The Spectacle Blog

More on Brendan Eich’s Forced Resignation

By on 4.5.14 | 1:13AM

I share Bill Zeiser's outrage concerning Brendan Eich being forced to walk the plank at Mozilla because he had the temerity to donate his own money back in 2008 in support of Proposition 8 in California which sought to ban gay marriage. He was forced out by people who might not have careers if it were not for Eich's hard work and innovation. Some reward.

If one looks at this rationally why should gay rights advocates give a damn if Eich gave money in support of Proposition 8? Although Prop 8 did pass in November 2008, it was struck down by a federal judge less than two years later and that decision was upheld in the appellate courts and eventually in the Supreme Court. The last I checked same sex marriage is legal in California despite Eich's modest efforts.

But when it comes to gay marriage, many of its advocates cannot and will not act rationally. In his piece at NRO, Charles C.W. Cooke cites Owen Thomas' demands that Eich repudiate his support for Proposition 8 and donate the equivalent amount of money to the Human Rights Campaign or another LGBT organization that he donated in support of Prop 8. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call a shakedown. 

Like Cooke, I support gay marriage. But like Cooke, I also don't believe that people who oppose same sex marriage should be deprived of earning a living, engaging in commerce or otherwise pursuing economic opportunities. I look at l'affaire Eich in much the same way I viewed former Boston Mayor Tom Menino's refusal to let Chick-fil-A open a restaurant near Fanueil Hall in the summer of 2012 because of owner Dan Cathay's views against same sex marriage. If Chick-fil-A could pay the rent then it wasn't for Menino to say they couldn't open their doors nor was there any evidence that Chick-fil-A had ever discriminated against any of their customers or employees who happened to be LGBT. Although this spawned a nationwide protest, Chick-fil-A ultimately did not open a restaurant in Downtown Boston and we are poorer for it. 

With that said, I do part company with Seth Mandel at Commentary when he makes the case that the injustice against Eich should be lumped in together with bakers who won't make a wedding cake for same sex couples. Just as Mozilla is depriving Eich of earning a living and Menino deprived Chick-fil-A of pursuing an economic opportunity in Boston, some Christian bakers and some Muslim cab drivers, respectively, have deprived same sex couples and blind persons with guide dogs of the ability to engage in commerce. 
 
What is most troubling of all is that if someone can lose his job over donating his money in opposition to same sex marriage then tomorrow someone can lose their job over donating their money to support Israel, fracking or pro-life causes and then the day after someone can lose their job for donating their money to Republicans. If the Left has their way this is what will come to pass. Unfortunately, the Left is so used to getting its way that it doesn't think it can be unreasonable. The only remedy here is stopping the Left from getting its way.
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