Gay People Are Shrill

And they should be- Bruni:

Something remarkable has happened — something that’s mostly exciting but also a little disturbing (I’ll get to the disturbing part later), and that’s reflected not just in Eich’s ouster at Mozilla, the maker of the web browser Firefox, but in a string of marriage-equality victories in federal courts over recent months, including a statement Friday by a judge who said that he would rule that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

And the development I’m referring to isn’t the broadening support for same-sex marriage, which a clear majority of Americans now favor. No, I’m referring to the fact that in a great many circles, endorsement of same-sex marriage has rather suddenly become nonnegotiable. Expected. Assumed. Proof of a baseline level of enlightenment and humanity. Akin to the understanding that all people, regardless of race or color, warrant the same rights and respect.

***

There was no such acknowledgment from Mozilla employees and others who took to Twitter to condemn Eich and call for his head. Writing about that wrath in his blog, The Dish, Andrew Sullivan said that it disgusted him, “as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.” A leading supporter of gay marriage, Sullivan warned other supporters not to practice “a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else.”

I can’t get quite as worked up as he did. For one thing, prominent gay rights groups weren’t part of the Mozilla fray. For another, Mozilla isn’t the first company to make leadership decisions (or reconsiderations) with an eye toward the boss’s cultural mind-meld with the people below him or her. And if you believe that to deny a class of people the right to marry is to deem them less worthy, it’s indeed difficult to chalk up opposition to marriage equality as just another difference of opinion.

But it’s vital to remember how very recently so many of equality’s promoters, like Obama and Clinton, have come around and how relatively new this conversation remains. It’s crucial not to lose sight of how well the movement has been served by the less judgmental posture that Becker pointed out.

Sullivan is right to raise concerns about the public flogging of someone like Eich. Such vilification won’t accelerate the timetable of victory, which is certain. And it doesn’t reflect well on the victors.

You could probably write an entire book chapter on false equivalence from that. I mean, how dare gay people demand equal rights and when someone tries to kick them down the ladder of society, once again, they should just take it and not fight back. No. They should keep up the pressure. And the whole notion that a tolerant society must be tolerant of bigots is about as dumb as your garden variety wingnut running around screaming about reverse racism.

At any rate, so thrilled our opinions leaders are on the lookout for gay intolerance. There are seriously days when I wonder why I subscribe to the Times.

88 replies
  1. 1
    cokane says:

    i get that all this stuff has happened really quickly but seriously would anyone question a ceo having to step down who said he was against miscegenation?

  2. 2
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    The only thing worth reading in the NYT is Krugman. Journalism in this country has gone whole corporate whore.

  3. 3
    yoohoocthulhu says:

    You know, I can see the argument that kicking Eich is just equality advocates giving as good as they get.

    I can’t help but think it’s holding us to a remarkably low standard though, considering the number of people who’ve been kicked out of their jobs in the past for being gay. The same arguments apply, especially when it didn’t impact his job performance or how he treated employees in any documented way.

  4. 4

    @cokane: Brooks world, in a heartbeat.

  5. 5
    Jamey says:

    Re: The whole Brendan Eich/Mozilla thing:

    I fret over every FB posting and Tweet out of fear that it would jeopardize my professional status. Guys like Brendan Eich who would presume the privilege of not hiring me because I posted something off-color about an abortion clinic bomber back in 2010 surely should understand that his donation to an astroturf group dedicated to denying civil rights to a whole class of people might cause him to do some ‘splainin’ a bit down the road…

    Leaving aside the whole question of “fairness,” seriously, Mr. “I-Invented-Javascript-and-My-Browser-Is-Best-at-Protecting-Privacy,” you of all people should have seen this coming.

  6. 6
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    And you got a good car. I drove one upside down through Philadelphia 30+ years ago. Everyone walked away and I drove it for another 10 years and 160000 miles.

  7. 7
    Chris says:

    Sullivan is right to raise concerns about the public flogging of someone like Eich. Such vilification won’t accelerate the timetable of victory, which is certain. And it doesn’t reflect well on the victors.

    Well, so fucking what?

