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April 7
2014

Brendan Eich, Prop 8 and the Men Who Love Them

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brendan-eich
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Brendan Eich, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Mozilla, resigned from his position of CEO on April 3. This followed a heated battle which launched calls for his ouster from Mozilla community members, employees, and OkCupid. This whole kerfuffle reopens an almost six year-old discussion regarding “Prop 8.” The 2008 initiative was an amendment to the California constitution which effectively banned same sex marriage in the state. Prop 8 was passed 52% to 48%. Yet, the Los Angeles Times places Prop 8 as the state’s “costliest initiative to date.” Eich’s contribution of $1000 is only a drop in the bucket compared to the overall $83 million raised. So who are the rest of the voters contributing to that total amount?  Are there any others involved in geeky things, like Eich? Thankfully, LA Times provides a nifty little search bar to sort through all of the dirty laundry. Here are just some of the contributors that gamers, moviegoers, and all-around geeks may want to know about.

chance-thomas

#11. Chance Thomas
Chance Thomas is currently at HUGEsound as a principle composer. He is also Audio Advisor for the annual Games Developer’s Conference. Chance also serves on the Board of Directors for the Game Audio Network Guild. His projects include music for games like: Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, Littlest Pet Shop, The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. While working for Electronic Arts, Chance contributed $100 in support of Prop 8. Chance holds a music degree from Brigham Young University, cum laude.

scott-bowen

#10. Scott Bowen
Scott Bowen is currently Senior Console Engineer at ChAIR Entertainment Group. His projects include: Infinity Blade II, Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth and Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. While working for Electronic Arts, Scott contributed $100 in support of Prop 8. According to his Google+ profile, Scott attended Brigham Young University.

jeremy-gess

#9. Jeremy Gess
Jeremy Gess is formerly Sr. Game Designer at Trion Worlds, Inc. He developed Defiance in tandem with the Syfy Channel. Specifically, Jeremy worked on population, mission, world, lore and story design. While working for Sony Online Entertainment, Jeremy served for five years as Game Designer II and Design Supervisor. He worked on many Everquest 2 titles including: Everquest 2: The Shadow Odyssey,
Everquest 2: Rise of Kunark, Everquest 2: Echoes of Faydwer, Everquest 2: Kingdom of Sky and Everquest 2: Desert of Flames. Jeremy contributed $100 in support of Prop 8.

whitney-peterson

#8. Whitney Peterson
At Mad Catz Interactive, Whitney Peterson serves as Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary. Whitney joined Mad Catz in 1998 and has since overseen all compliance, litigation and risk management issues for the company. He negotiated numerous licenses and agreements with companies like: Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Electronic Arts, Activision, Capcom, Namco and Ubisoft. Whitney contributed $1000 in support of Prop 8. He received his law degree in 1991 from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University, magna cum laude.

brandon-sawyer

#7. Brandon Sawyer
Brandon Sawyer is currently a writer at DreamWorks Animation. His Twitter profile concisely asserts, “I write cartoons.” If you haven’t caught many of his past projects, the profile assure you: “It’s okay, I don’t watch your show either.” Examples of his work include: The Secret Saturdays, American Dragon: Jake Long, Brandy & Mr. Whiskers and Xiaolin Showdown. While working at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Brandon contributed $1000 in support of Prop 8. Brandon attended Brigham Young University from 1992-1999.

hyrum-osmond

#6. Hyrum V. Osmond
Hyrum V. Osmond is currently a Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. He is also Supervising Animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. According to IMDb, Hyrum is the nephew of Donny Osmond. He worked on several animated features. Most recently, Hyrum was supervising animator for Olaf in the movie, Frozen. His past projects include: Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and Bolt. Hyrum contributed $2200 in support of Prop 8. He studied in the Animation Program at Brigham Young University.

mike-ward

#5. Mike Ward
Mike Ward currently serves on the Board of Directors for Healing Hands for Haiti. HHH is not-for-profit and not backed by government or religion. The organization “respects diversity” internally. The mission of the organization includes delivering sustainable physical medicine and rehabilitation education, training and care for the people of Haiti. While at Activision, Michael worked as Executive Producer on many projects including: 007: Blood Stone, Blur, Call of Duty: Black Ops, GoldenEye 007, Transformers: War for Cybertron and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. Michael contributed $5000 in support of Prop 8. Michael lists his education at Brigham Young University.

justin-kunz

#4. Justin Kunz
Justin Kunz is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Brigham Young University. Blizzard Entertainment had Justin on as Senior 3D Environment Artist working on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandoria. So far, he is the most vocal supporter of Prop 8. He was quoted on “Un-scene Seattle GLBT’s Journal.” The blog post referenced there, however, was unlinked and Justin has since deleted any such posts. Archive.org comes to the rescue, and laid out his case October 27, 2008. In the following excerpt he worries about the future of our country while paying out $5000 in support of Prop 8.

