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Mozilla CEO resigns after OKCupid, others protest his support of anti-gay Proposition 8

By Daniel S Levine,

After a week as Mozilla’s chief executive the company’s co-founder, Brendan Eich has stepped down. The move came quickly after OKCupid’s protest of Mozilla and its FireFox browser quickly gained attention and other protested Eich’s support of California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 resolution.

As previously reported, OKCupid put up a wall for FireFox users, blocking them from the dating site if they used the browser. Its statement called Eich an “opponent of equal rights for gay couples.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Eich donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of California. It was later overturned by the Supreme Court last year and unions are now legal, but his support still came back to haunt Eich.

His resignation was announced by the company in a blog post. “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard,” Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, wrote.

It turns out that Eich’s appointment to CEO last week was also controversial within the company. The WSJ notes that three board members resigned and other key members of the company have recently left.

Baker wrote today that the future of the company’s leadership is still being discussed.

“We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week,” she wrote. “However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open Web.”

 

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