Beck: Gay Activists are Terrorists!

While Matt Barber and other anti-gay bigots declare that the boycott that led to Brendan Eich’s ouster as CEO of Mozilla call gay rights activists Nazis, Glenn Beck decided to go straight to calling them terrorists. Because that’s a totally reasonable reaction.

I’m not entirely comfortable with what happened to Eich myself, to be honest, and neither are some very prominent gay rights activists. Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, one of the best gay rights blogs in the world, makes a fairly persuasive argument:

But at a time when we are demanding passage of the Employment Non-Discrmination Act so that companies can’t just up and fire LGBT employees because they don’t agree with them — as they can now in about two-thirds of our states — we need to think very long and hard about whether we should demand someone be removed from his job for exercising his constitutional rights as part of the cornerstone of our democracy: a free and fair election.

We say that LGBT people shouldn’t be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job performance. I think that principle is good enough to apply to everyone, including Eich. And there is no evidence that I can find that his donation affected his ability to do the job he was hired to do. Eich made his donation out of his own pocket. He didn’t do it on behalf of Mozilla, he didn’t do it with Mozilla funds or through a foundation sponsored by Mozilla. And he certainly didn’t own Mozilla, which is a non-profit organization. It was his own dime on his own time.

Bil Browning of Bilerico, whose gay rights credentials certainly can’t be questioned, has made a similar argument. Those who campaigned against Eich were within their rights, of course, but I think the furor over this was a bit out of proportion. My understanding is that Eich made a single $1000 donation to the Prop 8 campaign in 2008. While that’s certainly not something I like, I don’t think it makes him Peter LaBarbera or Scott Lively. There are reasonable arguments to be made on both sides, I think. But to claim that this makes makes those who advocated against Eich into Nazis or terrorists is just moronic.

"But it had too many words and no pictures of him, so he paid no ..."

Another Day, Another Attempt to Walk ..."
"Especially when you consider how much some like to spill the tea."

Parker: The ‘B’ in LGBT is ..."
"It's their only talent in lifeIsn't it just sad?I used to think that trolls were ..."

Trump Awkwardly Tries to Walk Back ..."
"I understood that you weren't really arguing with me (hence, the up vote).As for arguing ..."

Trump Awkwardly Tries to Walk Back ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pinkey

    The petition that I signed was pressuring Eich to publically denounce his position and assure the Mozilla community that he does not bring his anti LGBT views with him, and only if he was unwilling or unable to do so should he step down.

    To equate that with demanding he be fired is distorting the full intent of the petition. That he stepped down also signals to me that he has not changed his views. (Though it is certainly possible that there were other petitions and organizations that were more forecful, and only asked him to step down. I don’t know.)

  • dugglebogey

    I think the frustrating part for Beck and others is that while they call for boycotts constantly, this one actually worked.

    People voted with their feet and their wallets. Mozilla knows it is in competition with other viable and reasonable alternatives and there is literally nothing special about their products. They rely on goodwill to keep them alive in the marketplace.

    This makes them very vulnerable to a boycott, especially to those people who not only use the internet but are savvy enough to make a choice in browsing platforms. Those people tend to be younger and more educated, and therefor tend to be liberal.

    Look at it this way. You have to buy bread every day and there are six stores right next to each other that sell perfectly acceptable bread. If the president of one of them holds a political position you disagree with, he better make some bread that you can’t live without, because you aren’t very likely to go into his store.

    Mozilla simply doesn’t make great bread.

  • RickR

    I think the frustrating part for Beck and others is that while they call for boycotts constantly, this one actually worked.

    The Lunatic Right absolutely suffers from boycott envy.

  • scottmange

    I thought this was an interesting way to look at it. Market forces at work. You’d think those on the Right would be ecstatic!

