By Greg Johnson
As many of you probably have heard, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was recently forced into resigning. The reason was that he donated $1,000 to California’s 2008 Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, which prohibited gay marriage. The measure passed, although I’m sure Eich’s donation was not the difference-maker.
Six years later, this unconscionable act — having an opinion on a moral issue that differs from the liberal progressives — cost him his job, and undoubtedly a lot of personal stress. This raises the question: Do we want to live in a democracy, or a society where morality is decided by the leading edge of a group who call themselves “progressives”?
In the name of disclosure, I can say that I voted no on Proposition 8. I am also pro-choice, not because I think abortion is normally a good option, but because I think it is preferable to having children born to parents who lack the maturity or the capacity to raise decent kids.
However, I am tolerant of, and give value to, dissent. Unlike the people who forced Eich out of a job he earned on merit, I do not believe I have the moral authority to tell others how to think, or what is right.
There are several aspects to consider here. First, Americans are still nearly evenly split on gay marriage. Furthermore, in 2008, when Eich made his contribution to the Yes on 8 campaign, a majority of Americans opposed gay marriage.
Do liberals believe anyone with a pulse who can be dragged to a voting booth has a valid voice, but anyone who doesn’t believe in gay marriage does not? Is this reasonable? Do liberals who complain about the 1 percent and crony capitalism believe they should be crowned the “1 percenters” of morality, and that their voices should drive policy due to some kind of inherent superiority?
Another thing to consider is that Barack Obama, in 2008, said he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. Should he be impeached for an opinion he held six short years ago?
I believe a reasonable way to assess any situation where there are opposing opinions is to turn it around 180 degrees. What would be the response to the Eich losing his position if he were forced out because he was a gay man who got married? Any intellectually honest person will admit that there would be utter outrage, and rightfully so. And, although there would be defenders of that action, would we see it on the national news? If so, it would only be to belittle conservatives.
What happened to Brendan Eich was wrong, and was pure bigotry. The question is this: How many liberals will have the strength of character to call out bigotry when their side is the guilty party?
— Greg Johnson is a Davis resident.