Newly-appointed chief executive of the Mozilla Corporation Brendan Eich has responded to criticisms of a donation he made in support of the banning of gay marriage, promising to uphold Mozilla's inclusiveness.
The appointment of co-founder Eich to the role of CEO caused a stir when his support for Proposition 8, a law which would ban gay marriage, was made public thanks to a $1,000 donation to lobbying efforts. Mobile developer Rarebit, founded by a married gay couple, was the first out of the gate with a statement that they would cease plans to port their products to Mozilla's Firefox OS and remove already-ported software from the platform as long as Eich remained in charge.
Although Mozilla issued a blanket statement supporting diversity
, it made no direct comment on Eich and his personal beliefs. Late last night, however, Eich broke his silence and spoke on the matter - even though the issue of the donation itself was not a topic up for discussion.
'I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] individuals at Mozilla,
' Eich wrote on his personal blog
. 'I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results.
Eich's commitments include the promise of full equality in employment, Mozilla-run events and within the Mozilla community, continued work with LGBT communities, no changes to the community participation guidelines or the inclusive health benefits offered by the organisation, and a personal claim that Eich himself will 'work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult.
'I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything,
' Eich admitted. 'I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell”; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain. I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion. You will see exemplary behaviour from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products.