“Several countries today are experimenting with the concept of homosexual marriage, but proponents point out that it is not a modern invention.

I am interested to learn what the record is for the longevity of the civilizations that have embraced it in the past.

Besides the examples we know of––ancient Rome, Greece, some Native American and African groups, Sodom & Gomorrah––there may be other civilizations in history that have experimented with redefining marriage that way.

What happened to them? How are they doing now? What would they tell us about how well it worked out for them? What does their silence foreshadow for America if we do not vote Yes on Proposition 8?”

aldric-porter

#3. Aldric La’auli Porter
Aldric La’auli Porter is an Assistant Director and Co-producer. His movies include: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, True Lies, Indecent Proposal, Backdraft and European Vacation. Aldric has worked in film for over 30 years. He contributed $6000 in support of Prop 8. His education is listed as Brigham Young University.

kenneth-swanson

#2. Keneth Swanson
While much of Brendan Eich’s story centered around the boycott of Mozilla Firefox, Kenneth Swanson’s activism shines a light on a Java connection. Brendan developed JavaScript. Kenneth is an engineer at Oracle / Sun Microsystems. Not much is available on actual work projects for Kenneth, online. His political contributions, however, are very generous. He contributed $8901 in support of Prop 8. Other donations include: $2000 for Family Research Council Action PAC and $3500 for organizations that assisted the Romney campaign for president. On a 2008 review of Sun Microsystems on MerchantCircle, Kenneth is noted as “bigoted and hateful.”

alan-stock

#1. Alan Stock
Alan Stock is the CEO of Cinemark USA, Inc. The Texas-based company is the third largest chain of movie theaters in the country with 334 locations. Latin America hosts 148 locations of the chain. His support of Prop 8 at $9999 dwarfs that of Brendan Eich. He attended Weber University after returning from a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His son attends Brigham Young University.

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About Jean-Luc Pierite

People from gaymer boards usually know me as Neshoba. I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and my life started in front of a Commodore 64 keyboard. Through the generations, I carried his love of gaming on through a Game Design degree from Full Sail in Orlando, FL. After graduating, I freelanced as an interface designer in the SF Bay Area. In between playing, reading and writing about games, I'm an Internet Marketing Specialist. Likes: ninja turtles, handheld gaming, and Olive Garden.

19 Responses

  1. I get really bugged when I see such creative people guided by some really narrow-minded values. I’m disappointed that someone who worked on Wreck-it Ralph, which deals with people marginalized by society, is that bigoted. I like this movie a lot.
    I liked Xiaolin Showdown too. Didn’t see any Hunger Games yet, and now I doubt I will. Also good to know Cinemark’s CEO is a homophobe, since Cinemark has a lot of theaters here in Brazil.

    Also one observation: WHAT IS WRONG with this Brigham University?? XD

    • avatar Paul S says:

      It’s a Mormon school. The LDS was one of the biggest financial backers of Prop 8.

      • avatar tootsiegoodbye says:

        The Mormon Church spent millions along with the catholic church to fight gay marriage in Ca. Not even IN THE STATE, yet their money bought ads and politicians. Sounds like a nice boycott might be ahead.

  2. avatar Chris says:

    What exactly do you expect us to do with this information? Are we supposed to boycott these companies because one of their employees (not even a CEO, as in the case of Eich, but like an artist or an engineer or something) made political donations we disagree with? Call for the resignation of these people? Glare at them if we’re ever at the same bar?

    As a gay man, this kind of article makes me crazy uncomfortable. It puts me in mind of the lists of gay people that Ugandan newspapers publish (although, obviously, with fewer dangers to the people on the list). I’d hate to imagine that there was a website publishing my information because of I donated to planned parenthood (for instance). Plus, frankly, it makes us look like bullies and gives conservative pundits ammunition against us.

    How about we all just agree to win our civil rights fight the right way?

  3. avatar Ragnar says:

    Seriously. This article comes off as a hate list. Eich deserved to lose his position because that position was CEO, not low-level worker at the company the way most of these guys were. The fact that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM went to Brigham Young is more than a little creepy, too – sure it was bullshit for the Mormon Church to pull the bullshit they did (and they should be rightly excoriated for it) but I have a real hard time getting a hate-on for these artists who donated a minimal amount of money and who have no real impact or influence. What they did wasn’t right but publishing their names with the clear intention of trying to stir up trouble for them is mean-spirited and not helpful. There are enough legitimate hateful assholes with actual power to hurt us; picking on these guys just comes off as bullying.

    #4 just sounds like an idiot.
    #3 sounds like a moron.
    #2 you’re actually quoting some random anonymous internet review? Seriously? The guy is probably an asshole but that’s hardly a credible source.
    #1 is the single and only person you list here who is actually comparable to Eich’s situation, so, fuck Cinemark.

