After a 22-year tenure with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, lesbian activist Kate Kendell has announced she will step down as head of the San Francisco-based LGBTQ advocacy group.
Kendell said in a statement her decades on the job at the now leading LGBT organization “has widened my vistas and laid open my heart.”
“I am honored to have held this position and privileged to have experienced the countless moments of joy and awe that have forever changed our lives as LGBTQ individuals,” Kendell said. “I’ve been at the center of enormous NCLR victories, four at the U.S. Supreme Court, including the freedom to marry, a fight that seemed impossible to many when I became executive director 22 years ago. I feel enormous gratitude to have been a part of the NCLR legacy and part of the history of the fight — still on-going — for justice for all LGBTQ people.”
Kendell’s efforts over more than two decades can be seen across a wide swath of the LGBTQ landscape.
From the beginnings of same-sex marriage with then-Mayor Gavin Newsome of San Francisco to the California Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality; banning “ex-gay” therapy to fighting Donald Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers; and lots of LGBTQ legislation around the country.
Kendell’s colleagues in LGBTQ advocacy have nothing but praise for her decades of work:
.@KateKendell is one of the most tireless and fearless advocates I have ever met. She has led @NCLRights to new heights and made a difference in the lives of millions. She will be dearly missed, but I can’t wait to see what she does next. https://t.co/MD9dwtesX9
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 15, 2018
Under @KateKendell’s leadership, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (@NCLRights) has reached new heights, working to secure national marriage equality and defend the rights of #LGBTQ people before the U.S. Supreme Court. https://t.co/1I27LWSSUf
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 15, 2018
What a legacy @KateKendell leaves behind at @NCLRights. A voice of conscience and calm in the #LGBTQ movement, and a strategic mastermind responsible for so much progress. She is one of the most gifted, wise, & kind leaders I’ve had the honor to work with. https://t.co/3plYo9peed
— Tony Varona (@TonyVarona) March 15, 2018