Stop Defending Brendan Eich

April 10, 2014 Gay and Lesbian, In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (3) 352

The Mozilla CEO was not fired, and he’s not a victim of discrimination.

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I’m a big fan of Dan Savage, and a regular listener to his weekly podcast. Dan has a great moral compass and a strong sense of logic and fairness, but even Dan Savage can be wrong–and this week was he ever. This week’s show began with a fifteen-minute rant in which Dan first draws a parallel between opposition to marriage equality and support for segregation, then distances the gay community from the outcry over Brendan Eich’s appointment¬†as CEO of Mozilla, and finally declares Eich’s resignation “a setback for the LGBT rights movement.”

Brendan_Eich_Mozilla_Foundation_official_photoThis parallels a number of recent arguments I’ve heard from various other sources that say Eich’s brief and ill-fated tenure represent a new form of workplace discrimination, that employees who disagree with marriage equality should now fear for their jobs, and that the arguments against Eich’s appointment are the same arguments used to justify firing gay people.

All of these arguments are false, for varying reasons. Any regular reader here knows that I’m a staunch defender of free speech and religious freedom–but this case has nothing to do with either of those things. Here’s why the most common criticisms of Eich’s resignation, and the pressure that led up to it, are wrong:

1. Brendan Eich’s right to free speech was not violated.

Eich, like all people in the United States, has the right to speak and express himself without fear of government reprisal. Continue Reading

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