The departure, this week, of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla suggests a shift in the tide on the tolerance of anti-gay bigotry. The rightness of full legal rights for LGBT people has reached a clear new level in mainstream America. And the price he is paying for his bigotry seems fair to me. Now many will argue that he was merely exercising his right to free speech and that we must learn to get along with those we disagree with. Of course both are true... I, too totally support free speech and believe that we must respect one another and learn to listen to those who have different opinions than our own. But this story really illustrates a different point.
While respecting diversity of ideas the fact is that some viewpoints disqualify their holders from participation in the public space. We would never take seriously a racist who advocated a return to segregation even if we support his free speech rights to express his position. The sexist world view that would cause a senatorial candidate to utter a phrase like “legitimate rape” cost him and excluded him from being taken seriously. And the public was none the poorer for his absence. Anti-gay bigotry is simply no longer legitimate if you wish to participate in the “market” place.
So perhaps Eric can have dinner with Paula Dean and bash political correctness over a buttery feast. But now I will use Firefox again and say bye, bye Brendan.