The Human Rights Campaign, the world's largest queer civil rights organization, has a new leader today, Chad Griffin. A communications and policy strategist, Griffin "has been credited as the driving force behind the federal lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8," notes SF Appeal. But what do other politicos and activists have to say about his ascension to the head of a group as known for championing rights as it is elitism and wasteful spending? Well, for starters, Griffin has youth and energy on his side. So there's that.
- San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera: "I've had the honor of working closely with Chad Griffin in the fight for marriage equality for many years, and I'm proud to serve as co-counsel in the current federal challenge to Prop 8 that he masterminded. He is a visionary leader, a brilliant strategist, and a remarkably effective consensus-builder. I've also come to regard Chad as a great friend and trusted adviser, and I couldn't be more proud of him for his appointment to lead the Human Rights Campaign. Chad's boundless energy and passion for justice will be enormous assets to the LGBT community and its allies in the struggle for equality."
- Equality California Board President Clarissa Filgioun : "Equality California offers its congratulations to our friend Chad Griffin, a committed and fearless advocate for equality, on his appointment to lead Human Rights Campaign. Chad brings to HRC energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to LGBT youth that we hope will invigorate HRC and the future of the movement. We look forward to working collaboratively with Human Rights Campaign under his leadership at this critical and exciting time in our movement for full equality."
- Victory Fund: "Chad Griffin is an outstanding choice to become the Human Rights Campaign’s next president, and I congratulate the HRC board for picking such an effective and talented leader. In his work on the Prop 8 case, Chad has demonstrated the passion and focus necessary to energize our movement’s largest organization and draw more Americans to this fight. I am fortunate to have worked closely with three HRC presidents, and I look forward to working with my friend Chad, whose keen insight and sense of humor will serve us well as we move toward a country where all Americans are equal under law."
- Gay rights activist Michael Petrelis: "He has always been open to hearing what I have to say about the need for transparency within Gay Inc, and suggestions about engaging the grassroots with town halls and openness beyond pricey gala award dinners. Chad is cool and a damn fine strategist; however, the Human Rights Campaign still sucks. It will take more than a new executive director with great qualifications to undo the decades of waste, political laziness and hardcore elitism of HRC."
After being named president of HRC, Griffin said in a written statement: "I'm honored by the board's confidence in my ability to lead HRC. While there's no doubt that we've made tremendous progress on the road to equality, we must not forget that millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic legal protections and suffer the consequences of discrimination every day."
Griffin will lead the LGBT organization beginning in June.