Court Battles

Human Rights Campaign rejects former president’s accusations of racism

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The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the U.S., has rejected racism accusations presented by its former president Alphonso David, The Washington Post reported.  

In a court filing on Monday, HRC attorneys argued that David’s claims are mostly false including an allegation from a senior HRC executive that David’s support for racial justice was viewed as a risk; which could alienate white donors, specifically “White gay men.” 

The advocacy group also denied David’s claims that he was paid less than his predecessor and an HRC chairman told him that he received a low paycheck due to his race, adding an accusation that the organization wasn’t ready to be led by a Black person. 

David was fired by HRC last September after an internal investigation found that David aided former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during his sexual harassment scandal, according to the Post. 

New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) report last August found that David helped Cuomo by seeking signatures for a letter that attempted to undermine Cuomo’s accuser Lindsey Boylan. 

The organization asked David to resign from his position at first, but he refused to do so, the Post reported. 

“Any employment actions taken by HRC with respect to Plaintiff’s employment were based solely on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons, and were in no way based on Plaintiff’s race or any other protected characteristic,” HRC’s attorneys wrote in their court filing.

In a statement, David told the newspaper his former employer’s response is “yet another sign that HRC’s leadership is out of touch with its organizational reality and woefully blind to the systemic inequities that continue to run rampant within it.”

“At least four former employees within the past month, including me, have highlighted issues of systemic racism within the organization,” David told The Post.  “Rather than address the problem, HRC once again attempts to erase it but they cannot run away from evidence that shows their true colors and I look forward to unveiling it.”

In an email to employees, HRC co-chairs restated its commitment to diversity, The Post noted. 

“It is extremely disappointing to have a former president of HRC attack our work, values and commitment to diversity, equity inclusion and belonging, of which he was a critical part for two years,” the co-chairs wrote in their message.

Tags Alphonso David Andrew Cuomo Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment allegations Human Rights Campaign New York

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