    For the decades on end when they were “the victors,” did they ever concern themselves about how things reflected on them? When they were preaching from the pulpit (as most of them still are) that homosexuality was an abomination, that it caused AIDS, that it was equivalent to pedophilia, did/do they ever care how it reflects on them? When they went on a binge of anti-gay-marriage amendments ten years ago because hey, majority’s on our side, did they ever pause and go “oh, my. This reflects badly on me. I should be magnanimous in victory?” Why shouldn’t they tear into a homophobe for being exactly that?

    As for equivalence between the gay rights movement and the religious right, call me back when the gay rights movement begins getting laws passed forbidding fundiegelicals from marrying, forbidding them from adopting, forbidding them from serving in the military, etc. Until then… shut the fuck up, homophobes.

  8. 8
    RandomMonster says:

    There were people in the 19th century saying we need to go slow with this whole abolishment of slavery thing.

  9. 9
    Trentrunner says:

    “Public flogging”–a CEO losing his lucrative job–is EXACTLY what I want.

    I want it to be SHAMEFUL to espouse anti-gay views.

    Remember, Eich could have easily said, “Yes, I supported Prop 8 five years ago, but like many Americans, I’ve evolved.”

    He could have said that. He didn’t, because he hasn’t evolved.

    He can spend a few months thinking over his views and jobhunting. Fine by me.

    And Andrew Sullivan–remember, lefties, his FIRST reaction in days after 9/11 was to say, out loud, that the left would be a “fifth column” in this new fight. He may not traffic with the radical right, but he HATES liberals with every fiber of his being.

    Never, ever trust him.

  10. 10
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Richard Shindledecker: Oh, come on, now. Gail Collins is almost always very good, and never very bad.

  11. 11
    eric says:

    welcome to democracy with a little ‘d’ bitches. this is how it works, for better and for worse. What you see here are true anti-democratic impulses….Trust your betters as to when to protest or which cause is worth fighting. Sorry, the “mob” decides what it wants, when it wants. Civil and rational discourse provide the only non-authoritarian means to controlling democratic impulses and it is not as if our betters set the example on that.

  12. 12

    I’m old enough to remember the same argument Bruni and Sullivan used 50 years ago about blacks not agitating, rocking the boat, and giving their opponents ammunition… all from white people who didn’t know shit about the real struggle for civil rights but were helpfully “on their side.”

    The fact that both Bruni and Sullivan are gay doesn’t give them the cover to tell the rest of us not to agitate and rock the boat. Stop helping, guys.

  13. 13
    🍀 Martin says:

    Has anyone considered that this is merely the citizenry responding to the growth of money in politics? How often does the public have an opportunity to impact someone for their political donations?

  14. 14
    TOP123 says:

    @Chris: Yep.

  15. 15
    KG says:

    @cokane: today? no. in 1966? probably.

    personally I think the Eich story is mostly a nothingburger. as all powerful as most CEOs think they are, they’re royally, and properly, fucked if their employees decide they don’t like them. Mozilla may have been looking at open rebellion among its employees if Eich stayed on. that’s bad for business. history seems to move faster today than it did fifty years ago (hell, it seems to move faster now than it did fifteen years ago), so this change is somewhat shocking for some. but it is the way of the world today and in the future. thus, nothingburger.

  16. 16
    scav says:

    I’m still baffled by the apparent speed, power and omniscience of these so-called monolithic gay activists that somehow got him to resign (and pre-emptively get board members to resign?) before I’d barely heard what the issue was! Damn our overlords are good! Must go to the same inept Tardis-wielding omnipotence classes as Obama though, with their ability to manage that and still be subject to legitimated discrimination in so many venues.

    and what @Chris: said. Somehow it’s all “protect minority delicate sensibilities and feeeeeelings!” now that they’re not in the majority.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I invite Bruni, most cordially, to find a fire to die in.

    Also, too, with a broad smile on my face, va tu faire foutre, trouduc

  18. 18

    @🍀 Martin: Yup. Slowly but surely the light bulbs are firing up.

  19. 19
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    And the whole notion that a tolerant society must be tolerant of bigots is about as dumb as your garden variety wingnut running around screaming about reverse racism.

    Precisely this.
    A first order reading of disagreements over cultural practices might lead one to believe that opinions differ and to each his own, leave the guy alone. But this isn’t about vegetarianism or religious choice. It’s about rights, which are inherent to being human. If you recognize that same sex couples should have the same options as heterocouples then you don’t just calmly disagree and move on. You stand up for those who are being denied and you keep doing it until that injustice is corrected.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cokane: Richard Cohen would be aghast that anyone would suggest that a CEO should be fired for such a statement. I mean, normal people just don’t approve of that sort of thing, you know.

