OKCupid is taking a stand for gay rights this week by urging its members to boycott the Firefox internet browser. Seriously, though. Who in this world is still using Firefox?
If you log onto OKCupid while using Firefox, you’ll be greeted by a message that says, in part:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site. However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
As it turns out, Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, made a $1000 donation in 2008 to California’s Proposition 8, a gay marriage ban passed in 2008 (and, coming from a Californian, a great embarrassment to our state). Eich is an opponent of gay marriage, and OKCupid would “therefore prefer that [their] users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.”
Mozilla, for their part, issued a butt hurt statement of their own:
Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally. OKcupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.
It doesn’t do much to exonerate them or make them look particularly great, and as far as I can see, the fact that Mozilla’s CEO made a contribution to anti-gay amendment is accurate; I haven’t seen that disputed anywhere.
On the other hand, I’m a bit reticent to hold OKCupid up as a paragon for queer rights of any kind–OKCupid isn’t particularly inclusive, despite the fact that they included the following overwrought statement in their call for boycott:
“OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”
Unfortunately, OKCupid isn’t really about creating love. It’s about creating love for some people. The site ignores anyone who doesn’t fit the gender binary by limiting gender choices to male or female, and also limits orientation to straight, gay, or bisexual. That’s hardly an accurate representation of the multitudes of orientations out there. For a company that claims to represent inclusivity for all types of relationships and people, it misses a good amount of them. While I want to applaud OKCupid for taking a stand at all, there’s some serious cognitive dissonance between their new activist persona and actual actions as a company. At best, it’s well intentioned but too little, and at worst, it comes off like “no it’s cool a lot of my friends are gay.”
It’s important for people to be aware of where their money is going, and so OKCupid has every right to call out Eich. Of course, Mozilla is hardly the only company in the world with a CEO making donations that would upset its customers–Whole Foods immediately comes to mind. And while it’s admirable for anyone to stand up and say anything when it’s easier to stand in the background, I’m going to withhold any gushing praise for OKCupid’s principled stand until they make a few changes to their own concept of inclusivity.