Founding Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors says goodbye with one of his trademark emails, which includes a pitch for a contribution. We wouldn't expect him to go out any other way.

Kors, who's leaving EQCA, was the focus of the L.A. Weekly cover story “Mission Drift at Gay Inc.,” which looked at the controversial behind-the-scenes moves by Kors during his long reign as the leader of one of California's most powerful gay rights groups.

Kors, who's known as intelligent and hard-working, shaped Equality California from a small state lobbying outfit to the very influential group that it is today.

“Allowing me to share the victories and setbacks, breaking news, calls to action, legislative and legal updates and the joys and heartbreaks of our collective fight for full equality has been a true honor and privilege,” Kors writes in his email.

Along the way, though, Kors got a reputation for not playing well with other, smaller gay rights groups in California and for his role in the disastrous “No on 8” campaign in 2008, which led to the passing of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage ballot measure.

In “Mission Drift,” West Hollywood City Councilman and former EQCA board member John Duran states, “Geoff came in and fixed [EQCA]. Not only that, he grew it — tenfold. He was the right person at the right time.”

But gay rights icon and former California state senator Sheila Kuehl says, “Equality California never really convinced legislators on their own [to pass a bill], but inevitably something would pass — and they'd send out a press release taking all the credit. I never thought they were team players. They would take credit, and it was more credit than they earned.”

Kors has not said what he will do next.

In the meantime, Equality California board members have come under criticism for not meeting face to face with ordinary gays and lesbians as they look for Kors' replacement. That hire will affect the rights and lives of some 850,000 gays and lesbians in California.

Critics are concerned that EQCA is continuing with its non-transparent, steam-rolling ways.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

LA Weekly