Brendan Eich was under some illusion, apparently, that the First Amendment means people are free to express their political beliefs without retribution.
I guess not.
Eich was canned by Mozilla, the Internet browser, because he gave some money in 2008 to political organizations that favored a ban in California of gay marriage. Proposition 8 became a battle cry for those seeking “marriage equality.”
I do not care to comment on the merits of Prop 8. I do care, though, to suggest that Eich got the shaft by his company.
Whatever this man thinks of gay marriage, Prop 8, or whether the moon is made of green cheese has zero relevance to the company he runs.
Is he smart enough to be chief executive officer of a multi-bazillion-dollar Internet company? Apparently so. The company reportedly is in good financial shape in the cut-throat world of big business and matters relating to the Internet.
The most troubling aspect of this man’s dismissal — to my way of thinking — is that it suggests an intolerance of views that don’t comport with progressive thinkers. My understanding of the term progressive, which is synonymous with “liberal,” is that one should keep an open mind and judge everyone’s views on their merits. An unwritten element here is that the view should be relevant to something broader and more far-reaching than merely the individual who has expressed that view.
So what if the guy gave money to Prop 8 supporters? Does that make him less qualified to run his company? The link attached here suggests that his view restricts Mozilla’s ability to hire first-rate engineers and other geeks who might be dissuaded from working for someone who believes as he does about gay marriage.
It pains me to say that we have a case of political correctness running amok. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment has been stomped on in the process.