  21. 21
    DonBoy says:

    This is what it looks like when an argument has been thoroughly won — holding the other side becomes out of bounds. The argument of those who are crying about Eich is that the pro-SSM people are allowed to make their argument; they’re just not allowed to win it.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    But this isn’t about vegetarianism or religious choice.

    Oh, our modern “Christians” would disagree. Unless the rest of us acquiesce to their demands that their bigotries not only be tolerated, but enshrined in law and imposed on everyone, we’re stomping on their religious rights.

    To this I say, bring on the tumbrels. Time to clean up this society.

  23. 23
    RepubAnon says:

    Funny, I don’t recall Mr. Bruni making a similar outcry when Shirley Sherrod resigned during the media storm following the charges of unacceptable prejudice leveled against her – even after the charges were proven false. I guess only certain types of prejudice merit losing one’s job.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    Let me add –

    Sullivan is right to raise concerns about the public flogging of someone like Eich. Such vilification won’t accelerate the timetable of victory, which is certain. And it doesn’t reflect well on the victors.

    The reason this kind of thing pisses me off is that it’s what we start hearing every fucking time a minority begins to actually progress towards equality (be careful! Think of the bigots’ feelings! Yes, These People used to be oppressed, but it’s all over now, and we must beware the scourge of reverse racism!”)

    After a few short years of Reconstruction, Congress decided that it had “gone too far” or some such nonsense, put an end to the entire project, and the official narrative for close to a hundred years after that was Birth Of A Nation bullshit about how much DamYankee Carpetbaggers and violent black terrorists had harmed the poor hapless whites. Under the cover of that, the Confederacy was allowed to return in all but name and turned the place into a one-party state governed through terror until Washington finally (and temporarily) grew a conscience again.

    After civil rights, we got white backlash again, in the guise of a paper-thin “war on drugs” that quickly turned into a war on the inner cities and a license to lock up poor nonwhites by the truckload for the profit of the prison-industrial complex – it still hasn’t ended and is now being complemented by a return to poll tax type measures. All while well-thinking polite society bleats about the dangers of “reverse racism” and (my personal contender for Worst Political Phrase Ever) “political correctness.”

    This pushback on gay rights is them attempting the same thing again, and for my money the gay rights community can best serve its purpose by not giving them an inch. (Gay marriage still isn’t even legal in most states, so the idea that they’re going too far in any way is fucking laughable. Keep pushing, and if they call it “fanaticism,” fuck them).

  25. 25
    Hungry Joe says:

    It’s kind of staggering, really, how many very, very bad columnists the NY Times employs. Today’s befuddling (yet again) contribution from MoDo is about how she’s discovered “Game of Thrones” and how much she loves it. The column is fucking FEATURED — starts out front in the Sunday Review. Is there no one in that newsroom with enough power and sense to say, “No, we’re not going to print her crapola anymore. It’s embarrassing us”? Though were I that mythical guy, Brooksie and Asshat would go first.

    Also today: Times gives McArdle’s tome a positive review. Now, where’d I put that ricin … ?

  26. 26
    Calouste says:

    Why do people think that Sullivan is an advocate for gay marriage? He is an advocate for marriage for Andrew Sullivan, and he is gay. To draw the conclusion from those two facts that he would want to extend rights to other people would ignore the gist of a lot of what he has written. He is happy in his separate-but-equal world, specially as long as he is a bit more equal than others.

  27. 27
    tsquared2001 says:

    And the whole notion that a tolerant society must be tolerant of bigots is about as dumb as your garden variety wingnut running around screaming about reverse racism.

    Said a whole lot right there

  28. 28
    Trentrunner says:

    I’d also like to point out that all this tone-trolling about insufficient magnanimity and being “sore winners”:

    We haven’t won yet. Marriage is not equal in more than half of the 50 states. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal nationwide (with some individual states protecting gay workers).

    This is not over. Put the boot on the fucking neck of this bigoted mentality, and banish it not just from our laws but also from polite, civilized society.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Calouste: Exactly.

