Cue the outrage: the man was hounded out of his job because he is gay!
Well, it's happening again.
Mozilla/Firefox has appointed Brendan Eich as its CEO: a man who supported Prop8 by giving a donation to the campaign. The company itself has a good diversity profile; there's no evidence that he's going to change that. In fact, he specifically that there won't be changes. But, based on a personal donation he made 6 years ago, some developers have called for a boycott of the browser. Simply because they disagree with the personal politics of the CEO.
Now, readers of this blog know that I was an ardent opponent of Prop8. As a gay, married Californian, I have a strong interest in this fight.
And I will tell you that boycotting Mozilla over the personal opinion of Brendan Eich against gay marriage is outrageous.
Look, we promote the idea that people who oppose marriage equality should live in peace in the secular sphere. It's the price of having a socially diverse civil polis. We promote tolerance. WE say we can live together even if we disagree.
Not if we're doing this sort of politically correct thought-policing, we can't.
This is no different than the firing of Richard Grenell. Or, to use another example from the news today, no different from the reversal of the World Vision charity which now says it will never, ever, hired a married gay person.
Indeed, it ties into the Hobby Lobby case currently before the Supreme Court, by saying a company has the right to control the personal behavior of its employees.
Their thoughts, if you will.
You will be assimilated, or you will be fired.
From the American Conservative: (my emphases!), an excellent piece on why we have to stop these purges:
Balkanized businesses, which only hire employees or leaders that are politically palatable to their donors and customers aren’t economically or socially efficient. Instead of creating weak-tie relationships across ideological divides, they segregate people who disagree, fostering a fear of contamination by association. This exclusionary approach raises the stakes of political conflict dangerously high. When the losing side of a debate is blacklisted, all disputes become wars of annihilation.
When Eich donated to Proposition 8, his state was split on the issue; the measure passed by a 4.5 percent margin. If, less than a decade later, the losers of that fight are unemployable, the next group on the losing side of a historical shift has every reason to fight dirtier, while time is still on their side….
But neither side benefits from policing orthodoxy as tightly as these boycotts would do. World Vision made its policy shift in the service of this kind of neutrality; since some of the churches it worked with and the states it operated in recognize gay marriage, World Vision would respect, but not praise, their policies. That turned out to be unacceptable to its donors, who saw anything less than exclusion as tacit endorsement.
A healthy body politic requires that there be room to be wrong and still belong to normal society and commerce. A society that won’t live together can’t learn from each other.