Harry Cockburn: I’m with OkCupid. Mozilla CEO had to leave after gay rights row

The dating website has won a clear victory over bigotry and ignorance

Earlier this week we reported that dating website OkCupid had warned off Firefox users from their site in protest at chief executive Brendan Eich’s support for banning gay marriage in America.

So today the company will be celebrating after it was announced that Eich has stepped down from parent company Mozilla over the row.

On Monday, the free dating website ran a notice which highlighted Eich’s opposition to gay marriage and his donations supporting Proposition 8, which would have banned same sex marriage in California.

The notice also said: “If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly then 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important for many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. 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.”

While OkCupid is not taking full credit for Eich’s departure, the company successfully drew a huge amount of attention to the appointment which had already sparked concern across the web.

This is a victory over bigotry, intolerance and attempts to brush prejudices aside.

OkCupid has clearly demonstrated the power which companies have in bringing up issues and affecting positive change at higher levels.

But it’s also exciting to note that this will send a potent message to other organisations that wish to engender mass appeal. Open mindedness and inclusivity offends nobody. But ignorance and antipathy are simply bad business.

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