Mozilla chief steps down amid controversy

The chief of Firefox browser maker Mozilla is stepping down in the face of controversy stirred by his support of a California bill to ban gay marriage.

Brendan Eich voluntarily surrendered his role as chief executive of Mozilla, a corporation owned by a non-profit foundation of the same name, according to a blog post by executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker.

Eich's appointment had triggered outrage in the typically open-minded community devoted to improving and spreading free Firefox open-source Web browsing software.

The backlash sprung from news of a cash donation he made in 2008 to support passage of a California law banning gay marriage, a move he has never publicly retracted.

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