If you want to change a the way society treats minorities, it takes both small and large acts to make a genuine difference. There are legislative acts (the civil rights movement for example) and cultural acts (like vilifying derogatory language) that help upend racism and homophobia in society. Obviously the legislative acts makes the most difference, but we should never underestimate the cultural ones. Small cultural acts add up, and after time, what was once normal becomes completely unacceptable.
In a small act of defiance, dating site OKCupid is now warning members using internet browser Mozilla Firefox that the new CEO is an opponent of Gay Rights. This is what pops up when you log on:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
Is OKCupid ending homophobia or making a serious contribution to the gay rights movement? Not really. But the good people who work there are helping chip away at the notion that being anti-gay marriage is OK. It damn well isn’t, and reminding whatever portion of the 450 million Firefox users who use OKCupid can only help.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.