"Those barbarians made me do it" does not cut it from purported leaders.
Brendan Eich, briefly the CEO of Mozilla Corporation which makes the open-source Firefox browser, sought to deflect the uproar over his $1000 donation in 2008 to the California campaign to prohibit gay marriage (since overturned) by explaining to the Guardian:
A week later he was out of the job, unable to weather the storm of revulsion from within the tech community.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby isn't going anywhere, but he too justified his own homophobia this week by pointing out how the gays rile up the savage colonials. Welby added a dose of emotional blackmail, just for good measure.
This is racist cowardice. Yes, there are people in Africa and in Pakistan who have taught by unscrupulous (often clerical) demagogues to hate and fear gay people. But if you know better, you don't play footsie with hate. You don't hide behind the culpable beliefs and acts of others. A prince of the church claims moral leadership; Welby has forfeited his claim in this instance.
The movement for gay human rights is on a roll in much of the world. Differential rates of change create space for backlash; that backlash is entangled with big power politics. Russia's Vladimir Putin is hoping to enhance his weakened country's status by repudiating "western" ethical innovations.
Well, maybe. Actually, populations that enjoy a reasonable standard of living have assimilated gay equality within a generation. Keeping women barefoot and pregnant or keeping down/out the black and brown people probably have deeper resonance for assembling blocks against human rights.
I'm not sorry Brendan Eich had to go at Mozilla -- his own industry spit him out. Mozilla retains a progressive aura; competing with Google and Apple, it probably needs to.
In general, I think gays could heed what was one of the slogans of the 1980s Nicaraguan insurrection against a dictator: "Implacable in struggle; generous in victory." We are winning unexpected, broad acceptance. For that to happen, a lot of people have had to change their minds. If they have changed, that is the occasion for delight, not criticism of their pasts. That was then; this is now.