  4. avatar magritte says:

    It’s really disappointing to see someone who is a professor of anything bring up this fall of the Roman Empire (which didn’t have gay marriage by the way) nonsense. Exactly how many states that were around 2000 years ago are still around today? Besides which, the Roman Empire lasted almost 1500 years. Frankly, if the U.S. lasts as long as the Roman Empire in a recognizable form, I’d be amazed. I’ve heard this crap before, but only from ignorant morons.

    • avatar larry says:

      The Roman Empire began to fall about the time they adopted Christianity. Why is this never cited as a cause?

  5. avatar Trivium says:

    What’s with the people coming to these guys’ defense? They don’t deserve it at all. Do you think they thought twice about how “mean spirited” their contributions were? You don’t think that what they did is remotely “bullying”? At least we’re judging them by their BAD DECISIONS, not on factors they’ve never had a choice about, or who they fell in love with.

    If you’re a bigot, especially (though not necessarily) to the point where you actually contribute money to such a despicable cause then you don’t deserve a job, much less ones with high prestige that many other (better people) only dream of having. It is a perfect example of something good happening to bad people and it should be rectified. I don’t care if it’s $1000 or $1, if they KNOWINGLY contributed I’d be perfectly happy to see these people fired and unable to find work anywhere.

  6. avatar beergoggles says:

    Nice to see a list of people responsible for trying to split my friend’s marriages apart, take their children away from them and run ads on tv calling them child molesters out to recruit other people’s children.

    Fuck em sideways with a chainsaw. LGBT people in HR listen up, if u see BYU on some person’s resume, they’re most likely a bigot and should not be hired.

  7. avatar David in the O.C. says:

    So basically what we’ve learned is religious fanatics (like those from Brigham Young University) have no issue trying to force their ideology on the rest of society. In other words, they’re bigoted ignorant assholes that want America to become a Christian theocracy. — Aside from that observation, I wish these hate-mongers nothing but ill will; and if there were any justice in the world, they’d be ostracized by the rest of society. Because that’s EXACTLY what they tried to impose on gay Californians.

  8. avatar sjcbear says:

    Uh… JavaScript has nothing whatsoever to do with Java.

  9. avatar Ragnar says:

    No one on this comment thread has defended them. Any amount of support given to Prop 8 makes you an asshole. I’m saying that knocking around people who don’t have any significant ability to hurt us aren’t worth going after.

    Eich was worth going after – he was in a position that could do significant harm. Same deal for Cinemark asshole. Random low-level videogame artists? Not so much.

    • avatar tootsiegoodbye says:

      money = speech now. They can hurt you. Now with the recent decision, these bigots can contribute whatever they want to further their agendas. I say if you are a gamer, let the companies know how you feel.

      • avatar Ragnar says:

        Nothing whatsoever has changed regarding any issues involving money or speech. Otherwise I’m not sure what the point of your comment is…?

  10. […] can read the full list at GayGamer.net and use the LA Times database tool to search for other donors who wasted their money to fight […]

  11. avatar JJ says:

    I’m not sure how publishing facts that are already public record is bullying. (The records are freely available from the California Secretary of State web site at
    http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Measures/Detail.aspx?id=1302602&session=2007). If you don’t want to be called out as a bigot, don’t make your bigotry a matter of public record. Don’t contribute to a law that ostracizes your peers if you don’t want your peers to mention the fact.

    The point of the list isn’t to jeopardize people’s jobs. It’s to hold them accountable for the harm they inflicted on others. It’s to make them face their friends (or avoid them) in the knowledge of what they’ve done, and to dispense some well deserved shame and discomfort. That hardly compares to permanently (if they had their way) stripping someone of equality for simply existing.

    To put the contributions in perspective, it took $40 million to pass Prop 8. There are an estimated 100,000 same-sex couples in California. So Prop 8 supporters paid about $400 per couple to both strip them of the right to marry and to permanently deprive them of the right to obtain equality through the courts.

  12. avatar Marcus J. Hopkins says:

    I don’t even really care what your politics are, if you feel strongly enough about an issue that you’re both willing to sign a petition to bring an issue up for a vote and to financially back your belief, you should have NO right to privacy. The same goes for those who sign ANY petition to create a referendum/proposition on any issue.

    How you vote? That’s private and an inviolable right. But, when you actively attempt to create an issue and bring it up for a vote? That should NEVER be private.

  13. avatar Anthony says:

    I think there’s a bit of information missing in this article. Yes, these gentlemen have ties to the Mormon Church and yes, the Mormons spear headed the Proposition 8 campaign. However, the organization in itself demanded that its’ church members donate to the cause, irregardless of personal convictions regarding LGBTQ rights. While I do feel that there is a choice in where you contribute, some of these decisions to donate were likely coerced and not entirely voluntary. However, for the individuals who contributed large sums, they’re probably not allies to the community.

    TL;DR Not all Mormons are bad people, don’t boycott these titles.

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