Singles logging onto the popular OKCupid dating website may face an unfamiliar splash screen when logging onto the page via the Mozilla FireFox browser today:
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.
Users can click through the screen if they choose to keep using the browser.
Eich made a public donation of $1,000 to a group supporting California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in the state. The measure, which became law after California voters narrowly voted for the proposition in 2008, was later declared unconstitutional.
Even though Eich’s donation was years old, news of his promotion at the company prompted some employees to take to Twitter to demand he step down.
The new CEO took to his blog to defend his role at the company, noting he knew “some [would] be skeptical...and that words alone will not change anything,” but added he remained committed to “new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized.”
Clarification: An earlier version of this post indicated that Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had “publicly supported” Proposition 8. Although he made a public donation to a group supporting the California ballot question and wrote two blog posts defending himself from accusations of bigotry, Eich has not offered further public comment on the measure.Caesar can be reached at Christopher.Caesar@globe.com or via Twitter @ChrisCaesar.