Newly appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has his share of detractors, but few are more high-profile than massive dating site OkCupid.
The site, which gets 10 million unique visitors a month, is currently greeting all Firefox users with a note explaining why OkCupid's owners feel Eich is "an opponent of equal rights for gay couples."
At issue is a $1,000 donation Eich made to support California's Proposition 8 in 2008. The constitutional amendment successfully banned gay marriage before being ruled unconstitutional in 2010.
OkCupid's roadblock for Firefox users doesn't stop them from visiting the site entirely. Clicking "Continue to OkCupid" at the bottom of the lengthy note about Eich will allow access, but "we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid."
Mozilla tried to head off such gestures of protest with a March 29 blog post titled "Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality."
The blog post noted, in part:
Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just. This is why Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.
Interestingly, the post also notes, "One voice will not limit opportunity for anyone." It doesn't clarify that point, but Mozilla seems to be saying that its CEO's personal and political opinions don't have any impact on the organization or its customers—a position that can generously be described as naive.
Our CEO is not an "anti-gay" activist—in fact he's apologized. And our Board Chair, who is the CEO's boss, is vocally in support of LGBT rights. Mozilla as an organization is staunchly in support of marriage equality and LGBT rights. OKCupid never reached out to us before this, and their boycott page is at the very least factually incorrect.
(UPDATE: The Verge has since removed this unnamed quote and replaced it with the official statement at the bottom of this post.)
Here's the full text of OkCupid's message to Firefox users:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. 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. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
UPDATE: Mozilla has sent the following statement to AdFreak and other media outlets:
Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally. OKcupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.