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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 11 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 15
Mozilla fallout: OKCupid CEO apologizes for supporting anti-Gay pol
Section One
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Mozilla fallout: OKCupid CEO apologizes for supporting anti-Gay pol

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

OKCupid CEO Sam Yagan has apologized for having donated $500 to an anti-Gay Utah Republican.

OKCupid blocked Mozilla's Firefox browser because of that company's appointment of Brendan Eich as its CEO. Eich had donated $1,000 to the Prop 8 campaign to repeal marriage equality in California, and his appointment touched off a torrent of protests until he ultimately stepped down from his new position.

Soon after Eich resigned, Uncrunched blog broke the story that Yagan himself had donated to anti-Gay causes, raising the possibility that his company blocked Firefox merely to gain publicity rather than from motives of conscience.

In an April 8 statement to the Huffington Post, Yagan said he gave money to Utah Republican Chris Cannon without knowing the lawmaker was anti-Gay.

'A decade ago, I made a contribution to Representative Chris Cannon because he was the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversaw the Internet and Intellectual Property, matters important to my business and our industry,' Yagan wrote.

'I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular; I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today. However, a contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right.'

In other Mozilla fallout, NOM launched a boycott of Mozilla on April 4, just after Eich announced his resignation.

'Eich has been the target of a vicious character attack by gay activists who have forced him out of the company he has helped lead for years,' NOM President Brian Brown wrote on the group's website. 'This is a McCarthyesque witch hunt that makes the term 'thought police' seem modest.

'We urge all consumers to remove Mozilla's Firefox web browser from their computers as a sign of protest. This attack to deny Mr. Eich his livelihood for supporting true marriage is a continuation of the shameful pattern we have consistently seen from gay activists. It basically says to all those in America and around the world who believe in a view of marriage that is consistent with the teachings of their faith that they are all bigots and haters and there is no place for them in civil society. This is the totalitarian worldview we will all be under if marriage ultimately is redefined in the law.'

Former NOM Chairman Robert George called for a boycott of Mozilla on April 1, in retaliation for anti-Eich protests led by Gay Mozilla employee Hampton Catlin.

NOM launched a similar boycott of the Starbucks coffee empire in 2012 after the company announced its support of R-74, which legalized same-sex marriage in Washington state.

Another anti-Gay group, Faith Driven Consumer, which has used HRC's corporate equality index to compile its own list of pro-Gay companies to boycott, also turned on Mozilla in the wake of Eich's departure. In a posting on their website, the group posed a series of combative questions for Mozilla, and then urged its supporters 'While we wait to hear back, let's make sure they HEAR from YOU.'

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