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Democrats tap woman as next leader

Democrats tap woman as next leader

The National Stonewall Democrats have tapped Jo Wyrick to serve as executive director of the organization, making her the first woman to lead the national organization for LGBT Democrats.

Wyrick has led the Stonewall Democrats as interim executive director since Eric Stern resigned in March. She had previously served the group as deputy director.

On the organization's Web site, Wyrick laid out her plan in growth involving LGBT populations not associated with traditional Democratic strongholds.

"There are few national organizations willing to place serious resources in states like South Carolina and South Dakota," Wyrick said. "However, we are finding partners within Democratic and LGBT groups who understand that a long-range vision of equality must include a substantial investment within these communities. Winning political victories a decade from now means seeding new efforts today."

"The electoral success of our local chapters now allows our national organization to press Democratic leaders to further support our families through proactive policy," said Wyrick. "National Stonewall Democrats is the vehicle for our community to continue to improve the record of the Democratic Party on LGBT issues while helping our allies win elected office."

The Washington, D.C.-based group has 90 chapters nationwide. It lately has called for legislation in New York State to legalize same-sex marriage in the wake of last week's adverse high court decision there and to eliminate the "gay panic" defense in criminal assault cases.

Before joining the National Stonewall Democrats, Wyrick served as executive director of Equality North Carolina and as a senior field organizer with the Human Rights Campaign.

Wyrick lives in Germantown, Md., with her partner, Amy, and their daughter, Elizabeth. (Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut)

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