The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists. – Andrew Sullivan
AS SOMEONE who writes about relationships and was in the middle of the online dating birth in the mid-90s, with a book coming out in June on relationships, the expectation of OKCupid to stand for marriage equality is an important move for the tough business they are in. Now that Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has resigned, there is wide misunderstanding on why Mozilla required it, the most notable example coming from Andrew Sullivan.
OKCupid targeting the browser Firefox was good business for them and even better marketing, especially since they’re competing with giants like Match.com and eHarmony. On a site that’s all about relationships, in the hyper competitive world of online dating, the positioning makes perfect sense of OKCupid.
The reaction of Mozilla is stunning many, with Sullivan’s reaction interesting, even as it exposes his own misunderstanding of what Prop 8 is about when it comes to American cultural history.
What kind of corporate culture inside Mozilla made Brendan Eich’s position on marriage equality something the company could not abide?
Andrew Sullivan misses answering this question by a mile, his conservatism his weakest point when it comes to analysis, which betrays him yet again, as it did when he backed the Iraq war, something he has come to regret in the deepest parts of his psyche.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling, Prop 8 became a seminal pillar of the gay community’s emancipation, equivalent to the Voting Rights Act in its importance, and has led to fuller civil equality for gays and lesbians. We do not tolerate racism today and the thought of doing so is repugnant. Prop 8 declared that gays and lesbians can exercise the greatest human need of individuals. The right to love who you want and also marry and create a family together legally, with all this implies.
There is no greater human urge than to love and to couple, to pronounce your commitment for someone and to have the permission to form a family, which is the foundation of the American dream, but to do so with the same legal protections and approval as everyone else.
When OKCupid took the stand that relationships between gays and lesbians are equal to straights, it sent a powerful reminder to the techies inside Mozilla of the fundamental human and civil rights the company believes is important.
It’s not a lot of money, giving $1,000 to support Prop 8, but the principal behind that money Brendan Eich gave represents much more than simply $1,000. It’s saying that gays and lesbians are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as everyone else. This goes well beyond First Amendment rights, especially in a corporate culture that is futuristic based.
This is where conservatives like Andrew Sullivan fail every time. In misunderstanding the U.S. Constitution and who it protects, or at least should protect, which is why the Voting Rights Act was so important in law, and why Prop 8 is its equal.
To appreciate Mozilla’s reaction to OKCupid defending the human and civil rights of gays and lesbians you have to consider the cultural and revolutionary nature of Prop 8 and what it ignited across America.
The human act of loving and being able to expand that profound event into a partnership of marriage and do so legally is a fundamental human right. Prop 8 solidified this into American law.
What Mozilla stood up for had little to do with Brendan Eich’s $1000. What they stood up for was the human rights of all to experience the most fundamental joy of our nature, which is to love and commit to someone in marriage, regardless of how that experience is defined.
The title to this post has been changed.