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I really have updated the site! Check out our revised Questions and Answers page, as well as "Wrestling with Firefox:" Workaround solutions for the common frustrations and annoyances with newer versions of the software.

As a gay man and a longtime Mozilla user, I feel compelled to comment on some of the newest developments. Brendan Eich, an engineer who helped develop the accessibility/performance scourge called JavaScript 19 years ago, has been promoted to the title of Mozilla Corporation CEO. Eich was also a $1,000 benefactor of Proposition 8; the 2008 religious ploy to revoke gay and lesbian people of their civil, secular right to marry in California.

The latter point isn't new news. Prop 8 contributions have been a matter of public record since they happened, and the issue of Eich's involvement has simmered online before. If I avoided every single company and organization whose employees engaged in ethically-abhorrent behavior, I'd be a hermit. But there are several points to keep in mind...

So far, there has been no public statement from Mozilla directly addressing this issue or its implications...even though it's burned up the news in the LGBT and tech spheres for the last two days, and developers such as Hampton Catlin and Michael Lintorn of Rarebit have responded by pulling their support from Mozilla's ventures entirely.

Proposition 8 was struck down in 2010, and marriage equality resumed in California three years later. If Eich were to legitimately and sincerely change his mind, verbally expound on his rationale for doing so, and offset the damage of his past actions with $1,000 donations to marriage-equality campaigns and pro-LGBT causes, I'd consider forgiving him.

But Eich's sole response is a blog post from two years ago. It could best be described as a collection of politely-phrased weasel words where he refuses to expound on his motivations and attempts to escape from the "bigot" label: "I challenge anyone to cite an incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity." My reaction to that is simple: You displayed hatred and disrespect the instant you intervened to deprive other people of the same secular, civil rights that you yourself enjoy. You are a bigot if you want to deny full civil equality to me or other citizens, it doesn't matter how politely you phrase yourself when expressing that, and your actions convey those expressions a lot louder than words.

Tim Chevalier has an excellent write-up on this, as does Tom Morris. (Tim also has several follow-up posts.) I have little involvement with the Mozilla community myself these days; aside from endorsing SeaMonkey (which is outside the Corporation's immediate scope) and using Firefox 3.6 and earlier versions when I can get away with it. How you choose to react is up to you.

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Last update August 17, 2014.