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.
IF the Human Rights Campaign is serious about representing all the LGBTQI people then Chad Griffin's departure needs to be marked with the acknowledgement of that fact by appointing a Black, Asian, or Latina Trans woman or man as its new President. IF HRC is serious that is…
— Brody Levesque (@BrodyLevesque) November 15, 2018
I implore that @HRC follow the tenure of Chad Griffin with someone who is a trans person of color.
Trans people, particularly Black trans women/femmes, have been increasingly targeted. They deserve not just any seat at the table, but the head especially considering HRC's history. https://t.co/6qgEVrGyau
— SUJ (@SujOfficial) November 15, 2018
extremely hopeful HRC realizes choosing another cisgender gay white man to take over after Chad Griffin’s departure would be tantamount to PR suicide
— Kevin O'Wreath 🎄 (@kevinpokeeffe) November 15, 2018
If the HRC wants to look like 2018, they should replace Chad Griffin with someone who isn't a country club gay.
— Monica Duwel 🌈⚽️🖍 (@m_duwel) November 15, 2018
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.