Hi. My name is Gervase Markham. I’m a supporter of traditional marriage, and I work for Mozilla. In fact, as far as being on the record goes, I believe I’m now the only one.
Many people who agree with me on this issue are very upset about what happened to Brendan Eich, our co-founder and, for two weeks, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation. Brendan was appointed and then, after 10 days under the Internet’s lens of anger based on his donation in opposition to the redefinition of marriage, stepped down and stepped away from Mozilla – to our great loss.
I am assured by sources I trust that Brendan decided to leave of his own accord – he was not forced out. My understanding is that the senior management of Mozilla (many of whom disagree with him on this issue) worked very hard to support him, even if I would not agree with all the actions they took in doing so. However, he eventually felt that it was impossible for him to focus on leading if he was spending all of his time dealing with the continued, relentless news and social media storm surrounding the donation he made. In other words, he wasn’t forced out from the inside – he was dragged out from the outside.
So, here’s my plea: please don’t be angry with Mozilla. Mozilla and what it does and stands for is too important to the future of the free web to allow this to do it damage. It was us who brough innovation back to the web browser market and started the process which led to the awesome web you use today. And now, we’re trying to do the same with the closed smartphone market. I believe that connecting billions of people in the developing world to the web at minimal cost and with full fidelity will lead to the next great advance in human flourishing, as people can use the information they discover to make their own lives better. That’s our goal.
If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive them (the course I would recommend), then your anger is best directed at those outside Mozilla who made his position untenable. The press that twist and sensationalize without investigation, social media which magnifies and over-simplifies without consideration, and those who rush to judgement without understanding. I’m not going to name names or organizations. But as far as Mozilla itself goes, please, please continue to support us.
I am determined to work to make all Mozillians of whatever beliefs – and whatever actions they take outside of Mozilla in support of those beliefs – confident that, if they can work with other Mozillians as Brendan did so well for 15 years, Mozilla is a place for them. How successful we’ll be at that depends on how our community deals with what just happened – but it also depends on you. If you jump to paint Mozilla in the colours of ‘the opposition’, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the world will be poorer for it.
Mozilla is caught in the middle of a worldview war. Let’s not make the free web a casualty.