A Sad 'Victory'

[For a great summary on why Brendan stepped down from a Mozilla insider, see Mark Surman’s post.]

First, I want to say how absolutely sad to hear that Brendan Eich stepped down. I guess this counts as some kind of “victory,” but it doesn’t feel like it. We never expected this to get as big as it has and we never expected that Brendan wouldn’t make a simple statement. I met with Brendan and asked him to just apologize for the discrimination under the law that we faced. He can still keep his personal beliefs, but I wanted him to recognize that we faced real issues with immigration and say that he never intended to cause people problems.

It’s heartbreaking to us that he was unwilling to say even that.

We absolutely don’t believe that everyone who voted yes on Prop 8 is evil. In fact, we’re sure that most of them just didn’t understand the impact the law would have. That’s why so many people have changed their mind in 4 short years – because they saw the impact and pain that the law caused to friends and family members.

People think we were upset about his past vote. Instead we were more upset with his current and continued unwillingness to discuss the issue with empathy. Seriously, we assumed that he would reconsider his thoughts on the impact of the law (not his personal beliefs), issue an apology, and then he’d go on to be a great CEO.

The fact it ever went this far is really disturbing to us.

The Mozilla blog post really warmed our hearts. We’ve been working directly with Mozilla and Brendan to try and find a positive resolution to this. We really do love the Open Web and to see it threatened by this issue was heartbreaking for us as advocates of both open source software and our own equality under the law.

We think Mozilla put it the best: “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.” That’s exactly how we have felt. We absolutely believe people should be allowed to have personal opinions, but we also believe that we are allowed to disagree and to try and change someone’s mind by expressing our own personal story.

In the CNET interview, we were so hopeful that when he was asked the question about if he’d vote for Prop 8 again that he’d say, “You know, my personal beliefs are very strongly held, so those haven’t changed. But I have realized after talking to so many people affected by the law in ways I didn’t intend, that the law itself should treat us all equally.”

That would have been victory. And that’s why we are so sad.

We fully support Mozilla, their mission, and trying to build back up the bridges that got torn down. We know many people are going to be upset by Eich stepping down, and some of them might send out a lot of hate. This has been a traumatic time for us, and we hope to never have to post anything about this again. We are software developers and we’d much rather spend our time building great software and helping people than being involved in a horrible mess like this.

Finally, as the terms of our boycott have been met, we’ll be putting our apps back in the Firefox Marketplace soon. We are excited to get back to what we love to do: making great things!