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Will Gay Rights Powerhouse Equality California Finally Choose New Executive Director?

Frontiers News Editor Karen Ocamb predicts that Equality California, the major gay rights group, may announce the pick of a new executive director next week. She also describes some turmoil in the ranks over how that decision will be made, which doesn't surprise us.

L.A. Weekly published a widely-read cover story in January, "Mission Drift at Gay Inc.," that goes into detail about various controversies with how former executive director Geoff Kors ran EQCA, and how some gay rights leaders were calling for a more transparent process in how the gay rights group chose his successor.

That transparency never really happened.

As far as we can tell, EQCA never held town hall meetings as gay rights leaders have suggested, giving ordinary gay folks -- whose rights and lives are affected by the policies of EQCA and who give tons of money in donations to keep EQCA afloat -- a public forum to provide their feedback on the executive director search.

Ocamb notes in her article that "there were also several critics who ... expressed concerns about the process," ranging from an EQCA board member who was not allowed to join the executive director search committee to how a head-hunting firm handled the search.

"Morris & Berger, the outside firm hired to search for the new ED, and the board members on the search committee--while all good, well-intentioned people--might not have the breadth of knowledge of applicants' assets and baggage as some who've been immersed in the California LGBT community for a long period of time," Ocamb writes.

Ocamb also sounds a similar theme the Weekly and gay rights leaders have voiced: "Did the search committee do similar outreach to 'regular' LGBT people and were their comments taken seriously?"

Ocamb reports that decision could be announced on Monday, after Equality California board members get together this weekend and discuss the final four candidates.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.