Huelskamp on Mozilla CEO: ‘Exact Same Position That President Obama Had’

By Penny Starr | April 8, 2014 | 4:15 PM EDT

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) (AP photo)

( – When asked about the resignation last week of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich because of his support for traditional marriage, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said President Barack Obama held the same position in 2008 when Eich made a $1,000 donation to the California Prop 8 campaign.

“The facts are the position that he’s being punished for taking is the same position President Obama had at the same time,” said Huelskamp, referring to the president’s position at the time that he was not in favor of same-sex marriage. “The exact same position in 2008.”

Huelskamp, who made the remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s monthly Conversations with Conservatives event on Capitol Hill, said Eich is “being punished for what he believes.”

“If you disagree with the Left, this is how you get treated,” Huelskamp said. “They believe in the First Amendment as long as it is their position.

“But [Eich] was involved in the political arena and he’s being punished for what he believes,” Huelskamp said. “And I think that’s something that I think a lot of Americans are very concerned.”

Eich, co-founder of Mozilla, which makes the popular Firefox web browser, was appointed CEO on March 25 but resigned late last week after backlash from critics unhappy with a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that opposed same-sex marriage. The protests were largely spearheaded by an online dating website, OKCupid.

Mozilla executive chair Mitchell Baker confirmed Eich’s departure with a statement of apology: “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

Yet, in a blog written two days after he took over as CEO on March 24, Eich wrote about his commitment to “inclusion” at Mozilla and spelled out actions he planned to take in his new role.

“I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion,” Eich wrote.

“You will see exemplary behavior from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products,” he said. “Mozilla’s inclusive health benefits policies will not regress in any way.

“And I will not tolerate behavior among community members that violates our Community Participation Guidelines or (for employees) our inclusive and non-discriminatory employment policies,” Eich wrote.