Vindictive fanaticism is not the mark of a healthy civil society — but it is not entirely a question of that. Civil-rights laws are being deployed to coerce members of religious minorities into falling in line with the demands of those who hold political power. Arrangements that allow anonymous donations to political groups are under constant attack, so that nonconforming donors can be subjected to the treatment handed down to Mr. Eich. In other countries, there are speech codes policing what may be said and written about the subject, and there are those among us who wish to emulate them.
Mr. Eich has been denounced as a bigot. It is worth noting, for those who make this charge, that so far as the public record is concerned, he has never registered an opinion on the morality of homosexuality per se, and his firm is as welcoming of gay employees as any in its industry. All he did was write a $1,000 check to an organization dedicated to the previously unremarkable proposition that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a position that was endorsed by the voters of California and is held today by many people of good will, including some who are gay themselves. Even the gay nonconformists are being hunted down, as Brandon Ambrosino of Vox discovered when critics demanded that he be dismissed for holding unapproved views regarding same-sex marriage.
The spectacle should be an embarrassing one, especially for those gay Americans who take a more liberal view of political disagreement than their self-appointed leadership does.