Responding to scrutiny over hiring a CEO who had supported California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, Mozilla has announced that the company supports full LGBT equality, including the freedom to marry:
Over the past few days we have been asked a number of questions about Brendan Eich’s appointment as CEO. This post is to clarify Mozilla’s official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people.
Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just. This is why Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.
The post goes on to point out that Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines include nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, also weighed in on the controversy, calling Mozilla “messy” because of its community structure:
I worry that Mozilla is in a tough spot right now. I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves, that people are angry and don’t know who we are or where we stand. And, I worry that in the time it takes to work this through and explain ourselves the things I love about Mozilla will be deeply damaged. And I suspect others do to.
If you are a Mozillian, I ask that you help the people around you understand who we are. And, if you have supported Mozilla in the past are frustrated or angry with us, I ask you for kindness and patience.
What Mozilla is about is working through these things, even when they’re hard. Because the web need us to. It’s that important.
Despite the clarification of the organization’s position, Eich himself has avoided accountability for his Prop 8 donation. In his own statement following the backlash, he expressed his “sorrow at having caused pain,” but did not directly apologize for the donation, nor speak at all about his position on same-sex couples marrying.
Three members of Mozilla’s board members, John Lilly, Ellen Siminoff, and Gary Kovacs (who Eich replaced as CEO), stepped down this weekend, though Mozilla says the decisions were not connected to the controversy around Eich.