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Equality California’s new leader stepping down on Friday

Just learned from Michael Petrelis‘s blog (and confirmed via the Sacramento Bee/Associated Press) that Equality California’s (EqCA) new Executive Director Roland Palencia will be stepping down later this week:

The leader of California’s largest gay rights group is leaving his post after only a few months on the job.

Equality California announced Monday that Executive Director Roland Palencia will step down on Friday.

Palencia’s decision comes less than a week after the group said it would not lead a campaign in 2012 to overturn Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

I had meant to blog on the last item, but with the Jewish Holy Days and other stuff on my plate, I haven’t had time to blog.  (And well, in the past few days, haven’t been thinking about politics as much as most of us political bloggers normally do.)  Quickly, don’t think it’s a good idea to put off repeal of Prop. 8.  Given the current polls, a campaign to overturn the ban on state recognition of same-sex marriages could succeed if its leadership included Republicans.  Maybe Mr. Palencia wasn’t willing to work with gay Republicans.

I had refrained form commenting on Palencia’s selection to head EqCA because I had hoped to arrange a meeting between gay conservatives and Palencia and didn’t want to compromise that process.   I had reached out to several individuals close to and involved in the organization.  They were optimistic we could arrange a meeting.  Given that such a meeting seemed possible, I thought we might be more effective if we communicated our concerns privately before criticizing the new leadership publicly.

Perhaps, at a later date — as time allows — I may offer my thoughts on his selection and my hopes for his replacement.

I have no clue why Palencia is stepping down.  All I can say is that it is an interesting development and that I wish him well in his future endeavors.



  1. Very curious indeed, Dan, as to why he stepped down, especially after so short a time on the job.

    I’ve tried googling him as to gauge his perspective, but to no avail, so keep us posted if you come up with anything.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — October 11, 2011 @ 9:57 am - October 11, 2011

  2. I somehow managed to get myself on Equality California’s email list. Their missives are in pretty standard gay-left boilerplate. Every appeal is over-the-top dramatic, the stock characters are cast as heroes and villains. I’m an Arizonan, but even if I were a Californian their appeals would not appeal to me.

    Comment by Lori Heine — October 11, 2011 @ 2:53 pm - October 11, 2011

  3. Is EQCA so wedded to victory through the courts that they’re not going to try to repeal Prop 8 with the ballot?

    Comment by NYAlly — October 11, 2011 @ 6:00 pm - October 11, 2011

  4. This lifelong Californian agrees with Equality California’s decision not to pursue repeal of Prop 8 in 2012. I just don’t think enough time has passed, and polls don’t tell the whole story. There are a whole lot of weakly pro-gay straight people who still carry boatloads of anti-gay sentiment, which can be activated by clever campaigners. That’s who the pro-Prop 8 people were able to reach with their “gathering storm” and “a princess can marry a princess” ads late in the campaign to turn the election around. I think we’d be better off with a surer victory in 2016 rather than the much bigger chance of a second loss just 4 years after the first one.

    I don’t know why Roland Palencia stepped down either. It does seem odd after being there for such a short time.

    Comment by Donny D. — October 12, 2011 @ 12:58 am - October 12, 2011

  5. I’ll be honest: I voted Yes on 8 in 2008. I’m bisexual but think civil unions are the best way to go. Rather than postpone a move to overturn Proposition 8 I’d hit the reset button, focus on a national movement for civil unions, and not waste any more money and time on gay marriage.

    Comment by Robert Oscar Lopez — October 12, 2011 @ 2:41 am - October 12, 2011

  6. Got to disagree with Donny D.

    “They voted against what I want, so they must still secretly hate me.” is not an argument that wins a lot of hearts and minds.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 12, 2011 @ 7:36 am - October 12, 2011

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