Chad Griffin, longtime power player in the world of LGBT rights, has been announced as the successor to outgoing HRC president Joe Solmonese. Griffin is a co-founder of the political strategy firm Griffin|Schake, president of AFER, and certifiably Jeopardy!-hot†.
The 38-year-old politico is somewhat young (Solmonese is 44) to take over as powerful an organization as the $40-million Human Rights Campaign. It could signal that HRC is distancing itself from widely criticized policies, like its gratuitous alignment with corporate America—encapsulated by its recent appointment of soul-challenged Goldman Sachs executive Lloyd Blankfein as “Corporate Equality Spokesperson.”
Hailing from Arkansas, Griffin got his start working for Bill Clinton’s communications team at the tender age of 19. After two years in the White House, he moved to L.A. to work for at a charitable foundation founded by Rob Reiner, a fellow AFER board member.
We don’t have any personal experience with Griffin, but here are some statements he’s made in the past that we dug out of the Queerty archives.
*He’s a Ken Mehlman man. “When we achieve equal equality, [Mehlman] will be one of the people to thank for it.”
*He got pissed at groups like the ACLU, Lambda, and NCLR when they tried to highjack AFER’s championing of the Prop 8 case, and totes bitched them out. “You have unrelentingly and unequivocally acted to undermine this case even before it was filed. Considering this, it is inconceivable that you would zealously and effectively litigate this case if you were successful in intervening. Therefore, we will vigorously oppose any motion to intervene.”
*He’s got a little bit of a lisp and says “plaintiffs” funny when he goes on Hardball with Chris Matthews. “In this [Prop 8] case, there are four plaintiffs… every single day we continue to have state-sanctioned discrimination is doing grave harm to those plaintiffs, their children and millions of other young people across the country.”
*He’s not afraid to call out President Obama on his glacially “evolving” stance on gay marriage. Griffin called Obama’s endorsement of states’ rights on the marriage-equality issue ”a step backwards.”
†Jeopardy!-hot is a variation of the idea of nerdy guys that happen to be kind of cute or attractive too. It comes up when you’re watching Jeopardy! and realize that, despite most people on the show being busted, there are a couple of gems. Thus, Jeopardy!-hot. The most Jeopardy!-hot person out there: Alex Trebek.