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    Before Brendan Eich, they came for the Mormons

    Before Brendan Eich, they came for the Mormons

    The template was drawn in November 2008, and unleashed when Obama evolved.

    A boycott and pressure campaign was launched against Brendan Eich, recently named CEO of Mozilla (which owns the Firefox browser), because in 2008 he contributed to a pro-Proposition 8 group. Eich resigned after a revolt against him at his own company due to his contribution.

    Prop. 8 enshrined in the California constitution the definition of marriage as being one man, one woman, after the California Supreme Court held that limiting marriages to one man, one woman violated the California Constitution. The voters passed Prop. 8 to overrule the California Court’s interpretation.

    We covered the legal and political issues extensively here. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court never ruled on the substance of the issue, as the defenders of the Proposition were held not to have standing to protect the law after the California Attorney General (and now Governor) Jerry Brown refused to do so. That left standing a federal trial court ruling that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution.

    Back in 2008, of course, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and a clear majority of the nation accepted one man, one woman as the definition of marriage. Prop. 8 passed in large part because of strong support from Black and Latino churches and voters.

    The fury of those opposed to Prop. 8 was not directed at those Democratic politicians and Black and Latino groups, but at Mormons, who were influential in the proposition drive.

    I wrote about it at the time at American Thinker on December 4, 2008, It’s Time to Speak Out Against The ‘Mormon Boycott’, in which I detailed the widespread campaign:

    In the end, the supporters of gay marriage who engage in anti-Mormon hate speech will realize that they have damaged their own cause. Lashing out at others and engaging in religious bigotry does not constitute an argument in favor of gay marriage.

    Regardless of one’s position on gay marriage, it is time to speak out against the “Mormon boycott.” There simply is no one else who will, if we don’t.

    I also posted, in a separate post at Legal Insurrection, an image of a sign actually carried by one of the protesters:

    Whether there is a constitutional right to change the traditional definition of marriage, or whether that issue is merely political subject to electoral vote, is something the courts and the major political parties themselves have not agreed on. To single out Mormons and subject Mormons to an economic boycott is unjustifiable.

    The Mormon boycott never went far, though not for lack of trying, because Democrats and gay rights activists had a political problem. So long as major Democratic candidates supported what Prop. 8 enshrined, there was only so far they could go in demonizing supporters of traditional marriage.

    But the template was created that support for traditional marriage was a hate crime and pure bigotry, just waiting for the right political time to pounce.

    In April 2011, the law firm of King & Spalding came under an boycott threat when it agreed to represent the U.S. House of Representatives in a lawsuit defending the Defense of Marriage Act (signed into law by Bill Clinton).

    Not only was King & Spalding threatened with direct boycott and being kicked off law school recruiting calendars, its clients unrelated to the dispute were threatened with picketing and boycotts. Coca Cola, the largest client of King & Spalding, had nothing whatsoever to do with DOMA, yet it was threatened and reportedly pressured the law firm as a result. The specter of a law firm’s clients unrelated to a dispute being threatened with boycott for using the law firm on unrelated matters was unprecedented, as far as I know. King & Spalding dropped the representations, causing its attorney Paul Clement to leave and take the House as a client with him.

    The watershed event, however, was Barack Obama’s mid-campaign evolution in support of gay marriage in May 2012. That evolution was not much of an evolution; it’s pretty clear that Obama always supported gay marriage but chose political expediency for the 2008 campaign.

    Nonetheless, Obama’s evolution set free the demonization of anyone who supported traditional marriage as not merely incorrect, but beyond worthiness to participate even in private business activities.

    Chick-fil-A was one of the first targets of the new era of intolerance, as I explained in my post, Most important legacy of Obama’s gay marriage switch was freeing Dems to play the “bigot card”:

    I can’t say I’m surprised it came to threats from the Mayors of Boston and Chicago, and a Chicago Alderman, to deny Chick-fil-A a business permit because the owners support the traditional definition of marriage as one man – one woman. Or that two other Mayors, in San Francisco and D.C., have jumped on the bandwagon telling Chick-fil-A to stay out of town.

    So long as Obama supported the traditional definition of marriage, Democratic politicians and support groups had to tread carefully in how far their rhetoric and actions went. Once Obama came out in support of gay marriage, Democrats were freed to accuse anyone and everyone who supports the traditional definition of marriage as bigoted and unworthy of a place in their jurisdictions.

