WASHINGTON D.C. – Chad Griffin, a leader in the fight against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, will take the reins of the nation’s largest gay and lesbian lobbying organization on Monday.
Griffin will be sworn in as president of the Human Rights Campaign, just days after a federal court refused to reconsider its ruling overturning California’s ban, a development that likely will bring the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 38-year-old former White House press aide is expected to bring aggressiveness and independence to an organization that some gay and lesbian activists have faulted for being too cautious and beholden to the Democratic Party.
Though Griffin lost the fight to defeat Prop. 8, he is credited with crafting an effective message and soliciting established lawyers from opposite ends of the political spectrum – including President George W. Bush’s solicitor general Theodore Olson – to challenge it in court.
“Chad coming on board of the HRC now is a really perfect timing,” said Kate Kendell, the executive director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights. “The country is definitely shifting in term of its receptivity to supporting the right of same-sex couples to love and marry.”