Today I'm handing back the diamond you gave me in 2011. Some of you will not understand or agree with my reasons for doing so, but the nature of the community we have on this exceptional site leaves me hopeful that, though we may see the world through different eyes, we have real, mutual, respect that transcends those differences.
- I recognise and respect the right of Stack Exchange to make their own rules and to promote any cause they choose on their platform (as I do on mine).
- I know we are only here at all because for years Stack Exchange have provided this service for free, and supported the community. I want to thank them for that.
- I have had nothing but support from SE, at every level (both CMs and staff), in my time as a moderator.
Nevertheless, I'm resigning, and I believe I should explain why. It is not because I believe that SE have handled recent events badly (though I do). It is not because I'm conflicted about donating time for the benefit of a for-profit company that seems to be moving away from its community roots (though I am). In a nutshell, it is because I do not share their ideological standpoint concerning gender issues, and I feel I'm now compelled as a moderator to promote that standpoint.
To explain my problem by way of an analogy: if I went to live and work in Saudi Arabia, I would not break their laws by proselytising my Christian faith. Neither would I drink alcohol. I might choose not to live in Saudi for those reasons, but it would not be against my conscience to do so.
However, if it was law in Saudi Arabia that I must promote the Muslim faith then, for me, that would cross the line of conscience.
That line has been crossed for me as moderator today. I am not upset or angry that SE have exercised their rights, my only negative emotion is regret; that I can't keep on doing a job that I love for people I respect.
If you think my response to the new CoC is bigoted, I refer you to my history on Stack Exchange as evidence that I care about marginalised people and communities. I don't believe that many people who have interacted with me think that I am bigoted or 'not nice'. 'Wrong', maybe, sometimes, but not 'unkind'.
Whether you think my beliefs are right or wrong, I want to say "thank you" to everyone for trusting me with the diamond here for so long. I'm sure whoever you pass it on to will get as much pleasure from the job as I have done. Now the current circus is perhaps dying down, hopefully we can all get back to building a library of expert answers to advanced database-related questions! You are by far and away the best bunch of people on the internet :)