Chad Griffin is stepping down as the head of Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, DC.
The Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, DC. Photo: Shutterstock

Chad Griffin announced today that he will step down as the president of the Human Rights Campaign after seven years on the job. Griffin led the organization through multiple wins for LGBTQ rights.

Before joining HRC, Griffin was a prolific political fundraiser with ties to the Clinton administration. He co-founded American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that fought to overturn California’s Prop 8, a case that was a precursor at the Supreme Court for the right to marry nationwide.

Griffin hasn’t announced his plans for after he leaves, but with his political experience, it’s assumed he’ll step back into the ring and work with a Democrat running for president.

“Every person in the Democratic Party who is thinking of running for president is going to call Chad,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former White House adviser to President Barack Obama and friend of Griffin’s told the Associated Press.

While the coverage of Griffin’s resignation has been laudatory, the organization continued to suffer from diversity issues during his tenure. An internal report documented the group’s problems with racism, sexism, and transgender equality.

Until recently, the group has been vilified by the trans community for their reluctance to stand up for trans rights in favor of gay and lesbian rights. At one point the organization agreed to help pass a federal law that would have prohibited discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, but would have excluded transgender people from protection.

While HRC became more trans-friendly under Griffin’s leadership, the report indicates it still has a long way to go to deal with its own diversity issues in staffing.

“Every single person across this country deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in life, without having to overcome roadblocks put in place by politicians advancing a discriminatory agenda,” Griffin said in an emailed statement.

“Even as I step down from my role in this remarkable organization, I remain committed to HRC’s mission and will continue to fight for the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people — and all Americans — as I embark on this next chapter. So now is the time to fight harder and dig deeper. Because there are still more trails to be blazed. There is still more history to be made and more battles to be won. The LGBTQ community’s brightest days and our grandest victories are still ahead of us.”

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