Brendan Eich ousted as CEO of Mozilla because of librul intolerance of intolerance! Free market libertarians furious that the market was allowed to do something they don't like! Free speech has been violated by the fact that people are allowed to dissent from conservative opinions! News at 11!

Of course, the conservative media is up in arms about Brendan Eich facing outrage for his Prop 8 donation because: "violation of religious freedom;" "violation of free speech;" "violation of the free market;" "invasion of privacy;" "intolerance of intolerance is the real intolerance;" and "This is why I will not end my discrimination against the gays!" These arguments are especially disingenuous from conservatives and libertarians, but in the case of Mozilla there are some interesting issues, with coverage from Mozilla employees and contributors. These, of course, are not what's being reported; what's being reported is that OKCupid finally accomplished something, which is pretty irrelevant.

Violation of Religious Freedom

People really like to conflate "expressing religious beliefs" and "forcing non-believers to follow their religious dogma," in cases of moral issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, birth control, women's right to equal pay, etc. But they do it to stifle speech that they disagree with, speech that stands up to them. It's a rhetorical trick.

No one is being prohibited by law from engaging in the religion of their choice— until too many people fall for this rhetoric. There is no guarantee that because you have a religion that any action that you state is based on that religion becomes something that no one is allowed to oppose in any way. In fact, most of the times that this argument is used, it is used to try to trump the religious freedom of people who do not believe in the speaker's religion.


Even gay conservatives agree that "this isn't a gay rights issue!" proven by two examples, one of which is from an anonymous twitter account and one of which is from one of the few gay conservative radio pundits, a person who only gets to have a career if she says things like that. And Bill Maher agrees, so I guess Bill Maher is allowed to have opinions today.

Also, when someone acts in a way that revokes a state constitutional right, your opinion that it's "not a rights issue" is meaningless. Just sayin'. There is no right to force the tenets of your religion on others, in violation of their rights. You get to practice your religion, not force others to.


Violation of Free Speech

Oh, Freeze Peach you little bear you.


Freeze Peach, of course, is the idea that Alice using her freedom of speech to stand up to Bob is a violation of Bob's freedom of speech. In this case, people are claiming that complaining about Brendan Eich's political speech is a violation of his freedom of speech, even though it is literally the complainers using their freedom of speech to complain. Freeze peach: "free speech is just for me!"

Brendan Eich has the right to say that he is opposed to same-sex marriage; I have the right to complain that donating to a cause intended to revoke an existing right under the law is a bad thing.

Violation of the Free Market


And of course, in Silicon Valley, we have the True Believers of the Church of Meritocracy, predominantly straight, white, "Libertarian" men who think that the very idea of privilege is fraudulent because they don't get enough dates, whose actual ideology is "I'm not responsible for my actions, just for all the benefits that I earned by being born a white dude." A bunch of them are apparently up in arms because forcing the CEO of Mozilla out because of his protected political speech is contrary to the Free Market, Mannnn. Stop holding white guys responsible for their behavior in the Free Market! Don't you know that's against the Free Market!

In reality, of course, this is the free market in action. He has the right to opt to donate to the campaign and I have the right to opt to no longer do business with Mozilla if he is the CEO.


These are the same people who say that if I don't want to be discriminated against in the workplace, I should quit and work for a company that won't discriminate against me; that's the free market! A gay person at a company that just promoted a Prop 8 supporter to CEO states a willingness to leave the company if that's not changed? Violation of the free market!

If that gay couple wants a wedding cake and the baker doesn't make "gay wedding cakes" (a "real thing"), they should go someplace else for a cake; that's the free market! A white guy that discriminates against people gets told that his customers will no longer do business with him? Violation of the free market! How dare you hold a white guy accountable for his behavior! Don't you know that the Free Market is where I get my way and you get "shut up?" Tell me more, Librotarians!

In a related note, oh Knut Peach, you never get old.

Invasion of privacy


This argument has entertained me since the Prop 8 searchable database came out in 2008. People like to argue that knowing that someone donated to a political campaign is an invasion of their privacy. In California, any donation over $100 is part of the public record, largely so that people can track down fraud, but with the added benefit of marketplace action. This is not a violation of his privacy, but a deliberate transparency in the election process. One of the reasons that it is important came out as a result of the Prop 8 data— some of the Prop 8 funding may have been laundered.

Of course, then people counter "well it should be private information because look how the gays are using it! They're using it to harass people!" by which, of course, they mean hold them accountable in the marketplace by using their freedom of speech. "They're going to people's businesses and picketing them, just like we do to abortion clinics but with no graphic imagery or yelling at customers that they are baby killing whores who are going to Hell!" This is, after all, what Clarence Thomas wanted out of Citizens United— not just rampant corporate spending but rampant anonymous corporate spending so that the marketplace has no information to act on.


Somehow, this same privacy protection doesn't apply to people who work at abortion clinics, whose: names, addresses, and phone numbers; landlords' names, addresses, and phone numbers; employers' names, addresses, and phone numbers; even childrens' names, elementary schools, and photos are protected speech on the Internet, even if accompanied by "suggestions" that maybe someone could"use them" for "something."

Then of course, there's that other problem: why is someone else's civil marriage your business? By the way, I donated enough to fight Prop 8 to also fall under public scrutiny and I am just fine with that.

Oh man, it seems like I'm pointing out all the places where the arguments boil down to hypocrisy! My... bad?


Intolerance of Intolerance is the Real Intolerance

Now we're back to conflating belief and action. Eich's religious beliefs are perfectly tolerable; Eich's discriminatory behavior is not. There is a difference between having a belief that same sex marriage is wrong and revoking an existing right to same sex marriage. When one person violates the rights of another, it's not "intolerant" to stand up to it; it's justice. This isn't "the real intolerance;" again, that's just a rhetorical trick.


The funny thing is that, while not realizing it, these people are making the best argument against pushing Eich out: it's contrary to Mozilla's inclusivity culture. Of course, what's inclusivity culture when outsiders don't want to participate because they feel excluded no matter how many times Mozilla says "inclusivity?"

Guess what, everyone! Reality is complicated!

This Is Why I Will Not End My Discrimination Against the Gays!

Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware that you'd planned to stop discriminating against LGBTQ people at some point in the future. If only we'd known!


Look, dude, we know you're just trying to justify doing what you were going to do anyway, without accepting any responsibility for that because they "made you" do it. I'm a woman; I know victim blaming shenanigans when I see them.