This wouldn’t be worth calling out, except for the fact that Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla, lost his job because he was targeted by OkCupid for donating to Proposition 8, the 2008 traditional-marriage initiative in California. (Don’t miss Nate’s list of other enterprises OkCupid needs to go after on the same principle. William Saletan of Slate may have vaguely proposed a purge along these lines, but it took a conservative columnist to come up with an action plan.)
It turns out, according to spadework done at Uncrunched.com, that Sam Yagan, founder of Match.com and CEO of OkCupid, donated to a conservative Republican congressman, Chris Cannon of Utah, in 2004. Cannon’s not just any old conservative Republican. He was one of the most “socially conservative” during his five terms in the House of Representatives.
Here’s a sample of Cannon’s voting record from OnTheIssues.org (which posts its information with the usual mainstream-left biases embedded in the commentary):
- Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)
- Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006)
- Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
- Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
- Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage. (Jun 2008)
The author at Uncrunched.com, Michael Arrington, thinks Yagan has basically demonstrated out-and-out hypocrisy in cheering his company on to spearhead the attack on Eich – which Yagan did multiple times via Twitter. Arrington’s conclusion? The whole kerfuffle was nothing more than a PR stunt: a way to drum up notoriety for OkCupid.
But what was OKCupid’s motivation? And how does OkCupid’s co-founder Sam Yagan fit into this?
I believe that it was a PR stunt by OKCupid, that the company isn’t really committed to gay rights at all, and that OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan was particularly hypocritical in this.
Arrington could be right. And, of course, the exit question: shouldn’t OkCupid now go after its own CEO for donating to a congressman who turned in such a poor record on gay-activist issues? Presumably, the method would be for OkCupid to ask web customers to refrain from visiting the OkCupid site, as long as Sam Yagan is still the CEO.