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Brendan Eich's Prop. 8 contribution gets Twittersphere buzzing

April 04, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Supporters or Proposition 8 rally in 2008.
Supporters or Proposition 8 rally in 2008. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Has your 4-year-old contribution to an anti-gay marriage law suddenly resurfaced on the Internet?

Then you know exactly what Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla, inventor of JavaScript, and general developer hero, is going through when it recently came to light that back in 2008, he made a $1,000 contribution to support Proposition 8.

The record of the donation has been available since at least 2008, but it was rediscovered by the Twittersphere last month and the information -- and outrage -- has continued to spread, with more than 5,000 people tweeting about Eich's contribution Tuesday.

"Apparently @brendaneich, father of #JavaScript, isn't as versatile as his language," wrote the Chaos Reactor. "He donated $1000 in support of a gay marriage ban."

Matthew Tretter wrote: "I'm so used to awesome developers being awesome people too. Really disappointed that @brendaneich bucked the trend."

And the IT journalist Peter Bright, who tweets under the handle "DrPizza" wrote: "Time I think to switch back to chrome."

Not everyone felt that Eich should be villified.

Ricy Rickard wrote: "@BrendanEich supported Prop 8 & internet goes nuts. Let the man have his opinion, even if it differs from you."

And Paul M. Watson wrote: "Not relevant to JavaScript but I feel a pang of disappointment."

Eich did not respond to an Los Angeles Times request for comment, but he did respond to a tweet by David Heinemeier Hansson, who created the open source Web framework Ruby on Rails, and has more than 55,000 followers on Twitter.

In language we can't repeat here, Heinemeier Hansson said that seeing Eich's name and Mozilla's name on the list of people who gave to Prop 8 was "nasty."

Eich responded on Twitter: "@mmastrac cc: @dhh Mozilla has no say in employees' contributions. CA law requires donors to list employer."

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