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04/03/2014

No, Brendan Eich did not hold the same position as then-candidate Obama. Stop saying that.

by Jeremy Hooper

President Obama, while U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Obama, was on record as opposed to Proposition 8. He called it "divisive and discriminatory;" he called it "unnecessary" and "not what America's about."

Brendan Eich, the now-resigned Mozilla CEO, gave $1000 to Proposition 8. He supported it. He worked to pass it.

Yet in the hours since Eich announced his resignation, I've seen numerous conservatives claim that Eich held the same exact position as then-candidate Obama back in '08. Here's one from the Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson:

The outrageous response is the result of one private, personal campaign contribution to support marriage as a male-female union, a view affirmed at the time by President Barack Obama, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, and countless other prominent officials. After all, Prop 8 passed with the support of 7 million California voters.

So was President Obama a bigot back when he supported marriage as the union of a man and woman? And is characterizing political disagreement on this issue—no matter how thoughtfully expressed—as hate speech really the way to find common ground and peaceful co-existence? [
Heritage]

Or there's this, which gives you the gist of a meme that's all over the right side of Twitter:

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 At 6.01.33 Pm-1

Well look, President Obama was certainly wrong on marriage, something he himself now realizes. And I was the first to criticize Senators Obama and Clinton for those earlier (unevolved?) stances. But the fact of the matter is that the Democratic candidates (and most Dems in general) opposed the abject and unconstituional nastiness that was and is Proposition 8 because, even when they had yet to come to their current places of support, they knew that altering governing documents for the sole purpose of limiting rights was a bad idea. Mr. Eich apparently felt otherwise.

By all means, defend Mr. Eich's actions and criticize his treatment. But stop lying about who was supposedly his compatriot in the Prop 8 battle. Barack Obama—who also opposed DOMA, backed ENDA and hate crimes legislation, and vowed to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell—was not on his team.

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