    Andrew Sullivan’s concerns about rights end where he does. Everyone else can fend for themselves.

    It’s completely about Andy, peer of the realm wannabe, all the time.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    C’mon, guys. It’s not like Eich did something that horrible, like write a successful amicus brief for the NAACP on behalf of Mumia. Now that’s a reason to deny someone a job.

  31. 31
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Remember, Eich could have easily said, “Yes, I supported Prop 8 five years ago, but like many Americans, I’ve evolved.”

    He could have said that. He didn’t, because he hasn’t evolved.

    This is a great point. Every time someone brings up Obama’s evolution on the issue, we should bring this up- has Eich evolved? Have you? If not then shut the fuck up.

  32. 32
    J.Ty says:

    This whole thing stinks to high heaven. I’m really supposed to believe that half the board resigned because of something he did in 2008?

    It’s obviously because he invented javascript. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

  33. 33
    Tractarian says:

    What pisses me off the most about this whole thing is that people like Sullivan and Bruni assume it is “left-liberal” “gay activists” that orchestrated Eich’s ouster. If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that support for marriage-equality is not a liberal-only or gay-only phenomenon. It’s pretty much a society-wide phenomenon at this point. So why assume that Eich was the victim of leftists?

  34. 34
    Calouste says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Realize that Eich is such a hardcore anti-gay bigot that he preferred to resign from his well paid job rather than write a public apology and donate a few grand to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course he would have had to admit that he was wrong, which for a lot of CEO-types is a fate worse than death.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    gbear says:

    @Richard Shindledecker:

    The only thing worth reading in the NYT is Krugman

    Actually, the ‘Reader’s Picks’ comments to almost any NYT story tend to be well worth reading. They’re often more enlightening than the original story. They’re taking Bruni to the cleaners on this op-ed.

    One of my favorites so far:

    The only thing that’s changed is that the conversation is becoming more honest. When Mr. Eich (or Mr. Obama, for that matter) was supporting legal discrimination, LGBT people who saw that, rightly, as based in ignorance or prejudice or opportunism, simply were not permitted to join the conversation, a media conversation that showed more repsect for homophobes than for their victims. The fact that more people embraced discrimination 6 months or 6 years ago didn’t make it more palatable or benign for those it affected; it made it worse, because prejudice was the status quo. We’re beyond that. In some ways I have more patience with Mr. Eich, whom I imagine to be just ignorant, than with people like Andrew Sullivan, who seems bizarrely anxious to reassure everyone that it’s OK to hate or “disapprove” of his existence

    A few people are pointing out what a straw-man argument it is to compare Obama and Clinton to Eich. Eich is the only one of the three to actively work towards taking away rights from same-sex couples -rights that had already been granted in California before Prop 8 took them away.

  37. 37
    Soonergrunt says:

    Why do messers Sullivan and Bruni think that I owe Mr. Eich anything but contempt? I choose not to empower people like him and the people who run Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, who would harm those I love by doing business with them.
    The fact that in all three cases their products are crap I wouldn’t use anyway is icing on the cake.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    Shorter pundits: It’s nice that we have made social progress, but can we do without the accountability for the people who were wrong? We don’t like accountability.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @🍀 Martin: Well, maybe. I think I’ll need to see it in action another 100 times to be sure. :-)

  40. 40
    p.a. says:

    They only call it class war when the 99% fight back. They only call it bigotry when their targets fight back. They only call it incivility when their targets get public support.

  41. 41
    Mr Blifil says:

    Doesn’t Andrew Sullivan advertise for bareback sex? Doesn’t this disqualify him as being seen as any kind of voice of sanity on the question of gay gender politics?

  42. 42
    WaterGirl says:

    @KG: @scav: I read somewhere in the first day of reporting than the board members who stepped down didn’t want him in place for other reasons, so we underlings may not deserve all the credit being given for him leaving.

  43. 43
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trentrunner:

    We haven’t won yet.

    This. The time for being magnanimous is when being opposed to gay marriage is as rare as believing the Earth is flat or disease is caused by witchcraft, not when there’s still a substantial fight underway.

