HRC Names New Leader: Griffin the Mastermind Behind Prop 8 Fight

The nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization has named the strategist behind the fight to overturn California’s Proposition 8 as it’s new President.

According to an email Friday from the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, one the founders of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, “spent his career taking on the toughest fights against entrenched, well-financed interests. He’s passionate about our equality and more importantly, has a proven track record of consistently delivering results. Already, the fight to overturn Prop. 8 has prevailed in two federal court rooms.”

Griffin writes,”I’m honored by the board’s confidence in my ability to lead HRC. While there’s no doubt that we’ve made tremendous progress on the road to equality, we must not forget that millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic legal protections and suffer the consequences of discrimination every day. Today’s generation of young people, and each generation hereafter, must grow up with the full and equal protection of our laws, and finally be free to participate in the American dream. As HRC president, I’ll approach our work with a great sense of urgency because there are real life consequences to inaction.”

Griffin takes over from long time president Joe Solmonese who announced that he was stepping down from the post  last fall.

Chris Geidner over at Metro Weekly writes,”[Solmonese] helmed the organization during historic successes like passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009 and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011 but also during one of the most divisive moments of the organization’s history — its support in 2007 for a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was not inclusive of gender identity.”

Besides being a leader in the fight against Prop 8, Griffin is also a veteran of the Clinton White House communications team, and a native of Arkansas.

Founded in 1980,”HRC consists of two separate non-profit organizations: the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on research, advocacy and education and the Human Rights Campaign, a 501(c)(4) organization that focuses on lobbying Congress, state and local officials for support of pro-LGBT bills, and mobilizing grassroots action amongst its members. The combined annual budget of both organizations was approximately $40 million in 2011.”


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