Human Rights Campaign president to step down next year

Outgoing HRC President Chad Griffin

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced on Thursday that its president, Chad Griffin, will be stepping down after seven years leading the organization.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this incredible organization at such an important moment in the history of our movement — and our nation,” said Griffin said in a statement on the HRC website. “The true strength of the Human Rights Campaign is in its fearless army of staff and volunteers, who are committed to ensuring full equality reaches every LGBTQ person across America, and around the world. For decades, this organization has shown the world that love conquers hate. But this year, in this election, with the future of our democracy on the ballot and the equality of future generations on the line, we proved that votes conquer hate, too.”

The HRC is the country’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, but one that has had issues including its attitudes toward transgender people and people of color. Griffin did make overtures to those communities but the reputation on part of the LGBTQ community has remained.

The HRC said it will work to establish an executive search process for Griffin’s successor over the coming weeks.

Before joining HRC, Griffin ran the political and public affairs firm, Griffin|Schake, with business partner Kristina Schake. He also co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which was part of the coalition challenging California’s Proposition 8. Griffin was leading HRC during the battles for marriage equality. During his tenure, the organization raised its membership to 3 million and became actively engaged in the 2018 midterm elections.