This week the popular dating website OkCupid announced that they blocked their users from accessing the site if they used the browser Firefox. This action was taken because it was discovered that the Mozilla CEO donated money to the anti-gay Prop 8 campaign. While I understand the outrage that this has caused I find the boycott to be utterly sophomoric and unnecessary.
As a Black gay man I understand that the fight for civil rights for the LGBT community continues, but a larger question hasn’t been asked. So let me ask it. Is it okay to boycott a company because one of its employees, as a private citizen, donates to a cause you disagree with? Mind you at the time he gave the donation he wasn’t the CEO. I’m not saying what he did was right or wrong but rather asking a larger question. Did he as the current CEO fire any out LGBT employee or encourage their harassment in the workplace? Did Mozilla or Firefox intently fire a LGBT employee or encourage that they be harassed or passed over for any promotions because of their sexual orientation?
While I continue to fight for marriage equality and other civil rights for my fellow LGBT community this boycott is meritless and a waste of time. Many people may disagree with me, but I’m going to elaborate.
The way OkCupid went about their boycott was to block access for Firefox users. As opposed to informing and letting the user decide to continue using that browser, OkCupid got that liberty away. How can you with one breathe say you believe in equality but then take away your users freedom to use a browser of their choice? In addition in their letter OkCupid said that they wish them nothing but failure. That is a powerful yet mean statement. Now is NOT the time to be as vile as our opponents are to us. When we adopt their actions as our own it is enforcing what they have done and are doing to us. If anything, now is the time to adopt a stance where we hold up a mirror and let the opponents see themselves for who they are. How is wishing that someone fails any different for them wishing our chances for marriage equality fails?
Now is the time to hold up our hands and fight back in a way that shows we have earned marriage equality. That we have earned the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness where city, state and federal laws aren’t discriminatory. Telling people that the new CEO donated money to fight against your right to marry is one thing, but to wish him and the company (which has LGBT employees) failure is not the appropriate move.
So while I understand that OkCupid is upset by the donation of a private citizen before he became the CEO of a company this is a boycott that I won’t be supporting.