A national newspaper columnist has warned of a culture of “ideological intolerance”, following the CEO of internet browser company Mozilla resigning after a gay marriage row.
Writing in The Times, Melanie Phillips said such a culture stamps out “not just dissent but free inquiry, all under the guise of creating a kinder, more inclusive and progressive world”.
She joined a number of critics who have spoken out after Brendan Eich stepped down following the controversy.
Eich gave around £600 to a Californian campaign to support marriage between one man and one woman in 2008, and left his post last week after being in the job for less than a month.
Describing Eich’s treatment by Mozilla as “chilling”, Phillips said “it has long been clear that to oppose the gay agenda means running a gauntlet of intolerance”.
She gave the British example of street preacher John Craven who was held in custody for 19 hours after speaking about homosexuality from the Bible.
Commenting that he was awarded £13,000 in compensation, Phillips said it is “scant comfort that the courts often dismiss such charges”.
On Saturday Emily Moulder, who works for a lesbian dating company, also criticised what had happened to Eich, saying different viewpoints should be respected.
Writing for The Telegraph, she said: “It isn’t right that Brendan Eich lost his job because of his personal beliefs, anymore than I should lose my job because I’m a lesbian.
“I may not agree with him and how he feels about gay marriage, but that’s how the world works – we’re allowed to have different viewpoints and publicly punishing each other for them isn’t right. That’s not equality.”
Also speaking over the weekend, former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, said that Eich had been subjected to “new fascism”.
“This is just the most open blatant example of their new fascism, which says ‘if you don’t agree with us 100 per cent, we have the right to punish you, unless you’re like Hillary and like Barack Obama and you recant'”, he said.