    ……Of course this is intolerance. Would Sullivan rush to this guy’s defense if it turned out he was a Grand Wizard in the KKK? Of course not. We are allowed to be intolerant of people who operate outside the bounds of civil decency. This wasn’t governmental action infringing on any Constitutional rights. This was Mozilla developers saying they refused to do work with a bigot, private websites blocking access to the Firefox browser because they refused to do business with a bigot, and employees of the firm speaking up because they refused to work for a bigot.

    In short, it was the free market expressing itself. Eich was perfectly within his rights to stay at Mozilla, but he would then face a hostile market and eventually faced the reality that he couldn’t do his job in that environment. The free market spoke, and a free market enterprise was forced to react.

    ……Same thing with the market. Conservative views on marriage equality are now fringe, and especially so with the younger people who matter most to marketers. So the free market they worship has turned against them. They can cry about “McCarthyism” all they want, but this is just market forces at work.

    Given that it’s a free market, conservatives should feel free to start up a competitive product, a browser for haters. It could have built-in bookmarks to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck … maybe call it Bookmarks for Bigots. You know what? I’ll let them work out the details. They could be headquartered in Mississippi, which could protect them from the gays, and I’m sure they could tap into that state’s deep educated STEM workforce to staff up the venture. (Never mind). And if they need someone to run it?

    Well, I hear Brendan Eich is available.

  • eric

    I think I’m okay with how things went down, but I did not boycott and if I had it to over again, I would again not boycott. I respect why others might do so, but the parallels to Hobby Lobby are just too close for me. Here we are complaining that the Supreme Court should recognize that there is a big difference between the religious beliefs of a CEO and the policies of a company. That just because a CEO has certain beliefs, the company does not gain them through osmosis or whatever. Well, do we stand by that? Are we going to recognize the distinction we wish tthe Supreme Court had recognized when the shoe is on the other foot?

  • naturalcynic

    Y’know Glenny, it’s all done to confuse you. The double-secret network just does it all to confuse you. Now, that makes you feel important yet impotent, doesn’t it?

    I’m not telling, so nyah, nyah, neener, neener.

  • beergoggles

    Anyone who thinks CEOs don’t set and influence corporate culture are idiots who’ve never had to deal with the inner workings of their company. The ‘company policy’ isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on compared to the environment the CEO promotes. So I have a big problem when the CEOs are raging bigots. And there’s no two sides to this – he gave money to a campaign that had only one purpose, which was to strip existing rights from gay people and demonize them in the media as child molesters out to get your children.

    If I hadn’t dropped Firefox a while ago for how badly it’s plugin container handles flash, I couldn’t have uninstalled it fast enough after hearing this.

  • Moggie

    They’re not terrorists unless you’re terrified. Why are you terrified of gay people, Glenn?

  • marcus

    Cross-posted at Alethian Worldview:

    “Eich exercised his First Amendment rights by donating to a bigoted and prejudicial campaign, thousand of people exercised theirs by decrying his action and boycotting his company. At any point he could have admitted his mistake, truly apologized and set to correcting his error as you pointed out above. I think that it would have made a differences. At any rate it was a First Amendment solution to a First Amendment error. He work actively to victimize a class of people and then became the victim of his own bigotry. You may at any time be called upon to defend, pay, or atone for a certain position, IMO this is the way true freedom of speech works.” Freedom from state prosecution for your speech is not freedom from consequences of that speech.

    Conservative are all for the “free-market” until it comes to the free-market of ideas, and then they want to stack the deck.

    I have a young friend who was Facebooked at a pro-marijuana legalization rally, he is now finding it almost impossible to get a job. I personally think that this is unfair, I do not think that it is necessarily a case of him being denied his First Amendment rights.

    I do think that not being a bigot is part of a CEO’s job, he is responsible for an important aspect of other people’s lives. It makes a difference.

  • Al Dente

    Eich exercised his right to donate to a cause he found worthy of support. I exercised my right to not use his company’s product because I found the company and its CEO not worthy of support. I don’t understand why anyone can say that Eich was right to do what he did and I was wrong to do what I did.

