White House Dodges Question on ‘Tolerance’ for Web CEO Who Resigned Because of Traditional Marriage Donation

The White House on Friday declined to comment on the recent resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over his support for traditional marriage because it was a decision made by a private company.

White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, April 4, 2014 (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Eich contributed $1,000 in 2008 to support California’s Proposition 8, a ballot measure to only recognize marriage as between one man and one woman. Mozilla Firefox is a popular web browser.

In 2008, Obama opposed same-sex marriage when he was running for his first term in office. In 2012, he supported same-sex marriage when campaign for his second term.

During the White House press briefing Friday, Fox News reporter Ed Henry asked: “The president himself in 2008, when this person donated $1,000 to this cause, also was against same-sex marriage. Does the White House at least think there should be tolerance on the issue even though the president has evolved on this issue?”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest declined to give a clear-cut response.

“I certainly do understand why an issue like this has been in the news and why a lot of people are talking about. But I’m not going to be in a position to weigh in on decisions made by a private company,” Earnest said.

Earlier in the same press briefing, Earnest praised two private companies for paying their employees above the required minimum wage.

“We’ve seen some steps taken by private companies, Costco, Gap and even some smaller companies around the country take a unilateral step to raise the wages of their workers,” Earnest said. “The reason they do that is not because they think President Obama will like it, although he does. The reason they do that is that they think it’s good for business. They understand that putting more money in the pockets of their workers is good for their businesses.”