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Gay Marriage

There has been a lot of fuss this week over Brendan Eich becoming Mozilla CEO. The issue is a donation against gay marriage. For many, especially outside the US, it can be hard to see why this is a big deal, irrespective of your agreement with the issue. Twenty years ago someone was kind enough to explain it to me.

According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are 1,138 statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining benefits, rights, and privileges. [1]

Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States

Campaigning against gay marriage isn't about the marriage itself (whatever your moral framework), but also denies those 1,138 benefits, rights and privileges to gay couples. It makes them less equal than opposite sex couples. Understandably, making other people less equal is an issue.

It seems very contradictory to be all about inclusiveness at Mozilla, but against it outside of work for those same employees, not to mention Mozilla's customer/user base. Brendan has never publicly explained his opinion nor changed his mind - statement from 2012.

I personally think this is an important human rights issue - I'm for human rights and equality, and hope you are too.

[1]Note that those benefits, rights and privileges don't only apply to the married couple themselves, but also impose obligations on others. For example a hospital has to let the married partner visit or make care decisions, but doesn't for unmarried people. This is an example of what can happen.

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