News (USA)

Outserve-SLDN ousts executive director, prompting mass exodus

Outserve-SLDN ousts executive director, prompting mass exodus

WASHINGTON — Allyson Robinson, the Executive Director of Outserve-SLDN, a national advocacy group for gay service members and veterans, was ousted Saturday, prompting the resignations of three senior staffers and three board members.

Allyson Robinson

Robinson, who took the helm at Outserve-SLDN just nine months ago, was the first transgender person to ever lead a national LGBT rights organization that did not have an explicit transgender focus.

The firing, first reported by The Bilerico Project, came following a regularly scheduled board meeting, and was quickly followed by the departures of key members of the organization, who resigned in protest on Sunday.

In a confidential email to board members, and leaked to Bilerico, Zeke Stokes, OutServe’s Director of External Engagement and Communications wrote:

“Today, the Board of Directors made decisions that have compromised the trust I had placed in it heretofore. They have chosen a direction that is inconsistent with what I believe is necessary to secure a successful future for the organization. In doing so, they have for the foreseeable future sacrificed the viability of the mission.

Also announcing their resignations: David McKean, Legal and Public Policy Director, and Gary Espinas, Director of Chapter and Member Services, and three board members: Brenda “Sue” Fulton, Matthew Phelps, and Beth Schissel.

McKean said he plans to remain with the organization until he is able to “resolve matters related to client representation in accordance with legal ethics rules and requirements.”

Details surrounding the reason for Robinson’s departure are sparse, but Fulton blamed Outserve-SLDN board co-chairman Josh Seefried as having “rushed this vote through” on Saturday, according to Buzzfeed.

Seefried, however, would not comment, saying only, “We can’t talk right now. We have some internal issues to deal with first, then will be updating the community.”

Developing story, check back for updates.

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