Equality California, the gay rights lobbying group that was featured in a recent L.A. Weekly cover story, made it official yesterday — a “national search” to find a replacement for outgoing executive director Geoff Kors is underway.

Kors told the Weekly in an interview last month that he would personally help his successor with the transition, but that doesn't appear likely — EQCA is now saying the search will take four to six months.

Kors says he's stepping down in March, so if the four- to six-month time frame stands, he'll be long gone by the time a new executive director is found. The executive search firm Morris & Berger has been retained by EQCA to find its next leader.

Which leads to interesting questions: Who's going to step in as EQCA's interim honcho? And will that temporary hire have a leg up on the competition if he or she has applied for Kors' job?

Things are never boring at EQCA, with interesting moves being made behind the scenes that often raise eye brows once they've been revealed to the public.

Former state senator and gay rights icon Sheila Kuehl, for example, said in the Weekly cover story “Mission Drift at Gay Inc.” that “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.”


Last week, we wondered if Equality California had suddenly found an in-house replacement for Kors.

Gay blogger Michael Petrelis and the Weekly noticed that EQCA managing director Jim Carroll had been thrust into the limelight at the end of 2010, as if he was being groomed for the top spot.

Maybe Carroll was simply being prepared to take over the interim job?

Whatever happens, The Wall – Las Memorias Project Founder Richard Zaldivar, a Latino gay rights and AIDS activist who was also quoted in the Weekly cover story, still wants EQCA board members to reach out to the gay community and seek its input by holding town hall meetings.

“It is good to know that Equality California has retained a search firm to recruit an executive director,” Zaldivar writes in an email to the Weekly. “It is my hope that Equality California meets with all (LGBT) community stakeholders to help guide a search for the appropriate and capable candidate to lead this organization. It is my hope that the candidate for the job is from our California community and is culturally sensitive to its emerging populations.”

So far, EQCA, which receives millions of dollars from the gay community every year and makes decisions that impact the lives and rights of some 850,000 gay and lesbians in California, has yet to make any public moves to suggest it will follow Zaldivar's advice.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly