(Note: this article did not originally appear on planet ; but given the incredibly violent reactions to Gerv's article I read, I changed its category)

Associating Gervase Markham and the words "hate speech" or "a particular group of people are not human" are very clear indicators that the author (Tim Chevalier) of these words doesn't know our Gerv, should urgently cool down, vent his anger on something else or focus his energy on treating his own paranoia. And Tim is not the only one who should cool down. The reactions to Gerv's post are far too violent.

Associating Gervase Markham and the words "we’ve fired people who made bigoted remarks at work before, and we’ll do it again" seems to me a rather violent attack on Gervase's UK constitutional rights granted to all UK citizens physically in the UK to say what is legal is the UK on their UK blog. And even a US employer can't go against that inside the European Union. Associating Gerv and these words is a threat, and that threat is no better than the imaginary hate it calls against. That threat is, at least to me, unacceptable and has nothing to do with the Mozillian spirit.

Years ago, someone left hate messages on Gerv's blog abusing my identity. Gerv did the right thing : he pinged me instead of replying instantly with public hate himself. Why is so hard to do the same in the current case and solve the issue as ADULTS instead of draggling Gerv backwards and forwards in the mud?

Planet.mozilla.org syndicates blogs without filter. Fix planet, but stop harassing Gerv. Period. His blog, his web site, his freedom of speech, with perfectly legal words as a UK citizen. I don't agree with Gerv here, but I fail 100% seeing hate or humanity denial in his prose. And associating his own prose to Mozilla-the-corporation-and-the-foundation only because it appeared on an unfiltered pmo seems to me strict political correctness.

Today, on pmo, there's a blog article titled "Freelancing". It has nothing to do with Mozilla, strictly saying. It could be understood as an ad for the author. Syndicated too on Mozilla resources ; interestingly, nobody reacted to that one. The Mozilla Community is global? Show it. Show you're able to deal with other cultures, other law systems, other opinions. Debate. But don't silence people. Silencing legal opinions is dictatorship.

Anyway, I also wanted to tell my support to pmo peers ; staying onboard and keeping the boat sailing in the middle of such a ridiculous storm is not funny, not a nice moment. Thanks for doing your duty and remaining a voice of sanity, guys. Seriously.


1. On Wednesday 7 March 2012, 16:58 by Robert Accettura

Planet isn't broken. Planet's policy has always been people are in control and that Planet doesn't censor. Most do as you do and syndicate specific feed(s). Gerv chose his site feed. He further choose to remove filter regex in Bug #547972 set by TOR back in that era (pre 2007). He, just like you could change that at will by filing a bug, /if/ he's inclined to do so. Gerv knew where he was posting. It was his decision. He's a smart guy.

The Planet Module statement is reflecting this policy.

2. On Wednesday 7 March 2012, 22:28 by Laurent Gloaguen

He is a conservative bigot who write on a blog named "Hacking for Christ". No my definition of a smart guy. I totally understand that Tim is hurt. The petition is just disgusting.

3. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 14:00 by Lars Gunther

The fact that you, Daniel, and Aza and a few other so clearly have stated your support for Gerv's right to speak (not his stance per se) has made my admiration for Mozilla as a community even greater.

The day the position like Laurent's above will become Mozilla policy I will withdraw my support for the organization and the products you produce. With infinite sadness, because I love the Mozilla ethos and the products you're producing. But if such a day would appear, however unlikely right now, Mozilla, IMO, will have failed its mission.

Mozilla is fighting for openness, access for all and is taking a stand against unjust Internet related laws like SOPA and PIPA. Christians are an untapped resource in that fight, but issues like these are slipping under the majority of Christian leaders' attention. Alienating us, by name calling and associating faith with stupidity, instead of engaging us in true dialogue, is not only uncalled for, but counter productive for the greater goals of Mozilla.

4. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 14:09 by Dao

While not illegal, the petition is an act of hatred and I certainly don't approve of people promoting it in a community I'm part of. There should be a shared code of ethics to prevent this. It's not a matter of planet syndicating personal posts.

5. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 14:10 by Boris

Laurent, the petition may be "disgusting" to you (though note the very different cultural and social context from the US, if you're US-based), but I've seen a number of disgusting things on various blogs, including Mozilla blogs, over the years. That doesn't mean the right response is to try to silence people.

6. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 17:05 by Pete

you keep private things off of planet.mozilla using a flag. Gerv could have done the same. That's all. I want to read what's going on in the Mozilla ecosystem and if I want to read something about gay marriage, I still can visit Gerv's website where it's his right to write whatever he likes or dislikes.

7. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 17:14 by Matej

I am very disappointed by this post, but at least it has helped me decide that I need to stop following and reading Planet Mozilla.

8. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 18:23 by Al Billings

As a complete aside, I will mention that in US discourse, the only people that use the phrase "political correctness" are Right Wing commentators, radio hosts (like Rush Limbaugh) and similar. Anyone liberal or progressive will associate that term, when used, with those folks. You may not be aware of who you're unintentionally aligning yourself with in perception.

9. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 19:13 by Daniel Glazman

@Pete: yes, but doing it here on my blog was _really_ not that easy. I needed help from Dotclear's author himself. It's not always easy, doable, feasible...

@Al Billings: thanks for the hint but I don't really care and I don't think I should care ; I am not American and US people represent only a fraction of our world-wide community. Avoiding "political correctness" only because in the US some people use it in an oriented way *is* some form of political correctness :-) And since I'm european, you should know I don't use it that way.

@Matej: your freedom, your choice. I stopped reading the linuxfr website because it's a trolls' nest and they often attacked me personally really harsh. Doesn't mean I want to silence them or block other sites from reusing their messages/news. Promoting openness is also about promoting opinions that we don't agree with as soon as they remain legal.

@Dao: I don't think the petition is hatred; it expresses a societal choice that you disagree with but I fail seeing "hatred", sorry.

@Lars: tackar... Jag förstår inte varför så många svarade med volsam. Kanske är vi för europeiska för att förstå bra ?

10. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 19:28 by Benedikt P. [:Mic]

I don't think it's worth the time to discuss all the ugly things said and posted in the last few days.

In my opinion the one thing to be learned from this whole affair is to think twice about what to forward to PMO. Just because someone has the power to publish things that might offend (or insult) others to PMO doesn't mean it's wise to actually do that.

Since Gerv's post had the potential to offend others, he shouldn't have posted it in first place and since freelancing seems to be much less controversial, there's no harm if someone blogs about that topic (i.e. the problem is not ontopic/offtopic regarding Mozilla but a lack of repect for eachother).

11. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 19:47 by Dao

Daniel, it's not just a societal choice. It's a stance against a group of people. It's homophobia. I don't "disagree" with it, I strongly reject it. When I'm discriminated against, I similarly count on others to not tolerate this.

12. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 20:28 by the_dees

Daniel, please do not ignore such an important topic as homophobia.

Just imagine: When you were born, you had been tagged "sinner", "criminal", "mentally ill" and "a danger to society". That for kissing your best friend, you could easily loose your family, your job and possibly even your life.

Suicide rates among gay youths are significantly higher than among non-gay youths.

Petitions like these, who hide behind protecting religious feelings (60% of UK christians don't oppose same-sex marriages) are a real threat to many people. Their message is that you are not welcome or wanted.

I don't want to prevent anyone from accessing their human rights, but I'd like to be not prevented from acessing my very own human rights either. Please do not forget: Gay rights are human rights.

13. On Thursday 8 March 2012, 22:05 by Steve Fink

@Al Billings:

> As a complete aside, I will mention that in US discourse, the only people that use the phrase "political correctness"
> are Right Wing commentators, radio hosts (like Rush Limbaugh) and similar. Anyone liberal or progressive will associate
> that term, when used, with those folks. You may not be aware of who you're unintentionally aligning yourself with in perception.

Huh? I don't think that's true anymore. It started out that way, but I've heard it used many times now by progressives. I think conservatives and progressives still disagree on what it can be applied to, but there are plenty of things that progressives would label as unnecessary and unwanted "political correctness".

Speaking for myself (a progressive, not that I care for the term), I am often annoyed when people dance around a topic or refuse to use certain terminology for fear of being accused of racism/bigotry/something-phobia/whatever. It shuts down honest discourse. I am comfortable referring to such situations as "political correctness".

At the same time, I disagree with conservatives' use of the term much of the time, because they use it to try to label actively discriminatory speech as acceptable.

Anyway, as you said, this is a tangent.

14. On Friday 9 March 2012, 07:02 by Daniel Glazman

@the_dees: when I was born, I was immediately tagged as "jew", and a few other pejorative slang equivalents. I do know what it's like to face hatred. I still fail seeing hatred in the current case.

15. On Friday 9 March 2012, 13:00 by Dao

I'd like to understand why you fail to see the hatred. Is it that you don't see the homophobia behind the petition or that you don't connect homophobia with hatred?

16. On Friday 9 March 2012, 13:23 by Anonymous

Honestly, the only "incredibly violent" reaction I've noticed so far is this blog entry, with its screeching about "violent attacks" on "constitutional rights" and "dictatorships". Yet you call other people paranoid...

17. On Friday 9 March 2012, 17:36 by the_dees

Daniel, I can only speculate how much hate you had to face in your life. I feel great empathy.

I have one question though: If there was a petition to prevent jew/jew or jew/christian partnerships from being called marriages, would you call that a societal choice?

18. On Saturday 10 March 2012, 07:11 by Tony Mechelynck

Glazou, my reasoning is slightly different from yours but I arrive at more or less the same conclusion.
My take on the matter is that Gerv's post must be taken in context: it was obviously written by a UK citizen for UK citizens; if you aren't a UK citizen you can't even sign the petition in question.
Now the UK political context is very different from that of my country (Belgium), even though only the Strait of Dover separates us: for instance, in Britain priests are empowered to declare people legally married; in my country it is illegal to celebrate religious marriage between people who are not already legally married by the Mayor or his deputy. In Britain the (King or) Queen is /ex officio/ head of the main church of the Kingdom; in my country the very presence of the King at /Te Deum/ celebrations a couple of times a year is a subject of controversy. The UK is a common-law country; Belgium is a Napoleonic written-law country. And so on.
So I won't venture an opinion on Gerv's call-to-petition because the relevant legal context feels wholly foreign to me. I wouldn't underwrite a similar call for Belgium, and if someone else did, I might venture an opinion or even a counter-argument, but not a flame war, because flame wars are against my ethics. In the frame of the UK, Gerv may write what he did, I won't interfere.

19. On Saturday 10 March 2012, 13:38 by paulro

Daniel, vous ne nous avez pas habitué à une argumentation aussi hypocrite : vos prises de positions, qu'on partage ou pas, ne manquent pas de courage d'habitude.

Ne voir dans cette crise qu'une discussion sur la liberté d'expression, c'est une grossière façon de ne pas se positionner sur la vraie question : la négation des droits des homosexuels.

Des arguments comme "ceux qui accusent Gerv le connaissent mal" ou "moi aussi, en tant que juif, j'ai été discriminé" relèvent de la mauvaise foi.
On passera tous les effets de manche sur l'appel au calme, le remerciement des modérateurs pour leur super boulot, ou la ridicule comparaison avec le sujet sur les freelance.

Je pense que s'il s'était agi d'une pétition contre une autre communauté, une dans laquelle vous vous reconnaissez (politique / religieuse / sociale / ...), vous auriez réagi très différemment. A l'opposé, sans aucun doute.

Si vous exprimez juste un soutien inconditionnel à un ami, autant le dire honnêtement.

Ne faites pas insulte à votre intelligence ou à celle des lecteurs : assumez votre position, quelle qu'elle soit en répondant sur le fond plutôt que d'allumer des contre-feux.

20. On Tuesday 20 March 2012, 22:34 by Daniel Glazman

@paulro: ma position ??? Je n'en ai, en la matière, aucune. Si cela ne tenait qu'à moi, je rappellerais volontiers à ceux qui veulent à tout prix le mariage que plus de la moitié des mariés divorcent en moins de quinze ans :-) Vous dites qu'il s'agit d'une pétition contre une communauté. Non, pas exactement. Avez-vous seulement lu leur texte ? Moi oui. C'est finalement comme la loi française sur la négation du génocide arménien, un sujet ultra-polémique et difficile ; on peut être pour ou contre, mais on doit pouvoir exprimer ses idées dans le *calme* sans entendre le mot "haîne". Je ne dis rien de plus.

21. On Wednesday 21 March 2012, 14:49 by Laurent Gloaguen

Oui, j'ai lu le texte de la pétition. "If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?" Avec en plus Gervase qui en rajoute une couche avec la pédophilie, la bestialité, etc. pour connaître les limites du concept de mariage (dans les commentaires).

Pour moi, ça dépasse les bornes.