Mozilla co-founder, CEO resigns after furor over gay rights - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mozilla co-founder, CEO resigns after furor over gay rights

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SOURCE: Youtube.com SOURCE: Youtube.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (WBTV/AP) -

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO after protests of his support of a gay marriage ban in California.

The Mountain View-based nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser had promoted him last week.

At issue was Eich's $1,000 donation in 2008 to the campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that outlawed same-sex marriages.

The ban was overturned when the U.S. Supreme Court last year left in place a lower-court ruling striking down the ballot measure.

Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker apologized for the company's actions in an open letter online Thursday. She says Eich is stepping down for the company's sake.

"Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves," Baker stated. "We didn't act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better."

She says Mozilla believes in equality and freedom of speech.

Earlier this week, online dating service OkCupid.com encouraged its users to stop using the Firefox web browser because of Eich's views and contribution.

OkCupid.com updated its home page Monday so people who access the site with Firefox see a message describing Eich as an opponent of equal rights. The message from the New York-based dating service encourages users to switch to a different browser.

"While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better," Baker continued. "We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla."

The company is still discussing what is next for its leadership.

"We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved," she ended. "Thank you for sticking with us."

Copyright 2014 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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