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LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign settles racism lawsuit with ex-leader



© Reuters.

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States, and its Black former president, Alphonso David, have settled a lawsuit in which David had alleged racial discrimination in his firing, the two sides said on Wednesday.

David was fired in September 2021 after New York state Attorney General Letitia James issued a report saying he had advised former Governor Andrew Cuomo about dealing with sexual harassment allegations, the organization’s board said at the time. David was identified in the report as having been involved in efforts to undermine Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan.

David, who said in his lawsuit that he was the group’s first Black president, had held the post for two years. The Washington-based nonprofit group advocates for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBTQ).

The lawsuit alleged racial discrimination in David’s firing. The advocacy group denied that and said David was fired for violating the organization’s conflict of interest policy by assisting Cuomo’s team.

The terms of the settlement were confidential, the two sides said in a joint statement on Wednesday, adding they chose to “amicably resolve” the lawsuit.

Human Rights Campaign named a new president, Kelley Robinson, in September. Robinson is the first Black woman to hold the post.

Cuomo, 63, stepped down as governor in 2021 after a state investigation concluded he sexually harassed women who worked for him. Cuomo denied wrongdoing.

According to David’s LinkedIn profile, he was president of Human Right Campaign for over two years. He had spent over eight years prior to that working for Cuomo’s office – first as counsel for civil rights and then as chief counsel.

He is currently the president and chief executive officer of the Global Black Economic Forum.

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