  • The only Nazi terrorists I’ve heard of were dropped off on a U.S. beach from a submarine early in WW II. As I recall, they all (six or eight) were captured in a matter of days and all but a couple hanged.

  • marcus

    Al Dente @ 10 Exactly. If the consequences of his actions had been successful it would have amounted to a large portion of society being denied the right to marry the person they love and want to be with.

    Boohoo he lost his job. 🙁

    Fuck him.

  • Chris from Europe

    His attempts to handle the situation showed him to be quite incompetent at his new job (Indonesians etc.). Furthermore, he also gave to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul (quite some time ago), so he wouldn’ t just be suspected of homophobia, but also of racism. And who knows what other skeletons are in his closet.

    I think the job security argument also fails, as virtually nobody tried to get him fired in his old job at Mozilla. It’s nothing new that one has to be more careful in leading positions and should be able to handle criticism. Eich couldn’t even give a non-apology. His bigotry must be more important to him than leading Mozilla.

    I agree with marcus: Fuck him.

  • Who Cares

    There were additional actions by Eich that kept this fire going.

    The first thing he did was give a classic not-pology. He was sorry that the people questioning his past were angry at him donating. That didn’t really help matters.

    Then there was an interview with Cnet in which he went of on a tangent that boiled down to that his views would increase Mozilla marketshare in Indonesia.

    Just based on the actions he did between accepting the post and resigning he showed he might be a world class CTO but that as a CEO he was absolutely tone deaf, at least until the point that he realized he was harming Mozilla by staying on.

  • cptdoom

    Chris from Europe and Who Cares bring up really important points, because Eich handled this very badly. In his cnet interview he came across as a clueless narcissist and predicted the downfall of Mozilla if he didn’t stay on as CEO (then promptly resigned). But there is another key distinction that Burroway and Sullivan miss. Unlike the recent contrempts with World Vision or the right-wing boycotts of Home Depot, Starbuck’s, JC Penny or any other company that treats LGBT people like equal human beings, the movement against Eich was not orchestrated outrage by major gay groups. HRC, GLAAD, NLGTF, GLSEN did not issue calls for Eich’s ouster. The movement was grass roots and began with Mozilla employees. Those employees did not object in 2012 when the donation was first uncovered and Eich was CTO. It was only after he was named to the CEO position that the employees and technology partners of Mozilla began complaining. Having worked with the man for several years, it seems the employees and partners were in a good position to determine if Eich had the “right stuff” to be CEO, and I think we should give their opinions a lot of weight.

    One more important point. Eich did not simply donate to a party or a politician. Prop 8 was promoted using a decidedly nasty smear campaign that the very existence of same-sex couples was a threat to children. This is the equivalent of the infamous blood libel against Jewish people and had a similarly negative impact on the LGBT community. Eich never acknowledged that his donation helped fund that vicious propaganda and that was a huge mistake.

  • Michael Heath

    The biggest irony is conservatives complaining about persecution against this one single individual while they continue to promote bigotry towards all gays and their families.

    I too am uncomfortable with this guy losing his job, while appreciating the arguments of those who think good riddance. In particular that this wasn’t a mere employee but instead the CEO, where CEOs do largely influence the culture of the company’s they manage and having a bigot leading the company is not good form. But conservative bigots? They’ve established no moral authority to even weigh-in on this issue.

  • Typical; fuggin’ liebralhomos FORCE MurKKKan consumers to STOP supporting a company which is VITAL to MurKKKan intertoobz dominance–THANKS liebralhomos, now I have to use yahoogle!


    I see little similarity between Hobby Lobby and Mozilla’z CEO’s actions. While both hold reprehensible views about gay people, the CEO of Mozilla wasn’t trying, afaia, make his prejudice and bigotry be the driving force in his company’s human resources policies.

