March 2, 2012
By Adam Bink
Remarkable news this morning: Chad Griffin, who originally spearheaded the Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) lawsuit in 2009 as founder and president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), has been named successor to Joe Solmonese as head of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). For those of us who have followed the work of AFER and the trial from the beginning, it is a promising choice that may herald a new era for HRC.
From the beginning, AFER took on what was deemed to be conventional wisdom with respect to a legal strategy (e.g., five votes don’t exist to strike down Prop 8 and/or find a right to same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution), and for that received a great deal of criticism to the point of attempted intervention from other legal organizations. It was a bold and risky move (and one that has not necessarily played out yet as it is not clear what the Supreme Court will do) but, to some, a stark contrast to what many see as a cautious and less aggressive vision at HRC. That aside, from a public relations standpoint, AFER has done a tremendous job in framing the Prop 8 trial to the public with such projects as the “8″ play readings that are ongoing (one of which can be seen live via webcast tomorrow night) and continued updates on the trial. And, to add to this point and in the interest of full disclosure, have helped support the work we do here at Prop8TrialTracker.com through donation of two tickets to a fundraising raffle for tomorrow night’s reading in Los Angeles, as well as using Ed and Derence, whom we highlighted here at Prop8TrialTracker.com, as a point and example during oral arguments on why the previous stay on Judge Walker’s ruling should be lifted. Our work goes hand in hand as they do excellent work on the inside of the courtroom and we help on the outside.
Please join me in offering congratulations and good luck to Chad!