HRC's New Griffin Era Begins

The young activist takes the lead at HRC.

BY Neal Broverman

June 11 2012 12:57 PM ET

It's Chad Griffin's first official day as president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT rights lobbying organization.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at expectations attached to Griffin's tenure. The 38-year-old, who founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which successfully launched a federal lawsuit against California's ban on same-sex marriage, is well-liked in LGBT political circles. He has a friend in Cleve Jones, the longtime activist who developed the AIDS Memorial Quilt and worked alongside Harvey Milk. Jones calls Griffin "one of the smartest people I have ever met in my whole life."

Griffin was with Jones — and former Milk campaign adviser and current San Francisco official Anne Kronenberg — this weekend, visiting the HRC office and store in the Castro.

The new HRC president will have to address perceptions that the organization acquiesces to the Democratic Party too quickly and that it's tone-deaf to concerns other than those of wealthy white gays. The perception, though, is that the Hope, Ark.-born Griffin is up to the task. Even antigay activists seem to like him.

"He is very qualified for the job and is very professional," Frank Schubert, the national political director for the National Organization for Marriage, told the Chronicle.

 

Tags: Politics

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