Ellner Withdraws From ESPA Consideration

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 22 2010 11:40 AM ET

Brian Ellner has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s leading gay rights organization. The announcement came Friday, just one day before the ESPA board was to vote on Ellner's appointment.

According to a report in The New York Times, Ellner’s connection to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg — he works for the city's board of education — made several ESPA board members uncomfortable. Bloomberg supports marriage equality but has stood in the way of several efforts to achieve it, including appealing a 2005 court decision that supported same-sex marriage and backing senate Republicans opposed to such unions.

“Brian Ellner could not be trusted with the rights of LGBT people, when he has a history of taking care of Brian Ellner and securing employment at the expense of ideals,” said Allen Roskoff, the president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, which had threatened to cut ties with ESPA if Ellner were appointed.