Dear Gay CEO: Hire Brendan Eich
A gay CEO with a pair of brass ones needs to step up and speak truth to a growing, and most illiberal new power. He or she needs to hire Brendan Eich in some sort of corporate leadership capacity for the sake of the most fundamental of freedoms — the freedom to think what you want to think, even if your thinking is unpopular or deemed “mistaken” — and in so doing boldly declare that our society has no truck with inquisitions.
Well, I have known gay people and loved gay people and buried gay people and fed gay people and edited gay people and argued on their behalf, even when it has at times meant facing opposition from my co-religionists. It seems to me some “official gay folk” need to step up, and speak up for the basic human right of free speech and free thought for all people — without fear of poverty and social stigma.
Let me be clear: I hold out absolutely no hope that this chill wind will be checked or reversed — too many people with money and influence and no individual courage at all find totalitarianism an alluring idea. Nevertheless, though everything is part illusion, I’ll still resist and say, as Tom McDonald so succinctly puts it, “this sh*t has to stop.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan continues to stand up for freedom of thought and speech. Excerpt:
As I said last night, of course Mozilla has the right to purge a CEO because of his incorrect political views. Of course Eich was not stripped of his First Amendment rights. I’d fight till my last breath for Mozilla to retain that right. What I’m concerned with is the substantive reason for purging him. When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance. If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel? It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.
Sullivan goes on to accuse gays and their allies of “enforcing another sort of closet” on their opponents, and that what they’re doing is “absolutely McCarthyism.” Again, I am deeply grateful that a man who has earned more than just about anybody in this country the moral authority to speak on this issue is using it to defend the rights of people like me to be (as he sees it) wrong.