  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    @Calouste:

    Why do people think that Sullivan is an advocate for gay marriage? He is an advocate for marriage for Andrew Sullivan, and he is gay. To draw the conclusion from those two facts that he would want to extend rights to other people would ignore the gist of a lot of what he has written. He is happy in his separate-but-equal world, specially as long as he is a bit more equal than others.

    Shorter: Andrew Sullivan is an advocate for Andrew Sullivan.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    @WaterGirl: ‘zactly only I was saying it backwards. The more I hear of this, the more it seems there are bigger fish swimming under the dark waters. This moved way too fast.

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    Yes, it’s the point I’ve been making: it all happened so quickly that it wasn’t “market forces” or boycotts or anything like that. It was a corporate culture saying “We don’t accept this,” backed by society having experienced an inflection point. It’s not really up for negotiation anymore — the tide has turned and it’s not turning back.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tractarian:

    So why assume that Eich was the victim of leftists?

    Because that’s who they like blaming for stuff.

  48. 48
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tractarian:

    …support for marriage-equality is not a liberal-only or gay-only phenomenon. It’s pretty much a society-wide phenomenon at this point.

    DING!

    So why assume that Eich was the victim of leftists?

    Because once again conservatives are obsessed with fighting yesterday’s battles forever. They haven’t caught on to the overall change in society yet.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    @different-church-lady: Might even be about other issues entirely in the dark shark-infested waters of the boardroom. Although we are seeing more and more companies making stronger stands on the issue, so there is hope of the inflection point weighing in as well.

  50. 50
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I wonder…

    If it came out (heh) that a newly-hired rank-and-file Mozilla employee (developer, tester, accountant, whatever) had also donated $1000 in support of Prop 8, should that employee also be expected to resign?

    This is an entirely serious question.

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @scav: Even if the Prop. 8 donation was just the cover story, that in itself would indicate a sea-change.

    But it sure a hell wasn’t about gay advocacy groups hounding him out of the valley.

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: CEO at Mozilla isn’t a typical CEO position. It’s not a slot for a business person. It is the public face of the company, somebody who is supposed to make people feel warm and cuddly about Mozilla and make devs want to write plugins/extensions/apps.

    I think a run of the mill coder could do her job (write code) no matter how bigoted they were. A person in a PR position can’t be taken seriously, especially in the greater SF area, if they want to treat large portions of the population as less than human.

  53. 53

    1) We haven’t won yet. Let’s get marriage equality for the MAJORITY of same-sex couples raising kids in this nation–the ones in the Deep South–then discuss proper sportsmanship and refraining from spiking the ball.

    2) What Mr. Eich’s money bought was repulsive. It led to increased rates of school bullying, suicide and assault–because the ads’ theme was ‘These gay people are despicable pedophile perverts and they’re after your kids’. He ought to be ashamed of funding the production and airing of those ads. Not his views. What he demonstrably did with his money was inhumane and disgusting, and the fact that Frank Bruni of all people failed to make that distinction disappoints me.

    Shorter: ‘Homosexual, please!’ to Bruni & Sullivan.

  54. 54
    MaxL says:

    Isn’t the real issue that employers shouldn’t make us all have to police our thoughts outside of work? Especially when those thoughts weren’t even controversial at the time.

    Let’s keep in mind that Prop 8 was in 2008, the same year that Hilary and Obama were both publicly against marriage equality, as the Times block quote notes indirectly. The man didn’t say or do anything that would have been considered anything but mainstream thought in 2008. I mean, Prop 8 passed. In California.

    The good news is that a lot has changed since then. The bad news is that the thought police are acting retroactively. If Eich had publicly renounced his previous support for Prop 8 and been able to keep his job, would that have made his apostasy tolerable? What a lovely spectacle that would have been.

    What if Eich had been CEO of Hobby Lobby instead of Mozilla? What if he had come to his senses one fine morning and become an atheist and spent some dollars, outside of work, to promote the separation of church and state and was promptly fired for it after a rightwing freakout on the internets? Should he have been fired from from his job? Or should he have been able to keep it if he recanted and had come back into the waiting arms of jeebus.

    it’s the same turd, different varnish.

  55. 55

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Not as long as s/he accepts that there is no promotion path for a person who has demonstrated prejudice against other humans. But if you want to move up into management, in any company, one of the criteria for supervising other humans is treating them fairly, based on their work, not their demographics.

