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Outrage, boycotts over Firefox’s new anti-gay CEO

Back in 2008, Brendan Eich donated $1000 to support California's anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8
Brendan Eich was promoted to Firefox and has donated to anti-gay causes in the past.

Some internet users are boycotting Firefox after the company promoted a man who has donated to anti-gay causes to CEO.

Brendan Eich, formerly Mozilla’s chief technology officer and known as the 'father of Javascript', was announced as the man taking over the job yesterday (25 March).

Very soon after the announcement, it was revealed he had donated $1000 (€725) to support California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in 2008.

Hampton and Michael Catlin, a married gay couple who co-founded the software manufacturer Rarebit, have announced they are boycotting Firefox.

In a letter written on their website, they say:

‘Dear Mozilla,

‘As a married gay couple who are co-founders of this venture, we have chosen to boycott all Mozilla projects.

‘We will not develop apps or test styles on Firefox anymore.

‘Effective today, we’re removing Color Puzzle from the Firefox Marketplace and stopping work on all of our Firefox-related applications, notably the about-to-launch Firefox version of the popular Dictionary! app for iPhone and Android.

‘This is in protest of the appointment of Brendan Eich to the position of CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, where he had previously served as CTO.’

Adding: ‘But it’s because of our status as a minority that we simply can’t ignore this slap in the face of giving him a promotion to lead your organization.'

The reason why it is so personal for the couple is because they are a binational couple, Michael is British and was saying in the country on a temporary visa.

Fortunately, they say, Prop 8 was overturned and the couple could marry. Michael could stay in the country and they were able to start a successful company together.

They are now boycotting Firefox until Eich denounces his donation in support of the anti-gay law, or until he leaves the company.

Unlike other companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple, Mozilla has remained mostly silent on gay issues and have refused to speak out in support for equal marriage.

In response to the controversy, a Mozilla spokesperson has said: 'Mozilla has always been deeply committed to honoring diversity in sexual orientation and beliefs within our staff and community, across all the project’s activities.

'One concrete example of this is in our health benefit policies. Mozilla provides the same level of benefits and advantages to domestic partners as we do to married couples across the United States, even in states where it is not mandated.

'For those who choose life insurance, voluntary spouse coverage extends to domestic partners, including same-sex couples.

'With thousands of people spanning many countries and cultures, diversity is core to who we are, and we’re united in our mission to keep the Web open and accessible for everyone.'

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