So far, this entire story is summed up by the above headline. Until we know more, that’s all we know.
A disturbing story broke this morning concerning the sudden action by the Libreboot project to leave the GNU project. I started to write “potentially disturbing,” until it occurred to me that no matter how this plays out, the news is disturbing.
Libreboot is a project that produces free, open source and blob-free software to replace proprietary BIOS firmware that performs only the tasks necessary to load and run an operating system. The project is endorsed by the Free Software Foundation and was an official part of the GNU Project from May 14 until today. This morning Libreboot’s main developer, Leah Rowe, announced in an email to the GNU mailing list that she is pulling Libreboot from the GNU Project.
“The Free Software Foundation recently fired a transgendered employee of the FSF, just for being trans, because some transphobic cissexist people wrote negatively about her. The FSF fired her because they thougdt she, rather than the assholes bullying her, was causing the FSF potential damage. As a result, she was fired from the FSF.
“As a trans person myself, I find this disgusting.
“I’m declaring here and now to the whole world that Libreboot is no longer part of the GNU project. I do not believe that the FSF or the GNU project deserve to exist.”
By itself, an official GNU software project removing itself from the program while alleging discriminatory behavior is news. However, I wouldn’t be too quick to organize a demonstration against the FSF for stepping on LGBT rights. So far we haven’t heard anything about FSF’s side of this story, and a discriminatory action such as this would be uncharacteristic. We’re also getting word of the discrimination from a second hand source, a friend, and with only vague details of the facts.
Right now it appears as if both sides have circled the wagons. I’ve made numerous attempts to get a comment from the FSF, and an email I sent to Ms. Rowe for more information has so far gone unanswered. Until we learn more, all we know is that an important software project has left the GNU Project while alleging gender identity discrimination.
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