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HRC President Chad Griffin's Departure Raises Questions About 2020 Plans

On Thursday, the president of the Human Rights Campaign announced plans to depart the organization after 7 years as its leader. Chad Griffin will leave HRC in 2019, according to a statement emailed to INTO.

“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,” Griffin said in the statement.

“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,” said Griffin. “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 departure immediately raises questions about Griffin’s future plans — especially since the timing of the announcement, shortly after the midterm elections, coincides with the same period in which several suspected presidential candidates are expected to announce their 2020 bids.

Griffin is a Capitol Hill insider who worked in the White House Press Office at age 19, becoming the youngest-ever member of a presidential staff after starting out as a volunteer for the Bill Clinton campaign in 1992.

Griffin’s political bona fides would make him a likely addition to a 2020 campaign team; but most suspected Democratic candidates have yet to announce their plans.

Some in the LGBTQ community are already asking questions about who will replace Griffin — specifically about whether the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit will make moves toward diversifying its leadership by hiring a woman, trans person, and/or person of color.

In the statement Thursday, Griffin said he remains “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,” said Griffin. “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.”

This is a developing story.


Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara is Associate Editor of INTO.