Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich recently resigned over a donation made to a group supporting an anti-gay-marriage campaign in 2008.
In case you didn’t catch that, Eich resigned over a single donation made six years ago. The controversy began when OKCupid called for a boycott of Mozilla, and despite Mozilla’s assurances that the company supports LGBT rights, co-founder Brendan Eich was pressured to resign as Mozilla’s CEO. In essence, he resigned for having an unpopular political view.
Now many people are saying that the issue was blown out of proportion, including LGBT activist Andrew Sullivan and Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, appeared on ABC News to talk about the Mozilla controversy and how it is indicative of unacknowledged oppression of conservatives in certain professions.
“If you’re a young faculty member in a lot of places, if you’re a young member of a news department, and you have the wrong views, meaning conservative, you have no career,” Gingrich told ABC’s This Week today. He added:
“This is just the most open, blatant example of the new fascism, which says if you don’t agree with us 100 percent, we have the right to punish you.”
Gingrich’s commentary on the Mozilla CEO’s resignation comes on the back of equally scathing criticism from Andrew Sullivan, a leading LGBT rights activist who wrote in support of gay marriage in 1989.
“Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole [Mozilla] episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society,” Andrew Sullivan posted on his blog.
In a continuing post, Sullivan expounded on his view of the controversy, explaining that Brendan Eich should not have to apologize for his views, which have nothing to do with Mozilla’s views on LGBT rights. Andrew Sullivan wrote:
“He did not understand that in order to be a CEO of a company, you have to renounce your heresy! There is only one permissible opinion at Mozilla, and all dissidents must be purged! Yep, that’s left-liberal tolerance in a nut-shell.”
Newt Gingrich also expressed concern that Eich’s resignation is a symptom of a larger societal problem of intolerance. “So, you should lose your job if you have a different view?” Gingrich challenged his co-hosts. “Do you have to impose your views at the costs of people’s jobs?”
Donna Brazille did not agree with every thing Gingrich said, but she did add that “I do agree with Andrew Sullivan on this, that we have to be careful that we’re not practicing a new McCarthyism.”
Sullivan was so “disgusted” with the Mozilla controversy that he threatened to disassociate himself with the LGBT movement.
“If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out.”