    Giving money to a campaign vilifying gay couples and demeaning their children is not a good indication that you have promise as a manager.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    If it came out (heh) that a newly-hired rank-and-file Mozilla employee (developer, tester, accountant, whatever) had also donated $1000 in support of Prop 8, should that employee also be expected to resign?

    No. Management has different responsibilities from regular employees. Managers in general have a legal obligation to make sure the workplace is free from discrimination. The CEO sets the tone for the whole company in the way that no other employee does, and that makes it especially important that the CEO be seen as treating everyone in the company fairly. Being exposed as a bigot is a bigger deal for any manager than for a line employee, and it’s biggest of all for the CEO. That’s especially true in an organization like Mozilla that depends critically on volunteer labor for a lot of its code and needs to be seen as welcoming to anyone who wants to participate.

  57. 57
    Persia says:

    @Chris: Yeah, I listened to Dan Savage’s podcast in the first time…shit, in years. And he was talking to a conservative friend who asked him if he’d settle for universal civil unions. And Dan said, yeah, we probably would have, in 1984. And what happened then was that a community that was literally dying was being treated like shit by a bunch of conservatives, including self-proclaimed Christians. So fuck ’em. Salt the earth when they’re gone.

  58. 58
    MikeJ says:

    @Roger Moore: It should be pointed out that he had been technical director before CEO, and there was no great push to drive him out. His previous job was almost entirely dealing with tech. His new position was explicitly to sweet talk devs. He could have stayed on in his old position with only minor grumbling.

  59. 59
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Chris:

    As for equivalence between the gay rights movement and the religious right, call me back when the gay rights movement begins getting laws passed forbidding fundiegelicals from marrying, forbidding them from adopting, forbidding them from serving in the military

    Amen, brother.

    Heck, if we could just get a law to keep Newt Gingrich from marrying again!

  60. 60
    Groucho48 says:

    So, a group pf corporate executives make an informed decision that having a bigot as their CEO would hurt them in the marketplace. So, they made a free market decision to sever ties with the bigot. For the last half century at least, the right has been screaming that we don’t need government interference into civil rights because the free market was capable of rooting out discrimination in a fair and organic way.

    Then, the invisible boot of the free market landed on a bigot’s butt and, suddenly, the right isn’t so happy with the mechanism, after all. Leads one to think that maybe they never expected the mechanism to work as they claimed it would?

  61. 61
    Gex says:

    There was a time for being a little more patient and tolerant of leaders. And that was when being on our side could prevent them from getting that leadership position. That time is in the past, or if not, it soon will be. And it is only right to push very hard to make sure the people who hold and wield power GOING FORWARD are not people who think of me as a second class citizen. Someone who’s instinct tells him to use his money and his power to control and negatively affect my life? No. Just no.

    How do these people think change is going to happen? This is how change happens. And to fight this is to fight change.

    And in any event, this is just people saying they don’t want to work for a homophobe CEO or people saying they don’t want to use the browser by a company run by a homophobe CEO. What would Sullivan and Bruni do? FORCE gay people (and straight allies) to do something they don’t want to do? How is “freedom” served by telling gay people they have to just put up with this even though they would like to make an individual decision not to support a company with Eich as its head? I’d like to hear their answer to that. Because all I hear from Sullivan is an active attempt to tell gay people to STFU in order to preserve the “free speech rights” of Eich.

  62. 62
    ruemara says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    This is an entirely seriousGIGO question.

  63. 63
    liberal says:

    Yawn. These right-wing wuss-asses don’t understand that all’s fair in love and war?

  64. 64
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Groucho48:

    Those same executives hired the man; they share some responsibility for this mess.

  65. 65
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Roger Moore: What level of management is the dividing line, then? CEO? VP? Director? PM? Anyone with a direct report?

  66. 66
    sheldon vogt says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:
    Absolutely! If there’s anyone who should be held to account–who we should expect to explain their actions–it’s the board who hired him as CEO.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Groucho48:

    Leads one to think that maybe they never expected the mechanism to work as they claimed it would?

    I am shocked, shocked at your cynicism about the pure as the driven snow under a Chinese coal powered electricity plant notions of the right.

  68. 68
    Marc says:

    Oh my god, have you seen Sullivan’s latest? “When you’ve lost Bill Maher, you’ve lost a lot of people.” I shit you not.

