Why Hillary Clinton can’t be president of Mozilla or the United States

Ross Perot once promised to run the federal government like a business. A good idea. Perhaps the business it should be run like is Mozilla.

If so, that would leave fellow 1990s throwback — and current 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner — Hillary Clinton out of the White House. She and Perot can appear together in “Where Are They Now” features instead.

You will recall that Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, gave CEO Brendan Eich the boot over a single $1,000 contribution to Proposition 8. That was a 2008 ballot initiative that said simply, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Eich, the creator of JavaScript, was such a militant on the subject that nobody knew what his views were until after the donation was reported. Those views were shared by a small majority of Californians at the time, as Prop 8 passed while Barack Obama was carrying the state.

In fact, Obama should probably resign as CEO too — CEO of the United States government, that is. He also said at the time he believed marriage was between a man and a woman. His running mate, Joe Biden, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. In a 2004 Senate debate with Alan Keyes, Obama even denied marriage was a civil right.

After Obama officially changed his mind in May 2012, there was a noticeable shift in black support for gay marriage. More than 70 percent of California’s black voters supported Proposition 8 in 2008. If Obama had “evolved” (his word) faster, maybe Prop 8 would never have passed.

But Obama’s opposition to same-sex marriage was always mostly rhetorical, if it was ever sincere. (It contradicted the answer he gave a gay media outlet in 1996, which might have made him the only person in America to support gay marriage in 1996 but oppose it in early 2012.) He opposed the federal Defense of Marriage Act as early as 2008 and never supported any state-level Prop 8-style ballot initiatives.

Not so for Hillary Clinton. Her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996. Most Democrats in both houses of Congress voted in favor. This legislation denied federal recognition of same-sex marriage and allowed states to enact laws like Prop 8: no same-sex marriage in their state or recognition of such unions in other states.

Hillary herself then defended this law for over a decade. Even when the press described her as “repudiating” it in 2007, she only favored repealing one section.

“Marriage hasĀ got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman,” she said in January 2000, eleven months before she was elected senator in New York. She said during that campaign that she would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act.

In 2006, Senator Clinton voted against a proposed federal marriage amendment, but asserted marriage is “not just a bond, but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.” She added that she believed “the fundamental bedrock principle that [marriage] exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.”

Clinton continued to oppose same-sex marriage as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, the same year Prop 8 passed. During that campaign she said, “I believe that DOMA served a very important purpose.”