    Now the “bigot card” is on full display as a centerpiece of Democratic politics.

    And make no mistake, effectively banning the support of traditional marriage as “hate speech” is where the movement is heading. It is impossible to have a discussion of the issue without supporters of traditional marriage being called bigoted. “Bigot” is the new “racist” and the “bigot card” is the new “race card.”

    Such an argument, however, is tantamount to an admission that persuasion as a political tactic has failed.

    There was a big pushback against the attack on Chick-fil-A.

    And there is a big pushback against the ousting of Eich, and against Mozilla.

    Among the most outspoken is Andrew Sullivan, who is gay, The Hounding Of A Heretic:

    Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

    Sullivan followed up:

    He did not understand that in order to be a CEO of a company, you have to renounce your heresy! There is only one permissible opinion at Mozilla, and all dissidents must be purged! Yep, that’s left-liberal tolerance in a nut-shell. No, he wasn’t a victim of government censorship or intimidation. He was a victim of the free market in which people can choose to express their opinions by boycotts, free speech and the like. He still has his full First Amendment rights. But what we’re talking about is the obvious and ugly intolerance of parts of the gay movement, who have reacted to years of being subjected to social obloquy by returning the favor.

    (added) And more, Sullivan notes the hypocrisy as to Hillary Clinton:

    Hillary Clinton only declared her support for marriage equality in 2013. Before that, she opposed it. In 2000, she said that marriage “has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman.” Was she then a bigot? On what conceivable grounds can the Democratic party support a candidate who until only a year ago was, according to the latest orthodoxy, the equivalent of a segregationist, and whose administration enacted more anti-gay laws and measures than any in American history?

    William Saletan in Slate.com has a mocking call to purge tens of thousands of people, making the satirical point of the absurdity of the purge of Eich:

    Brendan Eich is gone. The creator of JavaScript and co-founder of mozilla.org has quit as Mozilla’s CEO, forced out by the uproar over a donation he made six years ago to a ballot measure against gay marriage. There’s no record of Eich discriminating against gay employees—“I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” says the company’s chairwoman, Mitchell Baker….

    If we’re serious about taking down corporate officers who supported Proposition 8, and boycotting employers who promote them, we’d better get cracking on the rest of the list. Otherwise, perhaps we should put down the pitchforks.

    While we’re talking about Brendan Eich now, remember, first they came for the Mormons. Few spoke out, although I’m proud that I did.

    (Featured Image Source: Raphael Mazor Flickr)

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    Comments



     
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    Juba Doobai! | April 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I’m astonished at Andrew Sullivan’s hypocrisy.

    A lot of heterosexuals are discovering that their is little reward to tolerating homosexuals. First, they asked for tolerance; next, they wanted acceptance; then, they demanded approval. Now they are shouting we have no right to disagree with their lifestyle or constantly evolving demands which fly in the face of the continuation of the human species and the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

    Interestingly, the froth at the mouth at Christians but make common cause with Muslims. At bedrock, they are vicious haters of Judaeo-Christianity and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Since it has condemned their acts, they will do all they can to destroy it and it’s institutions. Therefore, homosexual “marriage” is not about marriage, how on earth can it be? Rather, it is about unraveling the foundation of our society and culture. It’s the Satyricon of Petronius all over again,


     
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    anoNY | April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    This article is just a bit hyperbolic. A boycott is nothing more than individual people deciding where to spend their money. If enough people decide not to patronize certain businesses, then the boycott is successful.

    This is a very pure form of the free market, something conservatives used to support. No one (or at least, no one meaningful) is calling for Mormons to have their rights restricted in any way by the government.


       
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      Immolate in reply to anoNY. | April 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Aren’t conservatives exercising a basic counterweight to the boycott by, in effect, protesting the boycott? This seems fundamentally what free speech is about: using good speech to nullify bad speech. You get a D+ for concern trolling, miming someone who is concerned for the appearance of hypocrisy among conservatives.

    President Hussein X doesn’t need a Minister of Hate. He’s his own.

    This is no exaggeration.

    I think many people have forgotten just who this guy (and his handler Valerie Jarrett) is, as we get used to seeing his ugly mug every day in a propaganda context of ‘normal.’

