I must say I’m surprised by the backlash to Brendan Eich’s resignation as Mozilla CEO after it was revealed that he was anti-gay marriage. Isn’t he entitled to his personal opinions, his supporters say, or is that just for liberals?
But those who defend Eich – who donated $1,000 to Proposition 8, which sought to ban gay marriage in California – don’t seem to get it. Of course, people are entitled to their personal opinions. What they’re not entitled to is to impose them on others, especially when they violate a person’s civil rights. Saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry is tantamount to saying they are less than human. (Indeed, it is men like Eich – the subtly prejudiced who profess to be able to treat everyone equally but put their money where their mouth isn’t – who are a big part of why the main characters in my new novel “Water Music” remain closeted.)
A CEO or any leader must respect the rights of all. I’ll go that one better: A real, Alexandrian leader – one who leads from the front – puts the rights of others first.
But Eich put his own fears first – and that’s why he lost his job.