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OKCupid CEO called out for donation to anti-gay lawmaker

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

OKCupid, the online dating site that took Mozilla's CEO to task for a donation to a campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California, is now under fire for its own CEO essentially doing the same.

OKCupid CEO and co-founder Sam Yagan in 2004 gave $500 to Rep. Chris Cannon's campaign, despite the fact the lawmaker, during his tenure from 1997 to 2009, voted for a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, Mother Jones reported.

Mr. Cannon also voted against a measure that would have added sexual orientation to the federal rules against job discrimination, as well as voting to outlaw adoptions by gay couples.

But when gay rights activists both within Mozilla's ranks and outside the company began to press for the removal of CEO Brendan Eich — calling attention to the fact that he gave $1,000 to the Proposition 8 measure in California in 2008 — OKCupid jumped on board.

The home page of the dating site encouraged its members against using Mozilla Firefox, offering links to alternative browsers for accessing the site.

"We've devoted the last ten years to bringing people — all people — together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8 percent of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal."

Mr. Eich ultimately resigned his CEO post, 10 days after he was promoted to the spot.

Following his resignation, OKCupid sent out a statement that read, "We are pleased that OKCupid's boycott has brought tremendous awareness to the critical matter of equal rights for all individuals and partnerships."

Update: OKCupid CEO and co-founder Sam Yagan has released a statement on his contribution to Rep. Chris Cannon's 2004 campaign. It reads:

“A decade ago, I made a contribution to Representative Chris Cannon because he was the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversaw the Internet and Intellectual Property, matters important to my business and our industry.  I accept responsibility for not knowing where he stood on gay rights in particular; I unequivocally support marriage equality and I would not make that contribution again today.  However, a contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop. 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right.”

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