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Mozilla, World Vision, and the power of the purse

Is there a the difference between Mozilla firing Brendan Eich and World Vision doing a U-turn on same-sex-marriage?

PurseI believe it’s a good thing for people to have different opinions. I also believe it’s a good thing for people to be able to express those opinions by boycotting things they don’t like.

So far as I can tell, what led Mozilla to get rid of CEO Brendan Eich is that some of its customers decided to stop doing business with a company headed by someone who opposes same-sex marriage. So far as I can also tell, what led World Vision to reverse its decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages is that some of its contributors decided to stop donating money to a philanthropy that is willing to employ people in same-sex marriages.

Had Mozilla and World Vision not been faced with these boycotts, they presumably would have stuck to their guns. Had they stuck to their guns regardless, I would have admired them. But the power of the purse proved more powerful than all other considerations.

For those who don’t like the cause for which that power is wielded, it’s called bullying. For those who do, it’s called principled behavior. Is there anything I’m missing?

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