Mozilla CEO and the right to discriminate

In a libertarian anarchist society, the right to discriminate would apply across the board, from who you hire to who you marry. All voluntary contracts and relationships could be terminated for any reason a person feels justifies it. This includes race, color, creed, religious affiliations, gender, what have you.

None of this implies any moral stance, however. The legal right to do something does not translate into a moral right.

The problem in our society and country is that we tolerate and allow for certain types of discrimination, but are intolerant of others. It is acceptable to discriminate for specific reasons, but others will land a company in court merely on the appearance of such discrimination.

This is the situation we have in which Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was forced to step down after it was revealed he contributed $1,000 to the Proposition 8 in California, which banned gay marriage. Companies like dating site OKCupid protested and asked their customers not to use Firefox, the Internet browser Mozilla created.

Unfortunately, people on both sides of the debate get it wrong. The Daily Caller, for example, claims in an article that OKCupid blocked Firefox browser users from accessing their site. This is not true. OKCupid merely requested people not use it, which it left it up to them to decide.

On the other hand, in their statement OKCupid wrote that “If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal.”

This is ridiculous. The law wouldn’t have made such relationships illegal. What the law would have done is not allow them to be recognized by the state through a marriage license. With this logic, all dating relationships or any relationship without a license is illegal. I don’t intend on getting a marriage license if I get married. Would that make my marriage to my wife illegal?

OKCupid also engages in melodrama by using such descriptions as “those who seek to deny love…”

Yes, because we all know unless you have a marriage license from the State you are denied the ability to love another human being.

Personally, I think the two prevailing views on gay marriage are wrong, because they both accept the fundamental premise that the State should have the power to grant marriage licenses. The libertarian solution is to make all marriages private and instead of government licenses people can create and sign marriage contracts or receive marriage certificates from their church. This way no one is forced to accept anyone else’s definition of marriage. It’s telling when people who scream and shout about “marriage equality” start arguing with me when I explain my view. Nowhere is the violence of the State involved, which is what they’re really after.

Eich’s resignation merely indicates the double-standard when it comes to discrimination. Imagine if some blogger or website had outed Eich as a homosexual activist, and then the entire religious community had demanded his resignation. For starters, Eich would still be CEO, unless Mozilla wanted a discrimination lawsuit on their hands.

Also, I grow weary of obnoxious activists who seek to divide everyone and everything with a “either you’re with us or you’re against us” mentality. Guinness did the same thing a few weeks back when it stopped funding the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City because they wouldn’t allow a gay pride float in a parade that celebrates an ethnic heritage.

Just to get this out there, I buy products because I like them, not because I support the political views of the person running company. If I had to maintain such a standard I’d starve to death.

Guinness is perfectly within their rights to stop funding a parade, as is OKCupid and Mozilla to do what they do with their own property. But I also have the right to be sick of it and switch from Guinness to Stockyard Oatmeal Stout.

Additionally, I was looking at a lot of comments online about this incident and I found one rather interesting. “If only people held politicians to the same standards of perfection.”


Let me end on this note: In the workplace I’ve heard people make racial, ethnic, moral and religious comments about people like myself that would have landed me in an unemployment line had I made the same comment about them. They were able to say it with complete confidence that they are protected and that I could not respond without ensuring the wrath of the HR department.

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4 Responses to Mozilla CEO and the right to discriminate

  1. Pingback: Supreme Court declines to hear freedom of association case | The Anarchist Notebook | Libertarian Anarchy

  2. Pingback: OKCupid CEO should apologize to Brendan Eich | The Anarchist Notebook | Libertarian Anarchy

  3. Pingback: Discrimination | The Anarchist Notebook | Libertarian Anarchy

  4. Pingback: Is America Becoming Like East Germany? | The Anarchist Notebook | Libertarian Anarchy

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