    Josh Marshall had a much better take on this. My guess is we can expect Sullivan to sign on in two days, give or take, after the vapors have passed.

  69. 69
    Fred Fnord says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: If you aren’t able to tolerate a certain amount of ambiguity, you might want to consider sticking with computers.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    it’s this simple.

    nobody itook away his FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    but, FREEDOM CONTAINS RESPONSIBILITY.

    see,that’s what this is all about.

    His defenders don’t want to accept the CONSEQUENCES of EXPRESSING HIS FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    same thing with the mofos who wanted to defend Dr. Laura.

    NOBODY said that she couldn’t say NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER.

    BUT, if there are FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES, in the marketplace for doing so,

    STFU and take it like a man.

  71. 71
    feebog says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    @Roger Moore: What level of management is the dividing line, then? CEO? VP? Director? PM? Anyone with a direct report?

    Roger is quite capable of answering this himself, but I am going to one up him. The answer is anyone with supervisory responsibility. If you can’t supervise employees in a completely open and fair manner, you have no business supervising or managing anyone, period.

  72. 72
    Quiddity says:

    I fully support John’s approval of companies scouring the donation lists to candidates and propositions, and firing as appropriate.

    As part of this affair, there have been numerous calls for Eich to recant and confess his errors. More of that please.

  73. 73
    Comrade Veidt says:

    Since you and Atrios are both screaming at two gay men, I’m curious what you and the majority of commenters here, straight white men, thought about homosexuality 25 years ago. No fag jokes ever?

  74. 74
    Jamey says:

    @Marc:

    Oh my god, have you seen Sullivan’s latest?

    No. Andy moving behind the paywall has been a marvelous thing: He can preach only to the faithful and get paid enough to feather his Ptown/Gtown nests; I don’t have to tolerate his solipsistic Thatcherite fucktardery infecting the real world. It’s win/win… except that when I lay my head upon the pillow at night, I can rejoice that at least I’m not Andy Sullivan.

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    @Groucho48:

    So, a group of corporate executives make an informed decision that having a bigot as their CEO would hurt them in the marketplace. So, they made a free market decision to sever ties with the bigot.

    Exactly. And to rub salt in the wound, those corporate executives made that decision to sever ties because the consumers of Mozilla products made it clear that boycotts of their products would ensue if Eich remained.

    Eich’s downfall provided wonderful examples of corporate incompetence, and the free market at work.

  76. 76
    The Very Revered Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Comrade Veidt: I was arrested in die-ins with ACT UP. I buried every fucking human being I loved, for slightly more than a decade, including FOUR lovers. I cofounded the AIDS Project of Southeast Missouri, wrote as a gay journalist, was the GLAAD rep for my part of the state, helped coordinate and implement the Fight The Right campaign (which we won) when the bigots in the state legislature tried to pass a Colorado-style amendment 2, and served as the Ryan White delegate for my region for two years. Bruni (whom I ordinarily like) and Sullivan (who is an abomination) can go fuck themselves sideways with their Auntie Tom bullshit. Do THOSE credentials qualify ME to yell at a couple of gay men, bitch?

  77. 77
    Joey Giraud says:

    the whole notion that a tolerant society must be tolerant of bigots

    You know that thing about Free Speech applying to people who say things you hate?

    How is this any different? *Of course* a tolerant society must be tolerant of bigots, just like Batman won’t kill the Joker even though the Joker should die.

    Gay marriage is winning. Why feel the need to kick people who don’t “get with the program” quickly enough for you?

  78. 78
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Comrade Veidt:

    I’m curious what you and the majority of commenters here, straight white men, thought about homosexuality 25 years ago. No fag jokes ever?

    Of course we made fun of homosexuality, even at the same time I had a number of gay friends ( lot’s in music and theater. ) It’s still fun to speak with a lisp and a flick of the wrist, something like “fairieths pranthing on a warm thummer’s eve….” It’s a generational thing…

    ( my dad’s generation really enjoyed drag… a lot. )

    I’ve also had Oriental friends, Jewish friends, black friends and even an American Indian or two, and we’ve mutually enjoyed mocking the stereotypes. ( aso, oy-vey, whazzup, heap big sausage! )

    Too many politically correct and overly sensitive culture crusaders these days.

