We shouldn’t forgive Brendan Eich for his homophobic past—yet

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down yesterday amid controversy about his 2008 contribution to the campaign to enact California’s infamous anti-gay referendum, Proposition 8. Over the last two decades, voters across the United States broadly supported similar legislation that has specifically targeted, personally offended, and directly harmed members of the gay community.

But a dramatic and rapid shift in public opinion over the last few years has brought widespread acceptance of same-sex couples. Many who showed anti-gay animus in the past now sincerely regret their hurtful actions. Should people live in fear that their history of homophobia will come back to haunt them?

In Eich’s case, the controversy surrounded his refusal to reconcile his political support for Prop 8 with his ability to lead a company that values LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion. (Slate’s Will Oremus has eloquently explained why Eich’s resignation was the right move.)

But every individual with homophobic skeletons in the closet must have cringed at the sight of a private individual being held accountable in such a public way for past bigotry. While 59% of Americans now support marriage equality, the same percentage opposed it just 10 years ago. In other words, today’s society is no longer a comfortable place for homophobes. And that’s a good thing…

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As for me, I have never held any particular animus against gays or even cared it they wanted to marry. But I am very disturbed over how this has been handled.  Being against homosexuality is now becoming a social taboo.  Break it, and you become a worthless cast-out, and you are certainly likely to lose your job.

But the odd thing is, many of the same people who agitated for this man to step down are encouraging the wave of third world migrants to the West, even though few of them have a Western attitude to gays. It is true that the second generation may see things differently, but there one group that is not going to change: Muslim true believers.

Would this man have been asked to step down if everything had been the same except that was a Muslim?  Somehow I do not think so.   And thus not only are we becoming more and more intolerant of dissent, we are tolerating the grotesquely intolerant, even encouraging them to move here.

I just do not understand how the left thinks. If immigration and demographic trends continue (Muslims have lots of kids, as we have noted before), the gay lobby may find itself in a very different place in a generation or two.