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D. January 8, 2014

    THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE

    Should marriage be between a man and a woman only or should it include other options, such as between two men, two woman, a man and several women, etc? Insight into this question can come by identifying the purposes for marriage.

    All individuals should be treated with respect regardless of sexual orientation. The approach here is on what marriage is and should be and its importance to society. Thus to make marriage a civil rights issue exclusively is an inadequate response. Marriage is to provide society with the satisfaction of certain needs. One possible analogy is that of surgery. Should all who might want to perform it be allowed to do so, or just those best suited to do so? If the traditional family is the best unit for meeting marriage and family needs, should this not only be the societal standard but also should be encouraged over all other possible alternative units.

    In conjunction with classes I took as a doctoral student at Stanford University in the 1960s, I identified what scientific studies indicated were the purposes set forth by societies for marriage. The four major basic purposes noted in science were and I believe still are co-residence, economic support, child socialization and sexual access. Here are some ideas as to how these are related to traditional marriage and other proposed marriage options:

    Co-residence: marriage presupposes that the partners will live together, either on their own or as part of extended families. The duration of such a pattern with the same spouse is ideally throughout one’s life. Some heterosexual and homosexual couples can and do certainly meet this criteria. How long, however, is the average length of co-residence of a given couple? What is the duration of the average “committed” homosexual union? Is it true, as noted in some studies, that this is less than two years? What are the accurate figures in this regard?

    Economic Support: Marriage presupposes that the partners will take care of themselves and each other economically. During childbearing and childrearing years, the ideal is that at least one of the partners will have the time to care properly for any offspring, while the other will provide the necessary economic assistance. Many heterosexual and homosexual unions can and do meet this criteria.

    Child bearing and rearing: Although parenting is generally seen as a heterosexual event it is indeed possible that, in lesbian situations, a woman can be artificially inseminated and bear a child. The bonding that can and does develop between a biological mother and child appears then possible in both situations. Many studies had been done by the 1960s indicating that a child benefitted more, though, when both a male and a female parent was present. Such a need can be clearly seen by the problem found in so many single-parent families with absent fathers as compared to those with two parents.

    The issue around which there is much controversy and not very much “valid” scientific data is whether or not children are equally well off in a home with two parents of the same gender. Studies up to the1960s and beyond show clearly then that families with a mother and father are far better for children than any other heterosexual combination. Gender difference has been demonstrated in myriad studies as a significant positive element in families. Thus optimally there should be both a male and female in the home. Since same-gender parent arrangements are relatively new we don’t yet have a good track record. What we should all fear, however, is the presence and pervasiveness of what can be most charitably referred to as “advocacy research”, the many recent studies where “researchers” marshal evidence to support their personal agendas and try to call it science, rather than the propaganda it really is. What is needed is more research done by individuals who truly control for bias. Until then valid scientific studies indicate clearly, and I believe will continue to indicate, that children do better when in a marriage situation consisting of a man and woman who love each other, love their children and stay together during and beyond the childrearing years.

    In fairness to homosexual couples the home environments they can provide are certainly more desirable, provided children are not sexually abused, than those found in so many non-marital and even marital heterosexual relationships.

    Sexual access: One issue that does not generally receive media coverage and little from most social science researchers is sexual access in conjunction with marriage. One critically-important feature of any marriage relationship is the commitment, and keeping of this commitment, that the partners in the relationship will have sexual relationships only with one another and never with anyone outside the relationship. Studies I have seen over the years seem to indicate that within heterosexual marriage relationship about three quarters of the couples practice such marital fidelity.

    Among homosexual couples, using one source I have consulted, authors David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, both homosexual activists, (The Male Couple, 1984) indicate that sexual fidelity may have been an expressed desire among many homosexual couples, but that within 5 years none of the couples who had decided initially that they would be sexually faithful to their partners kept this commitment. I would hope that the greater acceptance of homosexual pairings today will lead to greater sexual fidelity. I am not optimistic. Such sexual patterns need to be studied.

    A brief comment about the often-used principle of equal protection as articulated in the 14th amendment, there is no qualification as to who is entitled to such protection, or specifically if any are excluded from it. Thus those who wish to form polygamous marital situations, for example, cannot really be logically or legally excluded. A case to test this issue is presently in the judicial pipeline.


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