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Calif. State Sen.: Equality California Unstable

Calif. State Sen.: Equality California Unstable

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California's largest LGBT rights advocacy group is on shaky ground, at least according to Mark Leno, one of the state's most prominent gay politicians.

Regarding Equality California, which is currently without a figurehead, Leno told the Bay Area Reporter that EQCA's "staffing and funding at this point appear uncertain and unstable."

Leno worked with EQCA on the FAIR Education Act, a landmark bill that passed this year and will soon mandate the teaching of LGBT contributions in Golden State public schools. But while Leno savors his victory, EQCA is smarting from this month's resignation of executive director Roland Palencia. who quit three months after taking the job. Palencia says he's leaving the job for personal reasons and was not forced out. The organization's finance director, government affairs director, and marriage and coalitions director are also on their way out (the former is taking a job in Nevada, while the latter two were let go as part of a reorganization). No interviews for replacements are currently taking place.

Spokeswoman Rebekah Orr tells the Bay Area Reporter that donations are on the decline, especially since most people give to the nonprofit EQCA when a campaign is gearing up, e.g. Prop. 8. The lobbying group recently decided to not attempt undoing Prop. 8 at the 2012 ballot (the 2008 ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge but is now tied up in a seemingly endless appeals process). Instead, EQCA is launching a public education campaign to encourage acceptance for full LGBT equality. Read more on The Edge network.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.