    Hobby Lobby prolly uses some sophisticated applicant testing–something along the lines of, “Is JESUS CHRIST your personal savior? If the answer is, “Yes”, welcome aboard. If the answer is, “No.”, GTFO.–to keep potential bottomline saboteurs from getting on the payroll but they can’t do much about people who won’t come in their store to buy their shit.

    Here’s hoping that Hobby Lobby has a very shitty couple of quarters–or better yet, that JESUS calls his servant, David Green, away from his trials and tribulations on this earth, to his eternal reward–filling a fucking box that’s buried in a nice, scenic spot.

    Fuck BOTH of those assholes.

  • sugarfrosted

    Boycotting a browser given for free by nonprofit is silly as an end user. it literally accomplishes nothing, as it doesn’t effect them at all. On the other hand the page on OKCupid did have an effect on the people that donate to the Mozilla Foundation so that’s effective.

  • LightningRose

    Brendan Eich’s actions helped cause real harm to real people for no reason other than an irrational belief in a Bronze Age Magical Sky Fairy.

    He may have been forced from his job (NOT fired) for being a bigot (a purely voluntary status), but unlike the vast majority of LGBT folk that have lost their jobs for being queer, Brendan Eich is wealthy enough he doesn’t have to find another job.

    It’s far past time for bigotry to have consequences. Brendan Eich can kiss my ass.

  • The only thing that would have been surprising would be if Beck hadn’t compared gay rights activists to terrorists or Nazis, because that is his default reaction to anything he doesn’t like.

  • @18:

    Firefox might not cost me anything, but if people won’t use it their advertisers seek other billboards.

  • David C Brayton

    It would be interesting to see want ads that require certain political views that are wholly irrelevant to the job: right-to-lifers need not apply; those who voted for Obama (or Romney) need not apply; those who think health care should be a right, get the hell out.

    I wonder if the same folks that rejoiced when Eich was fired would support a company purging its ranks of folks that support higher taxes on corporations?

  • “I wonder if the same folks that rejoiced when Eich was fired would support a company purging its ranks of folks that support higher taxes on corporations?”

    Why wouldn’t I be? I don’t want to work for people that have that mindset. If my bosses are that explicit about not wanting to pay their fair share of infrastructural costs then they prolly aren’t very interested in doing the right thing by their rank and file employees. Granted that some people have little choice in where they work due to geography, the narrowness of their career field, etc,, most of us don’t want to work for people who are hostile towards things that benefit society as a whole. I’m pretty fucking cynical but I still think that shit matters.

    Eich, btw,was not fired. It may be true that he had few choices, but he was not fired. And HE put himself in the position of being a lightning rod.

  • Further to the above. Have you ever interviewed for a job with a company like Walmart?

  • dogmeat

    I really don’t see that the boycott did that much. I hadn’t actually heard about it until after he’d resigned and I’m generally up on news about civil rights/civil liberties issues. When I read back about what happened, it appears to me that his handling of the issue caused more trouble for him than the actual boycott or his original donation. The more he commented, the more of a pompous jerk he appeared, the more questions were asked regarding his fit for the position. At the same time I saw comments that suggested he wasn’t a good fit regardless of his point of view when it came to the issue of same-sex marriage.

    I enjoy how Beck totally derails the question of equality and civil rights/liberties and turns it into a “you just keep changing the rules” rant. No Glenn, the rule(s) they and their allies are looking to change is the one(s) that treats them like second class citizens and denies them basic equality. The rest of your rant is a persecution smokescreen.

  • sharonb

    Lets be clear, Mr. Beck.

    Consulting the actual “Terrorism Score-Board” that keeps track of, well, actual terrorism, not the hurt feelings you macho heterosupremists are redefining terrorism to be:

    Actual Heterosupremist terrorists: MILLIONS | Imaginary Gay “Terrorists”: what, ZERO?

    Geez. I am so sick of the bigot blood libel.