on his personal blog last Wednesday. In that statement, he spelled out his plans to help ensure quality within the workplace as well as diversity within the growing Mozilla community.
He assured that the company would remain a place that supports everyone. He reiterated that the support he was talking about is regardless of one’s gender identity, sexual orientation, race, age, ethnicity, religion, or economic status.
One open supporter so far
In the same blog post, Mr. Eich acknowledged concerns over his commitment to foster quality for LGBT employees at the company. But he did not elaborate (or intended not to do so) about his personal beliefs regarding the LGBT community and gay marriages. He also did not mention anything about the controversial donation he gave to the anti-gay marriage movement ProtectMarriage.com.
Mr. Eich said he would continue supporting current community guidelines, which cover anti-discrimination policies and health benefits. He has already gained one supporter, in the person of Mitchell Baker, the Mozilla Foundation’s chairperson and his co-founder in the Netscape project in 1998. She implied her belief that Mr. Eich would uphold equality in the company.