When LGBT people call out companies and organizations working against our interests, often it results in a positive policy change. But these businesses or groups have recently muddied the waters by making halfhearted apologies — or they’ve backtracked on progressive moves or taken no action. For anyone keeping watch, here are some examples never to follow.
Mozilla: The company behind the popular Web browser Firefox has a new CEO, Brendan Eich, who back in 2008 donated $1,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8, which nullified marriage equality in California. (Happily, thanks to a successful court challenge, Prop. 8 is no more.) Activists immediately raised concerns about Eich, and he and the company responded by asserting that Mozilla’s LGBT-friendly policies would not change, but Eich did not address the donation directly or say whether his views on marriage equality had changed. So now the backlash is growing, with more than 65,000 people have signed a petition calling on Eich to renounce his donation or resign. Plus, OKCupid made the bold move on Monday of intercepting anyone visiting the popular dating site while using Firefox with a letter warning that Eich "is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software."
Republican National Committee: Dave Agema, a former Michigan state legislator who now represents his state on the RNC, has made numerous outrageously antigay statements and posted homophobic misinformation on Facebook, leading to demands for him to resign from the RNC. A sampling of Agema’s misdeeds: saying Russia’s “gay propaganda” law is “a good law” and the U.S. should have one like it; alleging that gay men want free health care “because they’re dying between 30 and 44 years old”; and sharing articles by other antigay activists that included such unfounded assertions as “Many homosexuals admit they are pedophiles” and “The median age of death of lesbians is 45.” With a record like that, you'd think those self-proclaimed, equality-loving Republicans in charge of the party aparatus would be howling for his resignation every day, right? Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, has condemned Agema’s inflammatory rhetoric, and RNC chair Reince Priebus has called for him to resign — but he’s still here. Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette has also urged Agema to quit the committee, yet Agema and Schuette were seen shaking hands at a recent event for Schuette’s reelection campaign. Oh, and by the way, Agema says the devil’s behind the push for his resignation.