When Brendan Eich made contributions to Proposition 8 campaigns in 2008-2010, he probably didn’t think it would ever cost him his job. Fast forward to 2014. OkCupid boycotted Mozilla over the co-founder and CEO’s 2008 donations. Eich then resigned under the pressure of a public firestorm.
Since his resignation, Andrew Sullivan and Newt Gringrich have blasted the LGBT movement for calling for Eich’s resignation, calling the movement the “new fascism.” If people can lose their jobs over their political or religious beliefs, who is safe?
Not OkCupid CEO Sam Yagan.
Yagan donated to Barak Obama’s campaign in 2007, back when Obama was against gay marriage. But Obama was clearly a liberal candidate and later recanted on his gay rights position. It may have been that gay rights weren’t on Yagan’s radar in 2007.
But Yagan has made other donations to anti-gay candidates. OkCupid CEO Sam Yagan made a contribution to Chris Cannon in 2004. Chris Cannon is no Barack Obama. Chris Cannon is very anti-gay marriage and even voted against gay adoption in 1999. Cannon voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2007. Cannon also voted for the Marriage Protection Act. In short, Cannon is one of the most conservative, anti-gay candidates you could ask for.
Now it is 2014 and Yagan is CEO and co-founder of OkCupid, a company that boycotts Mozilla for doing exactly what he himself has done. Yagan personally supported the boycott through his personal twitter account. The end result was that Brendan Eich lost his job over a political opinion that he may or may not still hold, and all for a publicity stunt.
Maybe OkCupid should pressure Sam Yagan to resign for his donations and for his hypocrisy. If OkCupid won’t ask him to step down, maybe we should all boycott OkCupid.
Or better yet, if Yagan has changed his political views and is now for gay rights, maybe Yagan thinks that he should have lost his job back in 2004 when he made the donation to Chris Cannon. Maybe Yagan should pay back all the money he’s made from his illicit job over the last decade, and give the money to a pro-gay organization to atone.
Or maybe, just maybe, this whole insanity should stop.
Brendan Eich shouldn’t have had to lose his job for his donations to an unpopular cause. His political views have nothing to do with his job and are not a reflection on Mozilla as a company.
As Andrew Sullivan points out in his post “The Quality of Mercy,” in right-to-work states like California, it would have been illegal for an employer to fire Eich Brendan for his views. His employer didn’t fire him, of course, but the public did.
Yet the public refused to forgive him, to tolerate him, in our supposedly tolerant society.
Will the public now cast its ire upon Sam Yagan for his anti-gay contributions?
“We are better than this,” challenges Andrew Sullivan, “And we must not give in to it.”