A coalition of well-known homocons and others today released a public statement on the resignation of former Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich. The statement is titled, “Freedom To Marry, Freedom To Dissent: Why We Must Have Both.” An excerpt:
Is opposition to same-sex marriage by itself, expressed in a political campaign, beyond the pale of tolerable discourse in a free society? We cannot wish away the objections of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions, or browbeat them into submission. Even in our constitutional system, persuasion is a minority’s first and best strategy. It has served us well and we should not be done with it.
Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.
Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.
The freedom—not just legal but social—to express even very unpopular views is the engine that propelled the gay-rights movement from its birth against almost hopeless odds two generations ago. A culture of free speech created the social space for us to criticize and demolish the arguments against gay marriage and LGBT equality. For us and our advocates to turn against that culture now would be a betrayal of the movement’s deepest and most humane values.
The statement does not address the fact that all LGBT groups remained completely silent as the controversy unfolded and came to its conclusion. Nor does it note that the campaign against Eich was spawned by Mozilla staffers and developers themselves. Instead, the “blame” for Eich’s resignation is laid squarely at the feet of phantom gay activists.
Homocon signers: Ken Mehlman, Peter Thiel, Rich Tafel, William Saletan, Jamie Kirchick, Jonathan Rauch, and former GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe. Among the others: Andrew Sullivan, John Corvino, David Blankenhorn, and Box Turtle Bulletin bloggers Jim Burroway, Timothy Kincaid, and Rob Tisinai.