    Although it is a bit ironic that gays are able to marry now at a time when more and more straights are coming to view marriage as a sucker’s game.

  79. 79
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Comrade Veidt: The fuck difference does it make where we were and what we were doing 25 years ago? We’ve grown up since then. Eich didn’t.

  80. 80
    Marc says:

    We must pardon Brendan Eich for what he did 25 years ago, in 2008.

    And Mozilla must respect his first amendment right to be their CEO.

  81. 81
    estamm says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Nobody is working for that employee and that employee is not the ‘face’ of the company, so no, no one would care. But they might draw the ire of his/her co-workers if others became aware of it.

  82. 82
    estamm says:

    @Comrade Veidt: Good question! In the late 70’s when I was in high school, I was called a fag more often than I can count, even though I wasn’t. (Not there is anything wrong with that.) I am sure that I made a few gay jokes along the way, but I never – ever – was against gay rights. I think that people who are secure in their sexuality (whatever it may be) are less apt to vilify others for theirs. I also firmly believe that people are born gay (either via genetics or for pre-natal factors), so to hate on people for the way that they are born really makes no sense to me.

  83. 83
    Comrade Veidt says:

    Anyone ideologically driven one way or the other is driven mostly by fear. One teenage adventure would rock anyone’s boat. But girls experiment more than boys.

    This who thread is guilty straight-boy moralizing. More catholic than the pope. “STRAIGHTS FOR GAYS YOU SELF-HATING FAGGOT!” etc. “some of my best friends are jews/negroes/women/gay/palestinian.
    Afraid of your own mediocrity.

  84. 84
    skeptonomist says:

    Unfortunately “a baseline level of enlightenment and humanity” in theory is totally incompatible with religion, in the form of a literal reading of certain parts of the Bible. A broader principle is involved here, which is the recognition that there is a “level of enlightenment and humanity” which does take precedence over religious dogma. This will have to be acknowledged sooner or later.

  85. 85
    nicteis says:

    @skeptonomist A literal reading of certain parts of the Bible makes it perfectly clear that slavery is an institution acceptable to God, in some cases even commanded by him. It’s a far stronger religious case than could ever be made against gays, and was regularly made by Christians in the old Confederacy.

    But a baseline level of enlightenment and humanity won out, and you can go to the most backward and literalist churches today and find no one willing to say a word on behalf of slavery. If the rest of society holds the line on gay rights, and advances it, religious dogma will come along too, ultimately as gentle as Mary’s lamb, dragging its tail behind it. Already a plurality of evangelicals under thirty favor same-sex marriage.

  86. 86
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Comrade Veidt: Ignoring my post because it derails your whole “We’re all straight here, no-one’s qualified to judge the gays” perspective, you hypocritical, illiterate twit? Or is it too much effort for you to acknowledge that your assumptions about the people on this blog are themselves a product of your hetero-normative diseased world-view? @Joey Giraud: And the reason we feel the need to kick people who don’t “get with the program” quickly enough, you ass, is that those people are still kicking us, and, given the opportunity, will continue to kick us for as long as they can. No, asshole, I do not owe it to you or any of your pseudo-liberal friends to make nice with the heteronazis who cheered while my friends, family, and lovers died. Die in a fire.

  87. 87
    W. Kiernan says:

    Unbelievable! Are these jackasses really framing this issue as a matter of mutual tolerance? Is it really that hard to distinguish between “I’ll do my thing, and you do your thing” and “I’ll do my thing, which happens to consist of prohibiting by force of law you doing your thing”?

  88. 88
    Comrade Veidt says:

    “The Very Revered Crimson Fire of Compassion”
    I didn’t ignore your post, I scanned the thread and read mostly straight white apologetics a few of which made me cringe.
    But I read it now.

    There will always be another set of outsiders or new people left to their own devices and ignored by the majority.
    I rarely come to this site, but I don’t expect much from liberal sites about Gaza, or Iran, Bahrain, Saudi. There are people on the streets now for BDS just as you were 20 years ago. They’re marching here and in the West Bank they’re getting shot and dying.

    I’m not going to moralize over the fact that you may think it’s not your fight, but I’m sure as hell going to mock the other comments here by self-righteous guilty white straight boys, whose politics are as stupidly American as anyone’s

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