OutServe-SLDN Offices to Close Up Shop?
OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the embattled organization for LGBT members of the military, is likely to close its brick-and-mortar offices in Washington D.C., and around the nation, according to internal conversations leaked to Bilerico.
Following a series of high-ranking resignations in the wake of the reported effort to force the group's popular executive director, Allyson Robinson, to resign on June 23, OutServe-SLDN has been in full damage control mode.
"The money is bad," board cochair Josh Seefried told a group of chapter leaders in a phone call June 27. "We are living on pennies. … We are shutting down all of the offices."
The board released a statement June 30, claiming that the organization does not have the money to pay Robinson's salary, to which she reportedly took a pay cut earlier this year to avoid layoffs. It cited declining third-party donations and even critical media coverage among the causes for its financial stresses.
A group of OutServe-SLDN leaders posted a statement on the group's Facebook page on Saturday demanding the resignation of board cochair Josh Seefried, who many members inside the organization have blamed for leading the charge to oust Robinson last month, according to Bilerico.
Robinson joined OutServe-SLDN last October as a highly qualified veteran of the Army and the fight for LGBT equality. She also happens to be transgender, making her appointment as executive director historic as the first openly trans person to lead a national organization focused on issues impacting the entire LGBT community. Some former members allege that Robinson's ouster was fueled by transphobia, while others contend the organization fell victim to the personality conflicts and infighting that tend to plague nonprofit LGBT (and other) organizations.
For much more on the controversy and subsequent responses — including copies of the leaked memos — visit Bilerico.