Mozilla and Brendan Eich: A warning for the Supreme Court

Brian Brown President, National Organization for Marriage
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Two related important and disappointing things happened in the past two weeks involving the gay ‘marriage’ debate.

The first and most troubling of the two developments was the forced departure of Mozilla Corporation’s CEO, Brendan Eich. Six years ago, he made a financial contribution to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign supporting traditional marriage in California. Eich is a highly accomplished technology executive who invented the Java Script programming language, helped found Mozilla — maker of the Firefox web browser — and served as its Chief Technology Officer for many years. The fact that a guy like this could be forced out of his own company says a lot about the power of gay activists today, and their increasingly totalitarian actions.

By every measure, Eich helped foster a work environment of innovation, inclusion and diversity and treated people fairly. His opposition to gay ‘marriage’ was known, and even though it aligned with the position of Barack Obama at the time, it was apparently out of step with the views of many “Mozillians” – people we can reasonably assume nonetheless strongly supported Obama back in 2008 despite his stated views on marriage. Still, the people at Mozilla were able to see past the issue and worked alongside Eich as he helped lead the company’s development throughout the world.

However, that situation changed dramatically when Eich was named CEO of the company. Some employees used the occasion of his promotion to renew criticism of his support of Prop. 8; a couple of board members resigned in protest; and a dating website interrupted Firefox users with a message that declared Eich was an enemy who needed to be defeated. In response, Eich took to social media to assure employees that he valued all equally and would ensure that every person was treated with respect and appreciation. But that was not enough for those who felt that total, unconditional acceptance, support and affirmation of gay marriage is required of today’s corporate leaders. Eich was out within days.

Eich is just the latest and best known victim of those going to totalitarian lengths to push their view of marriage on America and the world. In Oregon, where voters passed a marriage amendment four years before Prop 8 passed in California, a woman named Chauncy Childs was busy remodeling a storefront so she could open a premium natural food store featuring organic produce and locally-raised, natural meat. It seemed an ideal fit for the progressive Portland neighborhood, and folks were eagerly looking forward to the store’s opening. But then “rumors” started to circulate about Ms. Childs, and soon someone discovered that she had committed an unforgiveable sin – a Mormon, Ms. Childs opposed gay marriage. Now, gay activists are boycotting the store and telling her to leave the area. When a restaurant owner who supports gay ‘marriage publicly came to Childs’ defense, gay activists called for a boycott of him, too.

With Brendan Eich’s head on a stick and support for traditional marriage an invitation to be boycotted, you can bet totalitarians in the gay ‘marriage’ movement are emboldened. Which brings me to the second development in the marriage debate — the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court not to grant review of the New Mexico case where a Christian photographer declined to deploy her talents to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony because it violated her deeply held beliefs.

There were plenty of other talented photographers with no such objections, and the lesbian couple had no difficulty finding an alternative. No matter. The lesbian couple filed a complaint and the New Mexico Supreme Court eventually ruled that the photographer must agree to participate in a gay union ceremony regardless of her beliefs. One judge even said doing so was a “price of citizenship.”

By declining to hear this important case, the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively endorsed the totalitarians who demand complete fealty to the gay marriage cause. The new reality is that no dissent will be tolerated and no exceptions will be considered. You will accept gay marriage or you will be punished. And if by words or actions you dare to publicly express your disagreement with the new order like Brendan Eich or Chauncy Childs, then you have forfeited your right even to make a living and will be banished to the shadows of society.

Gay activists used to say that allowing gay marriage would never hurt anyone. They can’t say that anymore, and it will only get worse if the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately decides to redefine marriage for the entire country.

Brian S. Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage.